2021 International Conference Proceedings

Paper #14004: A Look at the Handbook of Research on Science Teacher Education

Principal Author: Julie A. Luft, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Gail Jones, North Carolina State University; Jose Pavez, University of Georgia; Kayla P.. Flanagan, University of Georgia


The Handbook of Research on Science Teacher Education provides a fresh and thorough review of research on topics pertaining to the preparation, induction, and ongoing learning of K-12 science teachers. The critical and concise chapters in this handbook provide insights into the science teacher work environment and how current science teacher education programs should strengthen and sustain the practice of K-12 science teachers. The handbook sections specifically examine: doing research in science teacher education, the preparation of well-started science teachers, the professional learning of science teachers, core areas in science teacher learning, and emerging issues in science teacher education. The information presented in this handbook will guide those who conduct research in science teacher education and who work directly with teachers.  In this session, several of the authors will provide an overview of their chapter.

Paper #16012: Supporting Urban High School STEM Teachers to be Successful

Principal Author: Judith Gouraige, Stony Brook


The effect of the teacher cannot be overstated in urban high school STEM classes. Research indicates that many urban teachers are unprepared to support students for success. The reason is a lack of pedagogical knowledge in addressing and remediating students’ needs in the math and literacy skills need to do college preparatory STEM work.

The literature on teacher effect maximized its impact on student performance and stated that the teacher affects every aspect of the students learning experience; the quality of the content, the caring class culture and an orderly environment. However, urban students of color receive less than 10% of the bachelor’s degrees and less than 5% of the graduate degrees in STEM areas and a direct relationship has been shown between high school STEM courses taken and success in college STEM degree attainment. Taking science coursework beyond 9th grade biology and math coursework beyond Algebra 1 and having more exposure to STEM courses in high school, both in number and level, lead to a higher likelihood of completing a STEM degree in college. Research also shows that students of color are less prepared for college STEM work than their white counterparts but if students of color do have a robust STEM background in high school, they are just as likely as white students to obtain a STEM degree. 

Teaching science in an urban environment requires the development of skills and techniques that often teacher preparation programs do not provide such as reading courses for secondary teachers and math remediation for science teachers. Teachers, especially the less experienced, often felt that the school had set high expectations, but had “nothing in place to help students meet the higher standards”  and did not know how to address student needs. This leads to the recommendations of including coursework in math and science literacy as well as general literacy in teacher preparation programs and in-service professional development and school wide routines and protocols to increase student achievement.


Paper #11027: Development of an Instrument to Assess Equity Among District Science Coordinators

Principal Author: Ramshah M. Eliza, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Shaugnessy R. McCann, University of Georgia; Julie A. Luft, University of Georgia


District science leaders play an important role in supporting the learning of their teachers. As they work with their teachers, they guide the development of their beliefs, knowledge, mindset and instructional practices. These are essential areas when it comes to creating equitable learning environments for all students. However, it not clear how district science leaders can learn to support equitable orientations towards science instruction. This is primarily because district science leaders have not been monitored about their orientation towards equity. To solve this problem, district science leaders are engaged in a professional learning program that promotes the equitable use of the NGSS. In order to monitor their growth in the area of equity, we developed and are piloting an equity assessment for district science leaders. This instrument was developed to measure the beliefs, mindset, knowledge and practices involved in equitable science instruction that are held by district science leaders. In this poster session, we will share the framing for our work, along with the instrument and our current findings. We hope to have a vibrant discussion about this instrument.

Paper #10148: Gender Differences in Gifted Elementary Students’ Decision-Making

Principal Author: Younkyeong Nam, Pusan National University
Co-Authors: Jina Yoon, Pusan National University; Jeanna Wieselmann, Southen Methodist University


This study examines how gender affected gifted elementary students’ engineering-based argumentative practices and decision-making processes as they selected renewable energy sources to support South Korea’s future. Twenty-one gifted elementary science students participated in four steps of the Jigsaw group discussion process: 1) single-gender group discussion before information was given, 2) single-gender group discussion after information was given, 3) mixed-gender group discussion as a format of expert group discussion, and 4) original single-gender group discussion. Videotaped group discussions and student worksheets were the primary data sources. Students’ argumentative practices were investigated in two aspects: social negotiation patterns and reasoning. The social negotiation patterns of students’ argumentative practice were analyzed using an analytic framework adapted from Toulmin’s model of argument structure, and the collaborative reasoning patterns of students’ argumentative practice were analyzed based on Walton’s reasoning scheme. Then their decision-making process was analyzed using an analytical framework developed by the authors. Social negotiation pattern results show that girls’ social negotiation was more affected by gender grouping (single or mixed) than boys. However, there was no significant gender difference in terms of collaborative reasoning. We identified critical factors that affected students’ final decisions in each unit of discourse analysis. Girls' engineering decisions were safety-oriented, so they prioritized energy options with “no known disadvantages” even if other options had known advantages. In contrast, boys selected an option if they felt that they had collected sufficient evidence to reach consensus and did not select an option if it included economic disadvantages or technological limitations.

Paper #10146: Reimagining teacher preparation and out-of-school time STEM programs during COVID-19: A community cultural wealth model

Principal Author: Natalie S. King, Georgia State University
Co-Authors: Vanessa Grady, Georgia State University; Laura Pena, Georgia State University; Christine D.. Thomas, Georgia State University


In this study, we employed Tara Yosso’s (2005) community cultural wealth model to explore the development of an online community during uncertain times resulting from COVID-19. Specifically, we redesigned of our teacher preparation program and out-of-school time STEM program to provide equitable access to quality STEM enrichment to moderate the effects of school closures on traditionally underserved populations. The research context was a 4-week STEM program for K-12 students offered 100% online to over 300 K-12 students nationally. This intervention was in partnership with certified and pre-service teachers from a local university, faculty, and other community members. Data sources included artifacts from 50 pre-service teachers in the science and mathematics methods courses, reflections, and semi-structured focus group interviews. Preliminary findings revealed the importance of leveraging the community cultural wealth of teachers, students, and their families during online instruction. This approach nurtured the development of healing spaces that embraced African American educational ideologies and connected learning to freedom, citizenship, and literacy. The project’s effort to design programming specifically for youth of color enhanced their scientific and digital literacy while also increasing interest in STEM pathways. Findings also revealed that virtual learning platforms have the potential to provide greater access to OST STEM geographically, but the implementation requires access to substantial digital resources that pose new challenges. Implications related to leveraging community cultural wealth and increasing students’ access to STEM will be shared while also sharing our approach to providing autonomy for teachers to develop digital literacy by learning best practices for online instruction.

Paper #10145: Science Fairs as Service Learning Experiences for Preservice Elementary Teachers

Principal Author: Matthew Perkins Coppola, Purdue University Fort Wayne


Judging a school science fair is a common rite of passage for undergraduate students, both science and education majors. A review of the literature suggests little is known about the impact of these experiences on preservice elementary teachers, especially how they may serve as formative experiences to attitudes about science fairs. As part of a course on scientific inquiry, preservice elementary teachers at a regional public university in the Midwest participated in a science fair-centered service-learning project. The university partnered with an urban elementary STEM magnet school. Participants observed classroom instruction, assisted with parent-student work nights, and judged projects for the school science fair. The preservice teachers completed structured reflections following each activity and submitted electronically.

Qualitative analysis of the structured reflections revealed students increased their expectations for science instruction and for the quality of learning in the urban school environment. The novice teachers also reported several new insights into the value of having students participate in long-term scientific research projects. Reflections on the parent-student work nights revealed much about the character and potential prejudices of the future teachers, though the majority reported strong new insights into how to support and interact with parents to promote student learning.

Paper #10144: Opportunities and Challenges of an Online Elementary Science Methods Course

Principal Author: Danielle E. Dani, Ohio University
Co-Authors: Nidaa Makki, University of Akron; Andrea Anderson, Ohio University


Online science methods courses have become a reality. As this trend continues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and financial constraints faced by institutions of higher education, it is imperative for science educators to explore characteristics that make online science methods courses effective. This paper addresses myths about online, inquiry-based science methods courses by describing opportunities and challenges of teaching preservice and inservice elementary teachers about three-dimensional science learning. It discusses the affordances this delivery format offers for engaging teachers and teacher candidates in experiential learning about science teaching.

Using Kolb’s theory of experiential learning (1984) and the R2C2 model (Authors), Authors describe course organization, sample activities, materials, and student work from methods courses at two public universities. The courses were offered to preservice and practicing early childhood educators (up to third grade) who were seeking an endorsement to teach fourth and fifth grade. Course A, 2 credit-hours, was offered asynchronously in 7 weeks and enrolled 82 students. Course B, 3 credit-hours, was offered using a hybrid model (one synchronous session per week, asynchronous otherwise) in 5 weeks and enrolled 12 students.

As a result of their collaboration and reflection on the development and implementation of an elementary science methods course, the authors’ identified challenges and opportunities relating to identifying and addressing student ideas, supporting student engagement in inductive learning, and scaffolding students’ abilities with respect to science and engineering practices. Implications for science teacher education, professional development, informal science education are provided.

Paper #10143: When collaboration goes awry: A failure analysis of teaching triads

Principal Author: Iliana E.. De La Cruz, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Jacob Pleasants, Keene State College; Wiley Lincoln, Texas A&M University; Joanne K.. Olson, Texas A&M University


Teacher education programs and some professional development (PD) projects implement a co-teaching model of instruction in the classroom, often to the benefit of students. However, little to no consideration is often given to how such partnerships between co-teachers will benefit or impede students or professional growth. Situations of team dysfunction are likely to arise when collaborating co-teachers struggle to work together, lacking the interpersonal skills to mitigate conflict in order to work together toward their intended goal.

We investigated common sources of conflict within ten teams consisting of a cooperating teacher, a student teacher, and an engineering graduate student in the context of a science teacher professional development (PD) project. This project asked elementary cooperating and student teacher pairs to collaborate with an engineer as in triads in planning and incorporating engineering into their science instruction. Within the first year of the project, several triads experienced difficulty achieving their goal in large part due to conflict arising between team members. Project staff offered ongoing support for triads to work together toward their goals as part of workshops and semester intervention. Yet, 10 triads were unable to meet project goals.

Through a multiple case study analyses of these 10 triads, we found the most common domain of team conflict was interpersonal in nature. Two primary themes of interpersonal problems emerged from cases: issues of role awareness and issues of overconfidence. Patterns of interpersonal problems suggest that ambiguous roles lead to disengagement or an inequitable workload and issues of overconfidence cause power struggles within a team. Our findings indicate that a lack of strong leadership within a triad fails to push the triad past their interpersonal issues ultimately leading to the triad’s demise. Teacher educators, student teacher supervisors, instructional coaches, and PD organizers should be aware of such patterns of behavior and conflict in order to best mitigate dysfunctional collaboration.

Paper #10142: “[S]he Is, Like, Exactly Who I Want to Be in Life”: High School Students’ Experiences with Teaching and Their Decisions to Teach Science

Principal Author: William J.. Davis, Southern Utah University


The purpose of this exploratory multiple case narrative inquiry is to examine three high school students’ experiences with teachers and teaching, specifically students interested in teaching secondary science. Drawing from a larger dissertation study exploring the conceptions of teaching of high school students interested in teaching careers, this study is an examination of individual profiles that were constructed during the dissertation and used as an analytic tool. Following transcribing of interview transcripts from the larger study, a 20-25 page double-spaced profile was constructed for each participant. The purpose of the profiles was to develop an account of participants’ experiences with teachers and teaching in order to achieve a higher degree of empathic understanding. For this study, profiles were inductively (re)analyzed to focus on the experiences of participants interested in science teaching, and how these experiences influenced their decisions to pursue—nor not to pursue—teaching careers. Preliminary results have surfaced the importance of particular science teachers, both in terms of their personality and/or likability as well as their particular approaches to teaching. Participants not only were able to identify and describe particular approaches to teaching (e.g., experiments), but they used their observations to analyze teaching and frame how they might use such approaches in their future teaching. In addition, two of the three participants discussed their experiences, or lack thereof, with non-white students and recent immigrants. These preliminary findings suggest that prospective teachers may carry important experiential assets that may be leveraged by teacher educators as they prepare their students for an increasingly diverse US student body.

