Thursday, May 03, 2007

New Requests 5/3/2007

1. Statistics-related Presentation

Tiffany at Kirby would like a presentation anytime Monday through Friday until the end of May would work great. She has two sections of this class. One meeting at 10:15a.m. and the other meeting at 12:45 p.m.

She says for:
"I teach an intro to statistics course (7th and 8th graders). In addition to learning the basic statistics concepts, the students have been working on a semester long statistical analysis project on a topic of their choosing. Topics
range from climate change to baseball stats. I would like to find a researcher who is doing statistical analysis of any topic that might be interesting to this age level of students to present their project and who can demonstrate
their correlations through the use of graphs/charts (transparencies or power point presentation). I am trying to emphasize the multitude of real world applications using statistics.
I am open to a brief 15 minute to an entire class-long (50 minutes) presentation. Longer is more ideal."

2. General Science activity for developmentally disabled adults.

Desired presentation: An activity that is very hands-on and tangibly applicable to participants' every day life (e.g. intro to topographic map reading skills, basic chemistry or physics connected to everyday activities such as cooking, weather science...) I have a ton of possibilities gleaned from the web, which I would be happy to share with an interested presenter.
Members of the work program have skill levels that range from zero verbal ability to approximately 6th grade level, but participants are engaged and would be receptive to a wide range of topics. In addition, the center has staff members who would aid in helping participants and the presenter.

Location: Hope Services Work Activity Program, Soquel, CA
Timing: A Thursday and Friday in early or mid May, for any ~90-120 minute time period between 9:30 and 3pm.

3. General Science presentation for 4th graders
A UCSC student working on the Education M.A./Credential program this year and interning in a 4th grade class would like a GROW grad presentation. The presentation can be on anything appropriate for 10 year olds.
Timing: Between May 8 and May 18 (best for her is the 14 or 15, but any day is fine). Duration is flexible.

Please contact grow_grad@yahoo.com if you want to take on one of these presentations or if you would like more information.

Ideas for the future of GROW

As we approach the end of our first year, it would be wonderful to reflect on the program and on possible improvements for the future. I would love to generate some discussion on the blog around:

• How we can recruit new GROW grads
• The notification system for open requests/Response system
• Obstacles to participation (how can we support your outreach, encourage participation? What do you need?)
• System of follow-up/feedback
• Additional aspects you'd like to see added to the program
• How to sustain this program (e.g. Do we need a defined leadership structure? )

A group of GROW grads met last night to discuss these issues. Several of the ideas we had:
1. Hold 1-2 workshops a quarter to assemble activity kits and to discuss presentation and general teaching skills.
2. Ask teachers making requests to define a 2-week window to help structure planning (and emphasize urgency of requests).
3. As part of a sustainable leadership structure and to aid in recruitment: designate liaisons for each of PBSci departments and Engineering. This would also help us collaborate with several outreach groups that are housed within specific departments.
4. Consider holding class visits days to several departments, including lab tours and hands-on activities, as part of the GROW offerings.

In addition, we are going to have a poster at the Graduate Research Symposium publicizing all the great outreach GROW grads have accomplished. I would love some help a) from individuals who would be willing to man the poster for part of the time and b) anyone with AI skills who would like to assist in making a poster. I may not be able to attend that day, so I would greatly appreciate some help from others!

In general, everyone agreed that having a resource closet of readymade activities would greatly facilitate participation. This has long been the goal, but activation energy on putting together these kits is high. In part to address this, Expanding Your Horizons is starting an Undergraduate Program to recruit science- and education-minded senior-level undergrads to be involved in assembling (and eventually helping present) hands-on science activity kits. Pending funding, we will begin this Program and kit assembly process in the Fall, but we can definitely plan a grad-led kit assembly workshop earlier than this. I will send out a more specific email query on this in the near future.

I welcome feedback on these ideas and any other responses to the questions listed above!