Paper #10140: A three year study of Informal Science Field Experiences in Elementary Science Methods Course

Principal Author: Christina L. McDaniel, Bradley University
Co-Authors: Colton Wilder, Bradley University


Elementary teachers struggle to provide meaningful field trips that align with curricula. Could this be due to lack of field experiences with informal science education in preservice teacher programs? The researchers of this study used the social constructivist theory to frame the experiential informal science practice for elementary preservice science methods teachers and faculty at a local university with a children museum’s educational outreach facility over three years. This qualitative research outlines the engagement and impact of teaching strategies of preservice teachers through experiential learning opportunities in informal science education. The findings indicated practice with informal science education field experiences increased content and self-confidence, nurtured positive attitudes towards science, connected pedagogy of teaching through inquiry-based instruction, improved understanding and value of deeper learning, enhanced perceptions of themselves as facilitators of real-world experiences, increased personal value of hands-on activities, practiced classroom management and planning often in real time, and alleviated struggles with student collaboration.

Paper #10139: Connecting biology to dance: exploring how pre-service elementary teachers apply evolution to their lives and future careers

Principal Author: Rachel Sparks, Illinois State University
Co-Authors: Marissa Hettinger, Illinois State University; Rebekka Darner, Illinois State University


In the Next Generation Science Standards, evolutionary concepts are explicitly taught as early as 3rd grade. However, pre-service K-8 teachers hold many non-normative ideas regarding evolution, feel unprepared to teach evolution, and often do not take courses in evolutionary biology to increase their knowledge. These teachers enter the classroom feeling uncertain about the validity of evolutionary theory, incorporating alternative explanations of evolution into instruction, outright rejecting evolution, or avoiding the topic entirely. This leads to the persistence of non-normative ideas regarding evolution in generations of students, all of whom will be called on later in life to make science-informed decisions regarding socio-scientific issues such as climate change and vaccination, which inherently involve evolutionary ideas. Thus, it is essential that pre-service teachers have the opportunity to develop evolutionary knowledge through their science courses in order to effectively teach these concepts.

Further, evolution is widely recognized as a culturally laden topic, yet the science education community lacks a curricular resource to teach evolution inclusively and equitably. To address this gap, we developed an introductory biology course taught through an evolutionary perspective specifically for pre-service K-8 teachers. This course utilizes the Teaching for Transformative Experiences in Science model as a method of inclusive and equitable pedagogy to make evolutionary ideas relevant to students’ everyday lives in order to promote conceptual change. This presentation will use case studies constructed from coursework and post-course interviews to demonstrate the short- and long-term effects of this course on pre-service elementary teachers’ knowledge of evolutionary concepts, including how these concepts apply to their daily lives and careers. This study represents an innovation in science teacher education through its use of the TTES model to teach this culturally laden topic using inclusive strategies that enable transformative experiences for all students.

Paper #15004: Modeling the Use of History of Science to Teach Nature of Science in a History and Philosophy of Science Course for Preservice High School Teachers

Principal Author: Khadija E. Fouad, Appalachian State University
Co-Authors: Alan J. King, Appalachian State University; Matthew A. Lance, Appalachian State University


A course for teaching history and philosophy of science (HPS) to preservice secondary teachers was developed by modifying an HPS course originally designed by Dass (2005) to foster improvements in understandings of the nature of the scientific enterprise (NOSE) using writings and class discussions.  To expose preservice teachers to a variety of methods to use history of science (HOS) to teach nature of science (NOS) the modified course included lessons based on Rudge and Howe’s (2009) model using HOS instrumentally for teaching NOS, García-Carmona and Acevedo-Díaz’s (2016) methodology for teaching NOS with newspaper articles of current scientific events, and Cavicchi’s (2010, 2014) open-ended investigations to explore the historical development of scientific ideas.  The course included newly designed activities for the development of pedagogical content knowledge for teaching NOS and to improve understandings of the difference and relationship between scientific theories and laws.  During the course, nearly all preservice teachers improved their NOS understandings and began development of pedagogical content knowledge for teaching NOS.

Paper #10137: Promoting Science Among English Language Learners: An Exploration of Meaning Making Process in a High School Science Classroom

Principal Author: Rebecca Robertson Konz, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Felicia D.. Leammukda, University of Minnesota; Preethi Titu, University of Minnesota; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota




Research pertaining to science education for English learner (EL) students has been developing in two different disciplines: science education and second language education. There is a need to bridge the findings from these two fields in a way that is understandable for audiences in either field. This means a focus on accurate science content and pedagogy in addition to the forms and functions of the academic language used for science. When EL students cannot understand or produce oral English, science classes can become overwhelming very quickly, largely due to the reliance on oral discourse for engaging in science practices (The National Academies, 2014). Recommendations for content-based instruction (CBI) have generally been grounded in traditional language pedagogy, where “the attention of content area teachers is often directed at the study and practice of forms and language items such as vocabulary, phrases, or sentence frames” (Lee, Quinn, & Valdés, 2013, p. 228). This approach is more complex in science education, in part because of commonplace homophones for academic science terms such as solution, property, test, or matter (Case, 2002; Miller, 2009). 

Oftentimes science teachers working with EL students are urged to consider both content objectives and language objectives as they plan lessons and units (Echevarria & Vogt, 2008). Although much work has been done on the basis of social interaction and language learning, there is a surprising lack of attention to how multilingual students in science classes can mediate language barriers through bilingual practices. Thus, the research question for this study is as follows: How do beginning-level EL students utilize Spanish and English when engaging in an energy transfer unit in a high school science class? The preliminary findings provide insight into ways high school EL students negotiate understandings of classroom science activities and vocabulary, as well as negotiating meanings through the use of both Spanish and English. 

Paper #10136: Exploring the Use of Pragmatism in Research Methodology To Create STEM Curricula That Is Culturally Representative of African American Gullah Geechee

Principal Author: Catherine L. Quinlan, Howard University


This research is part of a larger study to use the lived experiences and narratives of the Gullah Geechee African Americans to create a culturally representative STEM Curriculum. This presentation explores the use of a research methodology framework to explain the use of narratives, historical data, scientific literature, and other documents that date back from the late 1500s to present. This research required the use of pragmatic approaches to data collection without any initial attention to any specific kind of research methodology. Even knowing where to begin was a daunting process. No specific methodology was found adequate and the researcher felt the need to be pragmatic with a focus on the end goal – to create culturally representative STEM curriculum products that would be useful to the classroom teacher as well as be representative of African Americans and Gullah Geechee peoples. The findings show that the road map leading to data from various sources can be explained using philosophical assumptions characterized as ontological, epistemological, axiological, rhetorical, and methodological assumptions as described by Creswell (2007). Furthermore, this research used postpositivism to ensure the connections between the narratives and science, social constructivism, advocacy/participatory, and pragmatism were also used to guide the actions taken. The focus, problem, background, data collection, analysis and end product can also be explained by the use of various types of qualitative approaches as described by Creswell’s (2007) – phenomenology, narratives, grounded theory and other research approaches such as quantitative methods used. The research has implications for what is required to create culturally representative STEM curriculum for people of color using historical, cultural, and social narratives, as well as what it would mean to provide tools that encourage teachers and researchers to be culturally responsive.

Paper #10135: Writing Their Own Stories: The importance of student autonomy in informal environmental education settings

Principal Author: Katherine Trudeau, University of Northern Colorado
Co-Authors: Leah Weisman, University of Northern Colorado; Jaymee Squires, Walking Mountain Science Center; Jennifer Parrish, University of Northern Colorado


As students age, it becomes harder to engage them in environmental science field trips. Researchers have proposed ideas that this decline in interest could be attributed to not having age-appropriate activities, not teaching engaging topics, or having too much emphasis on teachers over peers. This study attempted to go straight to the source and asked youth what would bring meaningfulness to their environmental science field trip experiences. It was discovered that there is no one specific meaningful activity or topic. Students construct their own meaning throughout their learning process, and teachers can foster this creation of meaningfulness by allowing students autonomy. Students responded unequivocally that they would like to have more autonomy in their learning process by having choices and designing their learning activities. A concurrent study which focused on the role of storytelling in environmental education discovered that students retained more information when they were creating skits, as opposed to listening to stories or learning through a traditional, didact method.   The results suggest that when storytelling is converted to story creation in the form of skits, students do retain specific details and individual facts.  Creating their own stories about the science content also appeared to influence students’ empathy for the environment.  When viewed in tandem, these studies can help us reshape the way we plan curriculum and instruction in environmental education to increase autonomy in the learning process and allow students to write their own stories of their experiences and the knowledge they gain.

Paper #10134: Green Chemistry Infusion in the Basic Chemistry Laboratory Manual

Principal Author: - Desi, University of Sriwijaya
Co-Authors: Bety Lesmini, University of Sriwijaya; Iceng Hidayat, University of Sriwijaya


This study aims at describing the characteristics of the developed green chemistry laboratory manual, suggestions offered by basic chemistry instructors, students, and experts to produce a valid, feasible, and effective manual. This study employed the ADDIE model modified with Tessmer’s formative evaluation. The ADDIE model consists of five stages: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation, while Tessmer’s formative evaluation comprises self-evaluation, one-to-one evaluation, small group evaluation, and field testing. This manual covers eleven sub-topics of chemistry experiments using eco-friendly substances. It is evaluated and revised in terms of design, content and pedagogical aspects. The average score of all aspects in the expert review stage is 0.824 showing that the validity of this manual is very high. The average score of the readability of manual in one-to-one and small group evaluation is 0.84 indicating that this manual is feasible to assist students during chemistry experiments. The average performance scores of first grade students of the chemistry education study program in the field testing are 80.98 for the Indralaya class and 81.66 for the Palembang class showing that the green chemistry laboratory manual is effective in helping students to carry out experiments and develop their psychomotor skills. Engaging undergraduate students, especially those planning to teach chemistry in secondary schools, in green chemistry experiments also improves their knowledge of the benefits of green chemistry and exposes them to the issues of sustainable chemistry.

Paper #10133: Supporting Secondary Science Preservice Teachers’ by Exploring Their Science Teaching Identities

Principal Author: Regina P. McCurdy, University of Central Florida


This qualitative study explores preservice science teachers’ (PSTs) desire to become science teachers and the development of their science teaching identities during their teaching internships. Data collection included discussions, tasks, professional development plans (PDPs), and student teaching observations of five PSTs enrolled in a secondary education program at a public university in Southeastern United States. While each PST’s life experiences were different and meaningful, their desires to become science teachers largely stemmed from their prior science learning experiences, their role as a student in K-16 classrooms, and the influences of their values, culture, and work. Aspects of these identity-shaping elements were exhibited in various ways throughout their internships and interaction with their high school students. For example, PSTs developed and implemented engaging lesson plans and built a healthy rapport with their students. At times their science-identity dominated their developing teaching identity. For example, PSTs struggled between being the primary one describing/explaining scientific concepts in the classroom and allowing their students to grapple/interact more deeply with science concepts to better understand the science for themselves.

Paper #10132: Reconstruction site: Exploring physics teacher self-efficacy within a socially just curriculum rebuild

Principal Author: Richard P. Hechter, University of Manitoba


Efforts for designing and implementing an inclusive, socially just, and culturally aware curriculum across all K-12 academic disciplines are being enacted across Canada. Science, while perhaps not the first discipline considered when imagining places for cultivating the tenets of global citizenship, is one that holds great potential for fostering a more holistic approach for teaching and learning. With new curricular outcomes developed towards emphasizing personal explanations from cultural experiences and influences relating to science phenomena and concepts, questions arise as to how teachers are expected to incorporate these ideas within their classrooms. This project, conducted with secondary level physics teachers (n=32) enrolled in a professional development (PD) program aimed at examining new approaches, explored contributing factors related to participating teachers’ perceived efficacy of teaching in these new directions in their science classrooms. Through an explanatory sequential mixed method design, this presentation reports results of one aspect of the study that explored the following variables in contrast to self-reported self-efficacy; a) years of teaching, b) pedagogical foci, and c) perceived degree of autonomy in conducting classes without administrative interference contribute to their perceptions of efficacy towards teaching an enriched curriculum. Quantitative findings though inductive coding of semi-structured interviews revealed that years of teaching, and pedagogical foci yielded statistically significant differences amongst groups, while the results indicated no statistical difference in groups based on levels of autonomy. Qualitative findings identified that; aims of teacher education programs, relevance of previous PD opportunities, the nature of school climate and greater community, and the influence of mentors and colleagues all contribute to why teachers elect to (or not) teach this revised curriculum, and their efficacy in terms of doing so.

Paper #10131: Teaching and learning science in the midst of a global pandemic: Lessons learned from a red-headed duck named COVID

Principal Author: Andrea S. Foster, Sam Houston State University


In March of 2020, educators all over the world found themselves grappling with ways to turn their classrooms into remote/virtual environments. The pandemic was real and so was the scranble to rethink science teacher preparation and define what are courses were going to look like in the coming months, perhaps years ahead.  (Lederman, 2020). Teachers struggled, and still struggle with how to deliver high-quality science teacher preparation experiences in remote environments.  It took a chance encounter with a Red headed Duck, who was given the name COVID as he showed up as suddenly as the pandemic, to help frame a personal view of how to best prepare future elementary and middle school science teachers in science.  This research is an introspective self-study of an almost 40 year veteran science teacher, as she navigated unchartered waters of the virtual science teaching world.  This study documents the challenges of restructing science teaching and learning in the time of COVID-19 and offers some valuable insights into what works and what doesn't work when it comes to preparing preservice teachers in remote environments to teach science well. 

Paper #10130: Supporting District Science Coordinators: Designing Professional Learning Modules

Principal Author: Yuxi Huang, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Harleen Singh, University of Georgia; Hatice Ozen-Tasdemir, University of Georgia; Shelby A.. Watson, University of Mississippi; Brooke A.. Whitworth, Clemson University; Julie A.. Luft, University of Georgia


District science coordinators (DSCs) are responsible for the support of their science teachers. Previous studies indicate that their leadership can have a positive impact on science teacher instructional practices and student achievements. However, many DSCs report they lack professional learning opportunities to build their instructional abilities. This includes building  their ability to develop, enact, and reflect upon professional development programs for K12 science teachers. In order to help DSCs improve their knowledge and practices, we designed four online professional learning modules that can be personalized to meet their learning needs. Online professional learning is advantageous in its sustainability and flexibility. The modules we developed and will discuss include: equitable 3D teaching, professional learning, coherent curriculum, and instructional technology and online learning. These modules are based upon online professional learning designing principles, and they connect to knowledge and practices that DSCs need in order to perform their duties.

Paper #13006: EarthCaching with Pre-Service Elementary Teachers: Using Field-Based Earth Science Experiences in a Science Content Course

Principal Author: Sharon Locke, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Co-Authors: Georgia Bracey, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Katrina LaCombe, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


Historically, the geosciences have been taught inconsistently to future elementary teachers (Trygstad, Smith, Banilower, & Nelson, 2013). Many elementary teachers enter their practice lacking exposure to the full range of scientific topics, which may contribute to a belief that they are unprepared to teach science (Plotnick, Varelas, and Fan, 2009). The adoption of NGSS increases the urgency for finding new and effective approaches for teacher education in the geosciences that will ultimately benefit students across multiple grade levels.


To address these issues, we redesigned the curriculum of a science content course for elementary education majors at a Midwestern public regional university. Pre-service teachers who enrolled in the course participated in a field-based and out-of-classroom activity called EarthCaching, which provided opportunities for learning about the geosciences in an authentic context. Through mixed methods and using a quasi-experimental design, we studied the relationship between participation in EarthCaching and pre-service teachers’ geoscience content knowledge, beliefs about field-based learning, and attitudes and intentions towards using informal learning and field-based learning with their own students.


Participants will complete an EarthCache during the session so that they can experience the instructional approach first-hand. We will then use this as background for describing the curriculum we developed, research instruments, and project findings. We hope to have a rich discussion with participants on the strengths and challenges of the approach from their perspective and as suggested by our research. Participants will receive a guide for a step-by-step process for developing EarthCaches to support geoscience education in their local area and recommended strategies based on our research.

Paper #10129: Gender Differences in Classroom Experiences Shaping Physics Self-Efficacy

Principal Author: Marta R.. Stoeckel, University of Minnesota


Women are underrepresented at multiple levels of physics education. One avenue for understanding the experiences that perpetuate underrepresentation is confidence, which women tend to report a much lower sense of than their male peers (Jurik, et al., 2013; Marshman, et al., 2018; Mujtaba, & Reiss, 2013; Nissen & Shemwell, 2016). This mixed-methods study examines confidence and the experiences of underrepresented students in an AP Physics 1 classroom. Students were asked to predict their score on in-class assessments, then, over two years, these predictions, as well as students’ actual scores, were collected and plotted onto a CCL Confidence Achievement Window (Covington Clarkson, et al., 2017). These results showed only small differences in confidence between boys and girls enrolled in the course. During the second year of data collection, written student responses to an open-ended prompt on each assessment were also collected and a subset of students were interviewed to determine what kinds of classroom activities were particularly impactful. Students described guided inquiry labs as having both a positive and negative effect on their confidence, suggesting a need for science teachers to ensure they have the skills to help students navigate the challenges of guided inquiry. Boys also drew confidence from peer recognition, suggesting it is important to support teachers in developing a classroom environment where students see their skills as recognized and valued by classmates. When discussing their perceptions of the teacher’s beliefs, girls interpreted feedback on assessments where they had scored poorly as evidence the teacher believed they were good at physics because they were capable of improving. This suggests that ensuring teachers have the skills to foster a growth mindset about the subject matter can play an important role in helping students develop confidence.

Paper #11026: Bridging Home Culture and School Science Culture Through Ethnic Education: A Case Study in an Indigenous Community in Taiwan.

Principal Author: Mu-Yin Lin, University of Georgia


There are 16 major indigenous groupings as "tribes officially listed by the Taiwan Government Information Office, comprising 2.38% of the population of Taiwan. Students belonging to these tribes are underrepresented in STEM fields. According to Statistics Department of the Ministry of Education of Republic of China (Taiwan) (2018), only 1.1% of indigenous students chose to study in a hard science field (Natural Science and Life Science), which is 0.6% of the total students studying in the science fields. In addition, only 0.76% of students in the Engineering field are indigenous students. This underrepresented situation of Indigenous groups is similar to the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other countries all over the world.

According to Aikenhead and Huntley (1999), science is the knowledge, skills, and values shared in the scientific community. Pickering (1992) explains that science is a subculture of Western culture reflecting a Eurocentric worldview. Students whose lifeworlds have not been characterized by a Eurocentric worldview need to cross cultural borders from their everyday culture into the school science culture. The difficult and insurmountable boundary crossing can cause students to avoid science classes (Costa, 1995). At the same time, reforms need to emphasize the restructuring of schools and/or curricula in ways which fit the lifeworld of students.

"Ethnic education" refers to education, based on the cultural characteristics of different indigenous peoples, providing the knowledge that belongs to different indigenous ethnicities to indigenous students. In Ethnic Education, students learn the knowledge that belongs to different indigenous ethnicities. Indigenous Knowledge becomes the main body in Ethnic Education, not an accessory to General Education.

The purpose of this paper is to explore how science can play a role in the ethnic education! How can scientific inquiry be designed in ethnic education? How do participants integrate science knowledge and Indigenous knowledge in an Ethnic Curriculum?

Paper #10128: What to teach on my science methods course: Experiences of prospective science teacher educators when designing science methods courses

Principal Author: Jose M.. Pavez, University of Georgia


Science methods courses (SMC) are a central piece of science teacher education since this is a key place for the integration of science subject matter and pedagogical perspectives, theoretical and practical dimensions. It has also been argued that these courses should help the methods students to develop sufficient pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for teaching science and enable them to start teaching science. Typically, science teacher educators (STE) define the agenda for these courses since there is a lack of consensus goals for the SMC. Thus, it is crucial for research to pay attention to science teacher educators' pedagogy and challenges for engaging science teachers in meaningful learnings. In this context, the purpose of this study is to identify the emphasis and challenges of prospective STE (PSTE) when designing SMC, as well as the factors that may be influencing this process. For this purpose, I conducted a multiple case study design with PSTE who participated in an online consultation. The three cases are the design of the elementary, middle school, and secondary SMC. Throughout the consultation sessions, participants designed a science methods syllabus, a teaching philosophy statement, a reflection essay, among other artifacts. They also participated in a think-aloud interview, oral reflections, and interviews. These data sources were analyzed through thematic analysis with a deductive approach and emergent coding. A cross-case analysis is also presented for the three cases. Preliminary findings show that PSTE have diverse emphasis on their SMC syllabus. The main challenges faced by PSTE have to do with deciding what contents to include and what sequence. Among the factors influencing on their design of SMC are previous experiences as a student of a SMC, previous experiences as teaching assistant, or instructor of records for one of these courses. SMC syllabi designed by other instructors are another important factor. Implications for STE doctoral programs are discussed.

Paper #10127: Exploring Growth and Fixed Mindsets in Pre-service Teachers Enrolled in an Undergraduate Elementary Science Methods Course

Principal Author: Daniel M. Alston, UNC Charlotte
Co-Authors: Brandi L. Copeland-Kamp, Clemson University


Since the mid 1900’s, authors of science reform documents have advocated for teachers to engage in inquiry-based instruction. Currently, authors of national science standards and supporting documents are asking teachers and students to engage in rigorous and challenging teaching and learning. Inquiry-based instruction is once again an advocated strategy for accomplishing the high expectations set forth in both documents. Quality inquiry-based science instruction can be challenging to plan and facilitate. This can result in teachers experiencing failures as they struggle to plan and facilitate inquiry-based instruction. Because of the aforementioned teaching expectations and dynamics regarding inquiry-based instruction, pre-service teachers should learn about growth and fixed mindsets and how to cultivate a growth mindset as they learn how to plan inquiry-based science lessons in their undergraduate science methods course. This is especially the case for elementary teachers, as they often have low self-efficacy regarding their ability to teach science. Individuals who have a predominantly fixed mindset see their abilities and intelligence as stable and unable to change. Individuals who have a predominantly growth oriented mindset, believe they can develop their abilities and intelligence. Additionally they respond to challenges and difficult situations in a more receptive way because they see these situations as opportunities for growth. This case study examined a group of undergraduate pre-service elementary teachers as they progressed through a science methods course grounded in inquiry-based instruction. Each student completed a mindset assessment at the beginning of the semester and mindset reflections after they received their grade on two inquiry lesson plans. Results and implications regarding the responses of students to the mindset assignments and the impact of embedding mindset in an undergraduate science methods course will be discussed.

Paper #13005: School Gardening: Teaching Sustainability Through Hearts-On, Hands-On, Minds-On Learning

Principal Author: Rita Hagevik, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Co-Authors: Kathy Cabe. Trundle, Utah State University; Irina Falls, University of North Carolina at Pembroke


Gardens provide an excellent context to teach and learn science. Children are natural explorers who are curious about the world around them, and educators need to facilitate and perpetuate their wonder and inquiry through active, engaging experiences. The integration of garden-based learning (GBL) into curricula for youth in general, and specifically into science teaching and learning, allows teachers and students to engage with the natural world. Through gardening, students can increase their understanding of and directly interact with science concepts like the basic needs of plants and animals, heredity of traits between parents and their offspring, and the lifecycles of organisms, among other related concepts. Gardens also provide opportunities for students to develop scientific ways of thinking and science process skills through observations, recording of data, data analysis, and representation of findings. In addition to academic learning, recent research indicates that gardening can increase student motivation and interpersonal skills, facilitate community building, encourage environmental stewardship, as well as support a STEM identity for underrepresented youth. In this exploratory session we build upon previous empirical studies on gardening-based learning and share strategies using the hearts-on, hands-on, minds-on balanced learning model to implement garden-based learning programs, as well as resources and curricula for preK, elementary, and middle school teachers and students. A focus on food, food insecurity, health, and sustainability will be addressed. We will engage the participants in a conversation around garden-based projects with preservice and inservice teachers and K-12 students in schools. Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and/or their own garden project experiences to share.

Paper #10126: Iceberg of Culturally Relevant Science and Mathematics Pedagogy: A Model/Framework for Teacher Education

Principal Author: Paula A. Magee, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Co-Authors: Craig J. Willey, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis


In this paper, we describe an operational framework that both supports the identification of culturally relevant pedagogical practices and the analysis of these practices within the context of culturally relevant science and mathematics classrooms. This approach to understanding, “Culturally Relevant Science and Mathematics Pedagogy,” asks preservice teachers to use readily identifiable pedagogical practices, teacher dispositions and curricular materials, map them back to the tenets of CRP, and then scrutinize them for risk-level.  For the risk-level analysis, we use the idea of a continuum of culture from the Iceberg of Culture to assist teachers in analyzing their own materials, dispositions and practices. As with the iceberg of culture, risk-level, is determined by how compatible/incompatible these are with current, sanctioned schooling structures and practices. The risk level is grounded in understanding the prevalence of racism, inequity and whiteness in schools and recognizing that practices and materials are often tied to accepted inequitable school norms. Coupled with the rich literature on why equitable teaching practices are needed, we hope that our approach allows more teachers to see culturally relevant pedagogy in their practice and understand its contribution to disrupting persistent inequities. 

Paper #10125: Practice-based Approaches to Elementary Science Teacher Preparation: Examination of a Responsive Teaching Cycle in Science

Principal Author: Stephen L. Thompson, University of South Carolina


The Responsive Teaching Cycle for Science approach was designed to engage science methods students in reform-based science instructional practices within elementary classrooms and with elementary students in a guided format. The research reported here examined the influence a Responsive Teaching Cycle for Science had on preservice teachers’ self-efficacy for science teaching as well as their conceptions of elementary science teaching and learning. The research also examined which Responsive Teaching Cycle for Science features were most likely to influence preservice teachers’ (n=138) science teaching self-efficacy. Results indicate significant positive changes in preservice teachers’ personal science teaching efficacy and their science teaching outcome expectancy. Additionally, analysis revealed that preservice teachers viewed guided “practice teaching experiences” as being most impactful on their beliefs about science teaching and their self-perceptions as science teachers. Opportunities to engage in collaborative formative assessment of students and associated responsive teaching activities were especially impactful. PTs also frequently referenced the value in making connections between theories learned within methods courses and strategies enacted in elementary classrooms. 

Paper #11025: Impacting Higher Education Faculty’s Teaching Practices in the Physical Sciences

Principal Author: Brooke A. Whitworth, Clemson University
Co-Authors: Lauren A. Simpson, University of Mississippi; Whitney Jackson, University of Mississippi; Julie James, University of Mississippi; Alice Steimle, University of Mississippi


This exploratory case study examined how the development of physical science educative curriculum materials (ECMs) designed specifically for preservice elementary teachers impacted the practices of higher education faculty. One pair of teachers co-taught the treatment course using the new ECMs and one instructor taught the control course. Data sources included interviews, observations, and artifacts. Findings examined the design principles of ECMs used in higher education science classrooms to improve faculty teaching practices.

Paper #10124: Teachers, Virtues and Professional Practice

Principal Author: Ian C. Binns, UNC Charlotte
Co-Authors: Mark A.. Bloom, Dallas Baptist University; Wayne Melville, Lakehead University


This presentation stems from an invited chapter in Melville & Kerr (Eds.) Virtues as Integral to Science Education: Understanding the Intellectual, Moral, and Civic Value of Science and Scientific Inquiry (Routledge International Studies in the Philosophy of Education), which was published in July/August of 2020. It begins with an overview of some of the authors’ work and then argues for the incorporation of honesty, courage, and vulnerability within teacher preparation programs. It then presents two strategies showing what this could look like in teacher preparation programs: storytelling and self-reflection. We believe that incorporating an emphasis on honesty, courage, and vulnerability throughout teacher preparation programs may provide preservice teachers with the opportunity to reflect on their own beliefs and viewpoints. We also believe incorporating this type of instruction, as well as how they impact asking questions, can solidify the point that science is a human endeavor involving a range of human attributes and societies. Finally, teaching these may also help alleviate some of the unnecessary fear and lack of trust when it comes to science.

Paper #10123: Progress Towards Determining the Status of Three-Dimensional Ability by Rural Science Educators

Principal Author: Camille T. Stegman, Nevada State Science Teachers Association
Co-Authors: Catherine Connolly, Northwestern Regional Professional Development Program; David T. Crowther, University of Nevada - Reno


As the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) enters its mature years there is a need to determine current understanding of these innovative shifts by rural science educators. The Framework and the NGSS call for significant shifts in how science is taught.  Many current science instructional practice questionnaires focus on previous national standards, such as the National Science Education Standards (1996) or do not consider rural issues that could hinder the amount of science education professional development a teacher might be able to receive. While many state and local education agencies have provided funding for science education professional development to both urban and rural educators, often the funding goes unused in rural districts because rural districts lack training in how to apply for funding (U.S. Department of Education, 2018). This survey could help determine if additional professional development is needed for rural communities in states that have adopted the NGSS.  This survey was developed through a collaboration between the Nevada State Science Teachers Association (NSSTA), the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the University of Nevada, Reno – Raggio Research Center for STEM Education (RRC). A two-year long process of survey development led to questions that focus on science educator understanding of how the three-dimensions work together, how phenomena relates to science inquiry, general science instructional practices, and the perception of available professional development in the NGSS for rural educators.  The survey development had several phases which included gathering a committee of rural science educators with significant training in the Framework (2012) and the NGSS (2013) together.  The committee worked on defining the focus on the rural educator, item selection, content validity, review and refinement of items based on feedback. While the RRC worked on construct validity and reliability. 

Paper #10122: The Links Between the Virtues, Science, and Science Education

Principal Author: Mark A. Bloom, Dallas Baptist University
Co-Authors: Ian C. Binns, University of North Caronline at Charlotte; Wayne Melville, Lakehead University


This presentation stems from an invited chapter in Melville & Kerr (Eds.) Virtues as Integral to Science Education: Understanding the Intellectual, Moral, and Civic Value of Science and Scientific Inquiry (Routledge International Studies in the Philosophy of Education), which was published in July/August of 2020. It begins by presenting a number of examples, within the U.S. specifically, where society is adopting patently anti-scientific perspectives about important socio-scientific issues. It then presents several forces that contribute to these situations by threatening the confidence that citizens have in the institution of science: religious skepticism, political skepticism, and postmodern rejection of authority. It then proposes how teaching aspects of nature of science (namely tentativeness, empirical nature, and peer review) and infusing this teaching with some of the Aristotelian virtues that are historically connected to science (honesty, courage, care, fairness, and practical wisdom) can mitigate these threats against science and might help turn the tide of the war against science that we are witnessing in the US and across the globe.

Paper #10121: Elementary Students Beliefs about Engineering Careers: Implications for Instruction and Future Research

Principal Author: Whitney N. McCoy, University of Virginia
Co-Authors: Jennifer L. Maeng, University of Virginia; Amanda L. Gonczi, Michigan Technological University; Robert M. Handler, Michigan Technological University


The purpose of this descriptive, exploratory study was to examine elementary students’ beliefs regarding characteristics of engineering careers and who can be an engineer. The present study was part of a broader professional development (PD) program. Participants included 483 students from 22 grades K-6 teachers’ classrooms. Data collection occurred prior to any teacher PD. Data sources included survey items that assessed students’ understandings of what engineers do, conceptions about the field of engineering, and students beliefs about whether they could become an engineer. Likert scale data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and open-ended responses were coded inductively. Results indicated that students had a limited understanding of and numerous misconceptions regarding the versatility of a career in engineering, some awareness of defining characteristics of engineering careers. While 62% of K-1 students believed they could be an engineer only 30% of grades 2-5 students believed that they were capable of being an engineer. These results indicate a need to support elementary teachers’ in implementing instruction to teach students about engineering, including engineering design projects, with their students.

Paper #10119: STEM Learning Experiences as a Foundation for Career Choice

Principal Author: Drew Gossen, Oklahoma State University
Co-Authors: Toni Ivey, Oklahoma State University; Stephanie Hathcock, Oklahoma State University


There are many factors that lead students to choose to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Social cognitive career theory (SCCT) posits that a complex interaction between contextual factors, experiences, and beliefs lead people to make choices regarding their careers (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994). This mixed-methods study focuses on the learning experiences that students have prior to college that were influential in the development of the beliefs and motivations to choose to pursue a STEM career. A survey of undergraduate students at a large university and a set of nine follow-up interviews suggested that there were a variety of experiences that were meaningful to the development of students’ self-efficacy, outcome expectations, interests, and goals in STEM. This presentation discusses the general experiences that were influential to the sample from the survey, along with the specific examples given by individuals in the interviews.

Paper #11023: One Preservice teacher’s reflection on collaborative co-teaching in science and special ed while student teaching: exploring inclusive pedagogy in action.

Principal Author: Ibrahim D. Dincer, Teachers College
Co-Authors: Jessica Riccio, Teachers College; Amanda mazin, Teachers College; Kristen Larson, Teachers College


In this individual poster, I will present the collaboration between Science and Special Education Departments. I will explain how the collaboration was created, present examples of the lesson plan,video of the zoom meeting, Vialogue of the recorded lesson to receive feedback. If the conference can’t happen in person, then I will use Vialogues to showcase my poster and receive feedback.

Paper #10118: Examining Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Growth Through an Instructional Coaching Partnership

Principal Author: Amanda D. Tompkins, University of South Florida
Co-Authors: Karl G. Jung, University of South Florida


Proficiency in pedagogical and content knowledge is required to successfully implement the practices of science and support student content learning. For many preservice elementary teachers (PST), much of their understanding of science content and practices will be learned through their elementary science methods coursework. Unfortunately, there is simply not enough time within a methods course to fully prepare PSTs with the content understanding needed to engage students in meaningful learning experiences. Science focused instructional coaching partnerships have been used to supplement and extend learning for PSTs by targeting opportunities to analyze, reflect, and implement science teaching practices. Through a multiple case study approach, we explored the influence instructional coaching partnerships had on elementary PST teaching practices and identified ways in which the coaching partnership supported these changes in practice. During their last semester in a university teacher preparation program, three PSTs met biweekly with an instructional coach to set pedagogical goals and develop strategies to strengthen and successfully implement specific science teaching practices. The instructional coaching partnership reflected on recorded sessions of live lessons, investigated content knowledge at a deeper level than what was covered in the science methods course, and focused on ways in which a targeted instructional practice could be successfully implemented into their elementary classroom. Findings from this study indicated that participation in the instructional coaching partnership led to the successful implementation of each PST’s goals, including implementation of student to student interactions, interactive text and vocabulary, and learning to differentiate science instruction with meaning and intention. The coaching partnership supported the changes in instructional practices by providing a deeper understanding of the content, clarifying misconceptions, and providing instructional resources to support the PST’s classroom teaching.

Paper #10117: A critical analysis of a collaborative elementary education program: Striving for integrated science teaching

Principal Author: selina L. bartels, Valparaiso University
Co-Authors: Benjamin Boche, Valparaiso University; Douglass Wasssilak, Valparaiso University



This study looked at a collaborative elementary education program’s impact on preservice teachers’ (PST) knowledge and understanding of an integrated K-6 elementary classroom. It was found that the PST graduated from the preservice program and entered their own classrooms with a vague understanding of interdisciplinary teaching. Although this program was integrated in the delivery of content and field experience, the transparency was not revealed to the PST during their methods classes and field work.  

Paper #10116: Enhancing science classrooms: Using life-science based kits to increase student comprehension and interest.

Principal Author: Ryan Jackson, Utah State University
Co-Authors: Max L. Longhurst, Utah State University; Tyson B. Barnes, Utah State University; David B. Hall, Utah State University; Andrew J. Walters, Utah State University; Amanda Moravek, Utah State University; Clark Riddle




To promote and prepare students for careers in life-science and biological engineering, the GEAR UP program at Utah State University is developing experiences with biology such as on-campus camps, lab experiments, and classroom kits. In the Summer of 2019, a science camp of 40 students was developed and piloted. Students learned about bacterial transformation and CRISPR genome editing through hands-on experiments that engineered bacteria to express proteins with a variety of colors, including several that glow. To facilitate discussion and engagement, students  “painted” pictures with their colored bacteria on agar plates. Previous data has shown that life science education within a classroom is substantially enhanced by hands-on laboratory exercises (Schmidt, 2019). Here we describe hands-on exercises designed to enhance classroom education.

These procedures teach that engineerable microscopic changes at the DNA level result in macroscopic changes (color), demonstrating genotype to phenotype relationships. Our observations suggest these hands-on experiences lead to student interest and involvement, and engagement in classroom discussions.

To be of greater service to teachers, efforts have been made to ensure these experiences fulfill educational standards such as NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), SEEd (NGSS based Utah standards), or other student learning objectives. These educational kits are designed to promote three-dimensional science education by improving the effectiveness of teaching science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts, alongside disciplinary core ideas.

Data will be collected over the school year to gauge the effectiveness of these educational kits on student interest and comprehension. We will use the collected data to improve the effectiveness of the kits to engage students in learning and meet educational standards. Additionally, we are currently working to modify the cost of the kit with the goal of reaching more classrooms that include low-income school districts.

Paper #16010: Preparing elementary school teachers to teach science and incorporate technology into their classrooms: lessons learned from formal, informal and non-formal science teacher educators

Principal Author: Dieuwertje J. Kast, University of Southern California


This study aimed to learn the best practices for teaching elementary school teachers how to teach science and incorporate technology. This mixed-method study surveyed and interviewed both science teacher educators from varying educational contexts (formal, informal, non-formal) and elementary school teachers utilizing the conceptual framework from Athanassios Jimoyiannis’ (2010) called Technological Pedagogical Science Knowledge (TPASK). The surveys were analyzed, and the interviews were coded with a priori and emergent codes. Member checks and audit trials were conducted to triangulate the data between both populations. The data demonstrated that the participating elementary school teachers were prepared to integrate technology and science into their classrooms but there were systemic barriers in their educational careers that prevented them from doing so effectively. The science teacher educators from varying educational contexts, worked to bridge the interdisciplinary nature of elementary school teachers by providing integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curriculum, pedagogical science content knowledge and building science teacher identity of the elementary school teachers.

Paper #16009: RIEL Biology: Promoting Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Education in Biology

Principal Author: Karl G. Jung, University of South Florida
Co-Authors: Julie C. Brown, University of Florida; E. Christine Davis, University of Florida; Mark B. Pacheco, University of Florida


The NGSS seek to develop habits of mind, dispositions, and ways of engaging with phenomena that prepare students for academic success and participation in STEM careers. Participation in science and engineering practices (SEPs) is the cornerstone of this robust and meaningful science education. While emergent bilingual (EB) students bring rich social, cultural and linguistic resources to STEM classrooms, the SEPs are often a challenge for EBs, as they demand students use new and distinct patterns of language while simultaneously learning content. Existing frameworks for secondary and elementary science education share the perspective that instruction for EBs must encourage students’ use and exploration of scientific discourse and content while engaging in authentic scientific practices. This is further echoed in recommendations for effective STEM instruction for EBs, including engaging students in productive discourse with others; utilizing and encouraging students to use multiple modalities; leveraging multiple meaning-making resources, such as a students’ home language, and; explicit attention to language. To address these challenges, our team has initiated a project titled, Responsive Instruction for Emergent Bilingual Learners in Biology Classrooms (RIEL Biology) which utilizes an innovative instructional framework drawing from two complementary and powerful approaches to equitable science instruction: culturally responsive instruction and linguistically responsive education. It allows teachers to engage their students in six principles to support student biology learning: affirming identities, explicit attention to language, collaboration, funds of knowledge, multiple modalities, and sociopolitical consciousness. This presentation will provide attendees with a rich understanding of the RIEL Biology Framework, the strategies used to support teachers in learning to implement this instruction in their classroom, as well as provide some initial perspectives on how teachers have begun implementing this framework into their classrooms with their students.

Paper #10115: Fostering Educators’ Environmental Efficacy, Literacy, and Practices through a Field-Based Professional Development Experience

Principal Author: Suzanne M. Nesmith, Baylor University
Co-Authors: Chris Wynveen, Baylor University


Environmental education is an essential component of science curricula at all educational levels, yet it is more complex than simply teaching individuals about the functioning of the natural environment. It has been determined that the coming decades will increasingly reveal the necessity of the general public’s understanding of complex environmental issues, abilities to evaluate environmental plans, and understanding of the ways that personal and societal decisions affect the environment at local, national, and international levels. (Bodzin, Klein, & Weaver, 2010). Teachers play a vital role in developing environmentally responsible individuals who have an awareness of environmental issues and the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions and take responsible actions, yet teachers often struggle with successfully integrating EE curriculum and enhancing environmental education classroom- and community-based practices. This mixed methods study explored findings from an onsite wetland environmental education professional development experience for educators. Participants were sixteen educators who taught elementary, middle school, and high school level students. The educators participated in a one-week professional development experience at the wetlands one summer, implemented classroom- and community-based experiences during the academic year, and ten of the educators returned to the wetlands for a one-day follow-up experience the following summer. Data was collected through surveys, observations of classroom and community outreach experiences, and a focus group interview. Results suggest that the experience had a positive influence on the educators’ environmental education perceptions and literacy; specifically, the educators’ revealed enhanced self-efficacy in teaching environmental education, heightened knowledge of current environmental issues and responsibilities, and increased utilization of classroom- and community-based objectives corresponding to investigating, evaluating, and taking action specific to environmental education issues. 

Paper #10114: STEM teaching amid COVID-19 uncertainty: Promoting student engagement in a time of crisis and trauma

Principal Author: Michael Dias, Kennesaw State University
Co-Authors: Belinda P.. Edwards, Kennesaw State University; Tiffany A. Roman, Kennesaw State University; Laurie Brantley-Dias, Kennesaw State University


With the emergence of COVID-19, K-12 teachers in the U.S. had to quickly shift from face-to-face instruction to emergency remote teaching. With the uncertainty of how schools would reopen, teachers faced the potential of continued blended and online teaching during a time of crisis and trauma. Guided by trauma-informed teaching practices and learner engagement conceptual frameworks, induction-phase STEM teachers engaged in a summer professional development (PD) course to support transition from emergency remote teaching of spring 2020, to improved online teaching practices for fall 2020. This study examined how secondary science, engineering, and mathematics teacher participants revised their approach to virtual teaching as a result of the PD, and what revisions and new understandings emerged through implementation. Teacher artifacts created during the PD program and interviews are examined to identify the dimensions of student engagement (e.g., behavioral, cognitive, affective) that teachers prioritized and realized during COVID-19 teaching and learning. 

Paper #10112: Science at the Center: A Preschool Science Lesson for Teacher Educators

Principal Author: Julianne Wenner, Boise State University
Co-Authors: Sara Raven, Texas A & M University


Children are natural scientists. Both the National Science Teaching Association and the National Association for the Education of Young Children state that preschool-aged children should be provided with purposeful opportunities to engage in science and engineering practices. Despite this, many preschools isolate and limit science. We see the disconnect in terms of science education for early childhood educators (ECEs): these educators are likely not provided with a vision of preschool science education that moves beyond solely play-based science centers or incidental science learning. This study explores one ECE’s pedagogical stance that led to rigorous science learning. Multiple sources of data were collected for this study, including three interviews, 85 daily reflections and a short book co-written by the ECE and her students. Data analysis was derived from the beliefs the ECE stated in her interviews and then how these beliefs manifested in classroom activities. This ECE held eight core beliefs that comprised her pedagogical stance. We see the components of her pedagogical stance as ideas that could be operationalized and transferred into ECE preparation programs. In particular, ECE preparation programs would do well to encourage preservice ECEs to consider what their role is in supporting (science) learning; what the purpose(s) and source(s) of their curriculum should be; and how science learning can be a natural outgrowth of who students are and their interactions with the world. As science teacher educators, the ASTE community must work with ECEs and school stakeholders to support science for young children, as early learning experiences are the foundation upon which further science learning is built.

Paper #10111: Resilience in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Knowledge and Practices of School Science Coordinators in the Asian Context

Principal Author: Harleen Singh, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Yuxi Huang, University of Georgia; Hong Thi Hoa. Tran, University of Georgia; Hatice Ozen, University of Georgia; Elana Worth, University of Georgia; Shelby Watson, University of Mississippi; Julie Anne. Luft, University of Georgia; Brooke Ann. Whitworth, Clemson University


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the widespread physical closure of schools, and shifting of instruction to various forms of distance learning. This has left more than a billion students out of educational institutions. This sudden shift in the format of instruction caught the education system unawares, and may be challenging for many teachers. At this time, the role of school leaders who support teachers becomes crucial. However, they also were transitioned into this online environment with little training or support. This qualitative study explores the experiences of science coordinators from five Asian countries, as they help support science teachers at the secondary level, in designing and implementing instruction using distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular the study explores the knowledge and practices that have helped school science coordinators support science teachers transition to and teach using the distance learning platforms, and the new knowledge and practices they have developed during this time. The study uses the conservation of resources theory to understand the experiences of the science coordinators. Participants of the study are ten school science coordinators from five Asian countries including India, Mainland China, Pakistan, Turkey, and Vietnam. Data collected included in-depth semi-structured interviews. Interviews are analyzed thematically using two cycles of inductive coding. Preliminary results indicate that the key knowledge that have helped science coordinators at the time include knowledge of pedagogy, curriculum, and technology. The practices most valued by them include collaboration with teachers, communication with teachers and parents, and strategizing to help science teachers adapt to the online environment by creating new avenues for science learning for students. An international population will help understand the phenomenon from a global perspective, design support for school science teachers during the pandemic, and when shifting back to regular school in the post COVID-19 world.

Paper #10110: Engaging Science Teacher Candidates Through the Use of Peer Carding

Principal Author: Nate Carnes, University of South Carolina


The National Research Council provided a new vision for science education which led to a framework within which diverse learners engaged in science and engineering practices to develop and use disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts to explain natural phenomena and solve problems. The degree to which students developed their abilities to explain phenomena, make decisions, solve problems, and make sense of new data provided opportunities for increasing abilities to make connections between these core ideas. This framework provided the structure for the Next Generation Science Standards ([NGSS]. This shift in science education reform sought to move attention away from isolated facts toward broader and deeper understanding of core ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts endemic to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education. As a result, there were changes in learning expectations which precipitated the need for different teaching practices that include multiple opportunities for students to engage in active learning.

The purpose of this presentation is to share a modification of peer carding, an instructional strategy designed to engage science teacher candidates as active learners in a middle level science methods course. In short, the teacher candidates were required to construct questions that guided class discussions of assigned readings throughout the semester. In sharing their perspectives about the use of peer carding on a formal course evaluation and an open-ended evaluation form, the teacher candidates’ responses were overwhelmingly positive about its implementation and offered suggestions for improvement. Toward the end of this presentation, there will be opportunity for the audience to identify and consider potential ventures that include various science content and methods courses.

Paper #10109: What are the Most Common Factors Secondary Students Consider when Making Decisions across Multiple Socioscientific Issue Topics

Principal Author: Dawnne M. LePretre, Illinois Institute of Technology
Co-Authors: Norman G. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology


Linking science and action is the epitome of scientific literacy (Hurd, 1972; Kuhn, 1972; Watson, 1969).  Students need to balance subject matter knowledge, personal values, and societal norms in decision-making (DM) on Socioscientific Issues (SSI) (Aikenhead, 1985; Kolstø, 2001; Ratcliffe & Grace, 2003; Zeidler et al., 2005). A convenient sample of 10th-12th grade students made decisions on SSI from 10 regular science classrooms, primarily located in a large Midwest city (n=468). The sample was roughly 50% of each gender and 33% of each grade level. Across 60 enacted lessons on six different SSI topics, multiple sources of data were collected, including student artifacts, audio of class discussions and interviews, field notes, and teacher surveys. Set of three to four lessons were implemented over one to nine weeks for an average enactment of 115 minutes per topic. DM differed across the larger sample of students indicating that students used both general and specific factors when making decisions.  Trends also emerged indicating various student groups' cited DM factors differently. Overall, 15 general DM factors emerged that students considered when making decisions across multiple SSI contexts, such as personal choice and health. Between one and 15 specific DM factors were cited by students for each SSI topic, such as cancer in the HPV topic or hackers on the nanotechnology topic.

Paper #10108: Changes in Preservice Teachers’ Sense of Community During Undergraduate Research Experiences

Principal Author: Kara E. Baldwin, Illinois State University
Co-Authors: Rebekka Darner, Illinois State University


The Next Generation Science Standards require pre-service teachers to not only understand content knowledge but also embed science and engineering practices into their pedagogy.  Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate research experiences (UREs) have many documented benefits including research process skills, scientific problem-solving skills, and increased interest in subject matter. Research experiences may be an effective way to involve pre-service teachers in the scientific process. However, social structures within laboratory spaces may impact student outcomes. UREs may occur within communities of practice (CoPs). CoPs have a continuum of individuals moving from the periphery to the center of the community. CoPs require a shared domain, a collaborative community, and a set of shared experiences. Within laboratory settings, students share a domain, they interact with peers, graduate students, and faculty, and they work toward a shared practice. To genuinely belong to a CoP, individuals must be connected to the community or be in the process of building their sense of community. This presentation outlines the CoP Framework and describes how it can be utilized to gain insight into STEM preservice teacher integration into UREs. The presentation will include qualitative analysis of the sense of belonging interview protocols as well as interesting patterns found between the research participants and disciplines (math and science). 

Paper #10107: Exploring Science Teacher Learning about the Crosscutting Concepts

Principal Author: Patrick J. Enderle, Georgia State University
Co-Authors: Scott D. Cohen, Georgia State University


This study explores the experiences of a group of pre-service and in-service secondary science teachers in a graduate course focused on exploring the teaching and learning of the crosscutting concepts (CCCs). The crosscutting concepts are one of the dimensions described in current visions of 3D science learning. These concepts represent broader understandings of the work and goals of the scientific enterprise. Of the three dimensions, the CCCs have been given the least attention in scholarship concerning science education. This particular study adds to research by analyzing student products, including written reflections and lesson plans, developed by teachers taking the course that serves as the study context. Qualitative content analysis of these products was employed to inductively develop thematic findings addressing the teacher participants’ learning, including what supported their learning and challenges teachers experienced in making sense of the CCCs and teaching with them. Findings offer insight into specific resources that participating teachers found helpful and specific issues they had with respect to lesson development that incorporated the CCCs. Implications of the study and future directions for research will also be discussed during the presentation.

Paper #10106: A Self-Study of Science Teacher Education through the COVID-19 Virtual Community of Practice

Principal Author: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida
Co-Authors: Jawaher A. Alsultan, University of South Florida


The switch to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic required a rapid and challenging adaptation of technology platforms to improve students learning. Science teachers were suddenly required to teach their classes online with little time and preparation. This breakneck shift to eLearning raised the question of how teachers can provide instruction to their students in the practices of science using virtual technologies. This retrospective self-study examined science teacher educators' practice to help science teachers' implementation of inquiry, discussion, and argumentation through eLearning, and to understand how teacher educators can best help them through this new experience. Ten high school science teachers from a large school district in the southeastern US participated virtually in the COVID-19 Community of Practice [COVID-19 CoP]. The COVID-19 CoP met six times from the end of April through May 2020 via Zoom. Its structure was based on a model of action research called enhanced normal practice [ENP], which includes exchanging stories, trying out of ideas, and systematic inquiry. Data sources included teacher educators' meetings notes and reflective conversations, audio recordings of the CoP meetings, and teachers' products. Findings included the vital role of trust and the importance of existing relationships in for the success of online learning success at any level. Tensions between the teachers and the facilitators led to shifting the focus of the project goal and products from engaging students in reform-based practice to developing a meaningful educational connection through the various apps. It was also found that the teacher educators' lacked knowledge of the variety of apps available to support science learning and the inventive ways teachers have found to use them. Results suggest that teachers' educators need to spend more time with teachers in schools and engage with them in their everyday teaching practice to enhance students' science learning.

Paper #10105: Impact of distance delivery on 3-dimensional instruction for university students preparing to become teachers.

Principal Author: Max L.. Longhurst, Utah State University
Co-Authors: Kimberly H.. Lott, Utah State University; Brenda Bennett, Utah State University


Education throughout the world has experienced monumental shifts and adjustments to instructional delivery as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  While technology and distance delivery methods have become the norm, there has been limited support and educator development in using these new methods.  Of particular challenge, is the virtual delivery of 3-Dimensional science, as most preservice teachers have not experienced science instruction in this way. This investigation specifically incorporates concepts of social interactions and educational systems to understand how the current challenges for teaching and learning are influenced as novice educators learn to deliver instruction using a method that they may have never personally experienced.    


This investigation gathered data to assess preservice teachers’ design of online 3-Dimensional science instruction following participation in a face-to-face elementary science methods course. The purpose of this study was to investigate the fidelity of 3-Dimensional science instruction within a virtual environment.


Challenges concerned with virtual delivery of 3-Dimensional science instruction included a rapid and unforeseen transition from face-to-face instruction to distance delivery and a correlated change in teaching and learning expectations.  Although preservice teachers had a factual knowledge of the aspects of 3-Dimensional science, they were challenged to demonstrate applicable examples of this instruction in a distance delivery mode.  These novice teachers recognized the valuable aspects of 3-Dimensional science and used that knowledge in developing units, yet their ability to incorporate it into classroom experiences was not exhibited.

Paper #10104: Teaching During COVID-19: Reflections of First-Year Science Teachers

Principal Author: Jeanna R.. Wieselmann, Southern Methodist University
Co-Authors: Elizabeth A.. Crotty, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire


Spring of 2020 brought about unprecedented challenges for people around the world, including teachers who faced extended school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This study explores the transition to online instruction among Teach for America corps members who were in their first year of science teaching for students in grades 5-12. The following research questions are addressed: 

  1. How, if at all, do first year science teachers’ mindsets about teaching and students shift following online instruction due to COVID-19?
  2. How, if at all, do first-year science teachers experience opportunities for leadership during online instruction associated with COVID-19?

Findings highlight changes in both mindset and leadership opportunities among participants. While teaching online, first-year science teachers emphasized student-centered learning opportunities, real-world relevance, creative approaches to teaching, and increased communication with families. They also reflected on the challenges associated with being a first-year teacher, with many finding online instruction to offer greater work-life balance and a reprieve from classroom management concerns. Participants found themselves better situated to take on the challenges associated with teaching online than many of their veteran teacher colleagues, which led to new leadership opportunities within their schools and districts. Implications focus on higher education and supporting early-career teachers to recognize how social constructs, cultural factors, and human development shape the work that teachers do to support all students. In addition, carving out space in higher education coursework for pre-service and early-career teachers to think creatively about instructional approaches and the utilization of technology could further support needed innovation in our system of schooling even after the pandemic. 

Paper #10102: Drawing a Science Teacher Test: What We Know and Do Not Know

Principal Author: Jon Pedersen, University of South Carolina
Co-Authors: Nate Carnes, University of South Carolina; Kevin Finson, Bradley University; Julie Thomas, University of Nebraska- Lincoln


In 2001, Thomas, Pedersen and Finson published a validation study for the Draw-A-Science-Teacher- Test Checklist (DASTT-C) that they created. The DASTT-C was modeled on a prior drawing instrument developed by Finson, Beaver and Cramond (1995) called the Draw-A-Scientist-Test Checklist (DAST-C). The focus of the DASTT-C was on science teachers, their teaching and grounded within a mental model framework. Perceptions depend heavily on one’s prior conceptualizations about oneself and form internal mental models of interaction. The mental models one has are influenced by guiding episodic images from past events and experiences, and those models create intuitive screens through which new information is filtered during learning. Episodic memories serve as templates for one’s own teaching practices. The DASTT-C was designed to elicit subjects’ perceptions regarding their teaching practices and reveals where they see their practices on a continuum ranging from teacher-centered at one end to student-centered at the other, and by implication their ideas about didactic or constructivist practices. Beyond the usefulness as a diagnostic tool, the DASTT-C has utility in guiding teachers’ development in their instructional practices. The DASTT-C has proved useful in investigations of diverse perceptions of science teaching based on teacher variables of gender, age, grade level in which one teaches, and even the type of high school from which one graduated. Since the instrument’s framework is grounded in mental modeling, its relationship to other concepts such as science teaching self-efficacy, science identity, and attitudes have been investigated. An overview of studies conducted using the DASTT-C is provided to help the reader better understand what we know and don’t know about perceptions of science teaching along the teacher-centered to student-centered continuum. A discussion relative to how future DASTT-C studies might advance improvements in science teaching is also provided.

Paper #10101: Elementary Pre-Service Teachers’ Science Self-Efficacy Before and After an Online Inquiry-Focused Science Methods Course

Principal Author: Daniel J. Bergman, Wichita State University


To address a regional demand for elementary teachers, a mid-sized Midwestern university created a new undergraduate licensure program for para-educators, who are already working full-time in schools. Although fieldwork experiences and mentoring occur in the schools where they work, the para-educator pre-service teachers complete all college coursework via online classes (i.e. Blackboard) with course readings, writings, videos, discussion board, home activities, and videoconference class sessions. This includes an inquiry-based science methods course, typically taught over 8 weeks in the summer, emphasizing the 5E Learning Cycle Model (Bybee, 2002; Contant, Bass, Tweed, & Carin, 2018) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013). As part of an ongoing study, pre-/post-test measures were collected from the participating pre-service teachers (N = 121), including the STEBI-B (Enochs & Riggs, 1990) to analyze self-efficacy beliefs about teaching science. Preliminary results will include pre- and post-test STEBI-B scores for both subscales (Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy, STOE; and Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs, PSTEB). Discussion will feature findings, implications, and limitations. Specifically, the context of online methods courses will be addressed, including comparisons to previous studies and other methods, and reflection toward ongoing improvement in research and instruction.

Paper #10100: PD for Inquiry-Based Space-Science Lessons Integrated with 3D Learning Focusing on Cross-Cutting Concepts

Principal Author: Soon C. Lee, Kennesaw State University


The workshop program for middle school classrooms aimed to assist middle school science teachers in integrating inquiry-based lessons with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) 3D Learning approach focusing on the Crosscutting Concepts (CCs). The sample lesson activities, projects, phenomena are utilized using the NASA Education Resources. The workshop and the sample lessons are designed to enhance the teachers’ content knowledge, skills, and teaching practices to capture the interest of their students, and to channel that interest into related career paths through the demonstration of integrated applications of space-sciences, mathematics, technology, and engineering recommended in the NGSS. By combining the NASA Education resources and NGSS Crosscutting Concepts (CCs) through Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), the workshop engaged the participant teachers in various phenomena that enhanced their understanding and confidence in teaching space sciences. The space-science sample lessons also engaged the teachers in using the advanced NASA educational technologies i.e., NASA YouTube videos, NASA Software, and Apps i.e., NASA’s Eyes, NASA 3DV, Spacecraft AR, etc.

All the sample lessons incorporated showed how CCs can improve teachers’ understanding of the space-science concepts while they are exploring related phenomena. The CCs also effectively assisted the teachers to communicate with the right ideas or languages since CCs are already associated with coherent scientific vocabularies. During engaging the teachers in the sample space-science lesson activities, they can see better the lesson structures due to their familiarity with the 5E models. While not all the CCs can lend themselves to every phenomenon, each of the CCs has provided a different but corresponding focus for teachers to engage in various phenomena. Even a simple adjustment of a task prompt focusing on a CC could help them connect better their cognitive resources to grasp more sophisticated understanding.

Paper #11022: Using museum exhibits to engage preservice Earth science teachers and their future students

Principal Author: Julie Contino, Richard Gilder Graduate School/American Museum of Natural History
Co-Authors: Rondi M. Davies, Queensborough Community College, CUNY & AMNH


In order to develop their Earth science pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), preservice science teachers must experience effective examples of teaching. Museum exhibitions can enhance and support the development of PCK and are also important spaces for learning and engagement since a majority of science learning occurs outside the classroom in Informal Science Environments (ISEs), including museums (Falk & Dierking, 2010).  Teachers can develop meaningful experiences to museums for their students that involve interacting with exhibits and objects in order to support students in developing positive associations with cultural institutions (Semken & Freeman, 2008), synthesizing new information and connecting to prior schema (NRC, 2000), and, especially for diverse and underrepresented groups, learning about science studies and careers (e.g. Dalbotten et al., 2014). This poster describes how various exhibits at the American Museum of Natural History were used to develop Earth science content knowledge and PCK in preservice science teachers completing an MAT program. These future Earth science teachers explored plate tectonics, argued for fossilization potential of landscapes, and found locations on topographic maps using exhibitions in the Museum. After graduating from this program, these new teachers traveled with their secondary students to investigate halls such as the Hall of Planet Earth and Hall of Mexico & Central America to learn about rock types, how Earth materials are used, and geologic history. Students completed activities that allowed them to observe models and manipulate displays, and also met with a museum scientist.

Paper #10099: Supporting the integration of computational thinking and science through professional development and co-design

Principal Author: Amanda N. Peel, Northwestern University
Co-Authors: Jacob Kelter, Northwestern University; Michael Horn, Northwestern University; Uri Wilensky, Northwestern University


With computing becoming increasingly important in STEM disciplines, including computer science in K-12 education to develop foundational computational literacy has become important. One approach to incorporate computer science into K-12 education is to integrate computational thinking (CT) into core classes, such as science and math. While the potential benefits of CT integration are evident, teachers have struggled to design and implement CT. This work builds on prior work and investigates all eight summer institute teacher participants. The goal of this qualitative work is to characterize teacher outcomes and specific aspects of a summer institute that led to outcomes. The research is guided by the following research questions. After a four-week summer institute where teachers engaged in workshops and co-design, What were the teacher outcomes? And How did the summer institute’s design mediate teacher outcomes? Three teacher self-reported outcomes were identified through the qualitative analysis: 1) Learning about and how to use CT tools, 2) Learning about pedagogy to support CT integration and scaffolding, and 3) Changes in values and attitudes regarding CT. Four mediating processes were identified within the data: 1) Answering questions in the CT-STEM units, 2) Interacting with computational tools, 3) Discussions, and 4) Designing and creating computational tools. The connections between mediating processes and outcomes suggest the design of the summer institute led to teacher learning and changes in values and attitudes regarding CT. The overall conjecture map led to the development of two major conjectures about the design of the summer institute. First, teacher engagement in workshops as learners followed by explicit reflection leads to learning about CT and changes in perceptions of CT. Second, co-design allows for learning about CT and changes in perceptions of CT. Outcomes identified suggest the summer institute addressed some of the barriers to implementing CT, such as limited computing experience and professional development resources.

Paper #10098: Examining Pre-Service Science Teaching Methods Courses to Better Understand the On-going Challenges with Improving Teachers’ Understanding of NOS

Principal Author: Ryan Summers, University of North Dakota
Co-Authors: Jeanne L.. Brunner, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Developing informed understandings about the nature of science (NOS) continues to be an important goal of science education. Progressing toward this goal requires science teachers who understand and who are well-prepared to teach about NOS in K-12 settings. In this study, we sought to capture a landscape perspective of pre-service science teacher education in methods courses and document the extent these courses address NOS as a topic. For courses that included NOS as a topic, we wanted to focus on identifying strategies and materials being used to introduce pre-service teachers to NOS ideas. Data collection primarily involved a survey about NOS inclusions in methods courses from science teacher educators. Twenty-six responses were collected across the elementary (n=14) and middle and high school levels (n=12). Additional syllabi were compiled by the authors for courses offered between Spring 2014 and Fall 2019. Content analysis of syllabi and relevant instructional materials were conducted. Analyses include mapping of tasking and readings used with pre-service teachers to illustrate their coverage of NOS ideas. Specific approaches and rationales are also discussed.

Paper #10097: Practicing teachers’ conceptual models of science phenomena: Correspondences between science discipline and model robustness

Principal Author: Benjamin K. Campbell, Longwood University
Co-Authors: Ryan S. Nixon, Brigham Young University


Using models to visualize and understand a phenomenon is an important practice in science. Not only are models used to derive hypotheses and make predictions, but they also play an important role in communicating an understanding of a phenomenon to others. Science teachers should capitalize on the instructional capacity of models as much as possible. In this presentation, we discuss our research into practicing teachers’ modeling of science phenomena. Study participants produced written models to explain discipline-specific concepts, after being asked to consider a concept from their standard curriculum. For a model to be effective for teaching, it should be both explanatory and robust. Participant models were evaluated for how fully they explain a phenomenon, including a mechanism for how or why the phenomenon occurs. For robustness, we analyzed the modalities used to represent the phenomenon (verbal, graphical, or symbolic) and whether segments of the model represented experiential or non-experiential phenomena.

We found that many concept models did not achieve a full explanation of the phenomenon in question, and that different levels of explanation corresponded to the science discipline (biology, chemistry, earth and space sciences, or physics). Verbal and graphical modalities of representation were more commonly used than the symbolic modality, and some science disciplines were significantly more likely to omit a specific modality than others. Lastly, teachers represented non-experiential aspects of phenomena (98% of models) more frequently than they represented experiential aspects of phenomena (70% of models).

Paper #10096: Valuing teachers as professionals: A responsive professional development network model for elementary teachers

Principal Author: Alison K. Mercier, University of Wyoming
Co-Authors: Heidi B. Carlone, University of North Carolina at Greensboro


This paper presents a model for an elementary teacher professional development network highlighting responsive professional development that centers and values teachers as professionals. This university-teacher network aims to transform the landscape of science and engineering in elementary classrooms by supporting, connecting, and retaining current and future STEM-capable, imaginative, and motivated teachers. We explore the evolution of a responsive professional development network organized around three values and design principles, e.g. Nurturing STEM equity, Empowering teacher leaders, Cultivating a “we” culture, and the ways in which these values resonate with teachers. This model is a promising tool for expanding the definition of effective professional development and highlighting a model of responsive professional development, as well as ways in which to support elementary teachers committed to teaching science and engineering.

Paper #10095: “Stop Saying What The Black Kids Can’t Do”: The Advocacy of Black Women Science Teachers

Principal Author: Sonia Howard, Gwinnett County Public Schools
Co-Authors: Natalie King, Georgia State University


Many people of color within science education find themselves tokenized for the sake of diversity initiatives while their voices remain marginalized. However, as the population of the U.S. becomes increasingly multicultural, science education needs the cultural knowledge of science teachers of color if the field is to recruit a new, diverse generation of teachers while supporting in-service science teachers of color. Current literature about successfully teaching students of color is primarily grounded in pedagogies – such as culturally relevant/sustaining pedagogies and culturally responsive teaching – developed based on the philosophies and work of Black women teachers. The purpose of this study was to explore the connection between the lived experiences of Black women science teachers as they traversed the STEM pipeline and their current self-positionings as advocates for the science education of Black and Latinx children. I utilized a conceptual framework designed from relevant aspects of three theoretical frameworks: Black Feminist Thought, Identities as Narratives, Positional Identity. Accordingly, I employed critical race methodology to construct counterstories of the women’s lived experiences and positionings as advocates. Three Black women secondary science teachers informed in this study. Findings revealed two types of science learning contexts the women traversed the K-12 STEM pipeline – facilitative and antagonistic science learning contexts. I discuss the findings: the lived experiences of the three Black women science teachers and the positional identities each self-authored. I explain the implications: the role of science learning contexts in developing the future pedagogies of Black women science teachers; the role of nourishing post-secondary STEM spaces on Black women science teachers; and what can be learned from the contemporary advocacy work of Black women science teachers as they work for equity and inclusivity in science education and science teacher education.

Paper #10094: General Chemistry Students’ Representational Fluency and Conceptual Understanding of Precipitation

Principal Author: James Nyachwaya, North Dakota State University
Co-Authors: Krystal Grieger, North Dakota State University; Abigail Tarburton, College of Wooster; Catherine Julius, St. Cloud State University


This study sought to uncover college general chemistry students’ ability to translate between different levels of representation in the context of a precipitation reaction and their conceptual understanding of the process of precipitation. Students were shown a video of a precipitation reaction, asked to note and record their observations. They were also asked to predict the products of the reaction, write a molecular and ionic equations. Students were then asked to predict how asked to imagine that they were measuring the electrical conductivity of the reacting mixture, starting with one of the solutions. Our results show that students struggled to navigate within and between representations. Most groups provided partial observations, with many struggling to write appropriate molecular and ionic equations. Students also struggled with conceptual understanding of precipitation. About half of the groups made the correct prediction for electrical conductivity, while half also provided appropriate sketches. Only 10 of the 69 groups provided the correct reasoning for their predictions.

Paper #10093: Investigating Inservice Elementary Teachers’ Nature of Science Implementation

Principal Author: Hallie S.. Edgerly, Drake University
Co-Authors: Jerrid W.. Kruse, Drake University; Jesse L.. Wilcox, Simpson College


The nature of science (NOS) is identified as a crucial and necessary part of learning that takes place in science classrooms to develop scientific literacy (American Association for the Advancement of Science [AAAS], 1989; National Research Council [NRC], 1996; NGSS Lead States, 2013). Unfortunately, NOS is infrequently addressed explicitly and accurately in K-12 classrooms (Capps & Crawford, 2013) despite being well-represented in science education literature. This study explores elementary teachers’ NOS instruction while participating in a year-long professional development (PD) program and how their NOS pedagogical content knowledge (NOS PCK), specifically knowledge of instructional strategies, relates to their teaching. This study explores elementary teachers’ NOS instruction while participating in a year-long PD and how their NOS PCK relates to their teaching.  Our findings indicate NOS teaching effective and NOS PCK are related to one another and that teachers tend to implement NOS when they find it synonymous with effective teaching. 

Paper #11021: How well prepared are teachers to teach in a culturally diverse environment: exploring initial findings to inform preservice science preparation

Principal Author: Lorna V.. Otero, Teachers College
Co-Authors: Felicia M.. Mensah, Teachers College


Researchers state there is dissatisfaction in the United States’ general education system. High quality education is neither equal nor accessible to all, education in general is filled with different biases that impede justice and basic human rights, and a vast amount of teachers do not feel comfortable with the pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) nor the content knowledge (CK) they have acquired as student teachers. Moreover, student teachers and frequently inservice teachers lack the ability and dexterity to teach in culturally diverse classrooms and environments.  

Every individual should have access to a high quality education. In order to obtain this high quality education,well-prepared teachers are needed, among other things. Teachers’ preparedness should be considered based on certain criteria. For example: 1) well-prepared teachers should have a vast PCK and CK, 2) must understand and know how to manage the bureaucratic aspects of teaching, 3) should understand the importance of cultural relevance, 4) must have a view of diversity as a positive factor within communities, 5) must be sensible to students’ and families’ circumstances, including many other mindsets and characteristics. Further research into the improvement of teachers’ preparation programs is fundamental.

I interviewed four teachers with different educational backgrounds to answer my research questions: Are teachers adequately prepared to teach in a culturally diverse environment? What components are necessary to adequately achieve a teachers’ program that meets high quality standards? The purpose of the interview was to identify how prepared the teachers felt with their teachers’ preparation including their PCK and CK obtained during their educational programs. How comfortable and suitable was their training in culturally diverse environments as a novice teacher? What would they modify from their teachers’ program? Ultimately, the purpose of this and future research on this topic is to encourage development of high quality educational and teachers’ programs within a reasonable time frame.

Paper #10092: We were taught that everything belongs to us: Designing in-service science teacher education to confront notions of Science as White Property

Principal Author: Lenora M. Crabtree, University of North Carolina Charlotte


To acknowledge and address the impact of systemic racism in classrooms and communities, science teacher education must move beyond constructs that promote generic appreciation of Otherness and embrace critical theoretical and culturally relevant frameworks (Underwood & Mensah, 2018). Justice-oriented pedagogies support students’ socio-political, or critical, consciousness. Research reveals, however, that science educators, the majority of whom are white, struggle to enact these practices. The purpose of this Design-based Research study was to explore the implementation of a professional development innovation designed to support practicing science teachers’ development of critical consciousness and content specific critical science consciousness. Teachers that possess critical science consciousness are aware that inequities in society influence science, and cognizant of the role science plays in the creation and perpetuation of systemic oppression. This research illuminates two significant findings: 1) Certain science content can be leveraged to increase practicing teachers’ critical consciousness and critical science consciousness, and 2) Situating instructional materials in the history and current realities of the place individuals inhabit can support development of critical consciousness and critical science consciousness. This research also has implications for science teacher education: 1) Science practices are valuable tools to investigate the impact of systemic inequities including disparate health outcomes among marginalized groups, 2) Science teacher educators need to explicitly address the social construction of race and the role of science in the creation of notions of White Supremacy, and 3) Enacting culturally relevant practices has the potential to liberate teachers as well as students.

Paper #10091: Developing a common vision for supporting coherence in three preservice science teacher education programs

Principal Author: Abraham S. Lo, BSCS Science Learning
Co-Authors: Connie Hvidsten, BSCS Science Learning; Betty Stennett, BSCS Science Learning; Karen Askinas, BSCS Science Learning


Members of the education community face a challenge bringing coherence to the apprenticeship of preservice science teachers (PSTs) and creating a common vision among the many individuals who play a role in developing PSTs’ understanding of effective science instruction (Darling-Hammond, 2014; Zeichner, 2010). This paper presents research that involved bringing together stakeholders tasked with apprenticing PSTs from three universities to develop a university-based community that shares a common vision and language for talking about effective science teaching practices to enhance the coherence of the secondary science PST learner experience. This community includes faculty who teach undergraduate science courses; faculty who teach secondary preservice education courses; and mentor teachers, who support PSTs’ practicum experiences. To facilitate the co-development of a common vision, participants used video analysis to learn about a research-based conceptual framework that includes pedagogical strategies to elicit, probe, and challenge student thinking and support students in constructing coherent science understanding. This paper will share the plans that each university team developed using what they learned about STeLLA conceptual framework to meet the needs of their university contexts and the successes and challenges that each team faced as they worked together as a community to implement their plans and realize their common vision. All study participants agreed that they felt part of a community committed to improving PST education, yet there were differences in the extent to which team members felt engaged in their university team work. This paper will share the promise of using a research-based conceptual framework to support coherence in PST programs and the importance of communication and intentionality when inviting stakeholder groups to the table to ensure that all stakeholders have clear roles and are productively engaged in realizing the community's shared vision.

Paper #10090: Exploring Genetics Through Genetic Disorders: Developing and field testing a 3D, phenomenon-based high school curriculum unit

Principal Author: Sheila A.. Homburger, University of Utah
Co-Authors: Molly Malone, University of Utah; Kristin E.. Fenker, University of Utah; Dina Drits-Esser, University of Utah; Ann E.. Lambert, University of Utah; Louisa A.. Stark, University of Utah


We present the evaluation, development, pilot testing, and randomized control trial (RCT) of a 3-week, NGSS-friendly high school genetics unit, Exploring Genetics Through Genetic Disorders. The unit includes multimedia and paper-based activities and an allele investigation that incorporate skill-appropriate data from published research studies. Unit goals are for students to emerge with a concrete understanding of how variations in genes lead to phenotypes through the study of genetic disorders. The unit, as a whole, addresses the 3Ds of NGSS: DCIs (HS-LS1, LS3); SEPs (Analyzing and interpreting data; Constructing explanations; Cause and effect; Obtaining, evaluating and communicating information); and CCs (Cause & effect; Systems & system models; structure & function).

The unit pilot test and field test, which used an RCT design, both showed significant student learning gains and positive teacher feedback. In this presentation, we focus on the RCT study, which examined learning gains of students who experienced the curriculum with or without a 3.5-hour feature of the unit, an allele investigation. In the investigation, students embark on a data-driven exploration to apply foundational molecular genetics concepts from the unit to understand a genetic disorder-causing allele. The investigation was the primary vehicle for presenting the unit’s NGSS 3D elements to students; here, students applied SEPs and CCs to their understanding of unit DCIs. We tested whether this 3D component contributed to DCI learning gains. We found significant DCI learning gains that did not differ in magnitude between the two conditions. We also examined teachers’ subjective impressions of the investigation. Teachers favored the curriculum that included the investigation. We conclude that the unit functions effectively when taught in whole or in piecemeal and that the unit was well received by teachers. Further, we did not find evidence that the CC and SEP components contributed to DCI learning gains, highlighting the need for 3D assessment to accompany 3D curriculum.

Paper #15003: Creating an Online Community of Elementary Science Teaching Practice

Principal Author: Frederick W. Freking, USC Rossier School of Education


This presentation will share strategies to prepare elementary teacher candidates to teach science to children in high needs contexts.   Over the past three years, the USC Rossier School of Education has re-designed and revised how we prepare elementary candidates to teach science.  This presentation will share our story as we created  the course syllabus and key learning activities that build confidence so that elementary teachers are ready for high-needs classrooms.   We use the Speedometry Curriculum and the 5E model to engage our teacher candidates in an authentic science learning experience and then work with their mentor teachers to prepare our elementary candidates to plan, implement and assess rigorous, relevant science lessons for their specific students. We will share strategies for elementary candidates to learn in both online and on-ground contexts, with an emphasis on video-analysis of their science teaching and incorporating teacher research to improve student engagement and science learning.  We look forward to a robust discussion of how to ensure that all elementary teachers are prepared to teach science.

Paper #10089: Professional Noticing as a Tool for Developing a Shared Vision of Pedagogical Practice in Science

Principal Author: Rebecca M. Krall, Univeristy of Kentucky
Co-Authors: Samantha Ringl, University of Kentucky; Brett Criswell, West Chester University


Drawing from research on developing teacher candidates’ abilities to notice students’ thinking, this case study sought to explore the development of four secondary science teacher candidates’  professional noticing skills as they progress through a three-semester MAT in STEM education program where video cases were used to develop their professional noticing skills and their knowledge of effective pedagogical practices. Data consisted of candidates’ written responses to noticing activities, video and audiotape recordings of class discussions about each video case, and field notes of class observations and periodic meetings with the instructor. Qualitative methods were applied to identify changes in candidates’ noticing skills and instructional components that supported or hindered their skill development. Findings revealed a gradual increase in candidates’ noticing skills across the two method courses and an increase in the sophistication and framing of the events to which they attended. Development of a collaborative learning community and the video analysis template used to scaffold video analysis supported the development of candidates’ professional noticing skills. Emotions appeared to inhibit their willingness to share their ideas in the first semester and in their initial critique of each other’s videos in the student teaching semester. The selection of science video clips outside candidates’ areas of expertise hindered their abilities to attend to and interpret students’ ideas in those areas.  

Paper #10088: Integrated Chemistry and Earth Science Curriculum Implementation through the lens of Teacher-Centered Systemic Reform

Principal Author: Kevin Fleming, The George Washington University
Co-Authors: Jonathon Grooms, The George Washington University; Alan R. Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies


This study investigates teacher-change within a district-wide reform effort focused on the development and implementation of an integrated Earth science and chemistry curriculum for a large urban, public school district. During early stage implementation, teachers are undergoing educational change while simultaneously implementing systemic reform (i.e. a novel curriculum aligned with new academic standards). This duality affords an exploration of teachers’ perceptions and experiences over time that can inform actions supporting sustainable systemic change. Teacher-change is attributable to myriad internal and external factors that affect teacher thinking and resultant changes in practice (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012; Luft & Roehrig, 2007). This study is framed by the Teacher-Centered Systemic Reform (TCSR) model (Woodbury & Gess-Newsome, 2002), which recognizes teachers as central to the enactment and recipient of reform initiatives.

Multi-year data was analyzed at the district and teacher levels. Development team teachers (DTTs) actively involved in implementation efforts and professional development (PD) were interviewed at the end of each academic year. A district-wide survey was distributed to all chemistry teachers after each year soliciting their perceptions and experiences in implementing the curriculum. Interview transcripts and survey questions were selectively coded using a scheme derived from prior studies within this project. Additional data include teacher discourse from PD opportunities, analyzed as episodes of pedagogical reasoning (EPRs) (Horn, 2005) and interpreted through the lens of the TCSR model. These opportunities included DTT PD meetings, “Happy Hour” online PD sessions, and a six-day summer workshop. Findings suggest a comingling of uncertainty and perseverance among teachers embarking on the task of implementing a new curriculum representing significant shifts in science teaching and learning. Evidence also illustrates a degree of transformational learning among teachers taking place simultaneously with ongoing implementation efforts.

Paper #10087: Development and pilot testing of a 3D, phenomenon-based curriculum unit on cell biology for middle school

Principal Author: Molly Malone, University of Utah
Co-Authors: Ann E.. Lambert, University of Utah; Jen C.. Taylor, University of Utah; Kristin E.. Fenker, University of Utah; Sheila A.. Homburger, University of Utah; Dina Drits-Esser, University of Utah; Louisa A.. Stark, University of Utah


We will discuss the development and pilot test results of a new, two-week, three-dimensional middle school cell biology unit called Cells in Context. Using the unit’s dynamic multimedia and paper-based resources, students learn about the specialized parts that allow plant and animal cells to do their jobs, and how multiple cell types work together to contribute to the functions of tissues, organs, and organ systems. Students explore how pathogens disrupt functions at each of these levels, leading to the symptoms of an illness.


The unit prepares students to achieve NGSS performance expectations by incorporating the necessary elements of three-dimensional learning. For example, in addition to covering the necessary disciplinary core ideas, the unit engages students in the science and engineering practice of developing and using models and emphasizes the crosscutting concepts of structure and function and scale, proportion and quantity. 


We developed a prototype 18-item multiple-choice summative assessment instrument to tap student mastery of Cells in Context learning objectives. We pilot tested the unit and assessment in the four classrooms of one middle school life sciences teacher. Students completed the pretest before, and the posttest after, engaging in the unit. A paired-samples t-test showed statistically significant learning gains from pretest to posttest. The results also indicated that the assessment instrument was sensitive enough to detect knowledge gains, lending support to the instrument’s validity. Additional test and item statistics indicated acceptable internal consistency of the summative assessment as a whole and isolated items and distractors in need of revision.

Qualitative feedback from the teacher was collected using a 23-item end-of-implementation survey. Results from this survey were largely positive. The teacher thought the content was appropriate, well organized, and presented at the right level for middle school students.

Paper #10086: Making Room for Caitlin: Using Simulations to Prepare Preservice Science Teachers to Respond to Competing Tensions in a Classroom

Principal Author: Kara D. Krinks, Lipscomb University


In this paper, we analyze data from a group of preservice science teachers who participated in a live-actor simulated encounter focused on the dual challenges of “making room” in a science class for a student’s religious beliefs while pressing for her to engage in the epistemological terrain of science. Drawing on the role of trade-offs in developing preservice teachers’ pedagogical judgments, we looked specifically at the role of competing short-term and long-term pressures in shaping teachers’ responses. We also consider what kinds of support might be useful as teacher educators attempt to support preservice teachers’ long-term perspectives.

Paper #16008: Development of a 3D, phenomenon-based item cluster assessment for cell biology

Principal Author: Ann E. Lambert, University of Utah
Co-Authors: Dina Drits-Esser, University of Utah; Louisa A.. Stark, University of Utah


Responding to demand for re-evaluation of science literacy and proficiency for grades K-12, the NGSS were created to better reflect scientific practice (NGSS, 2013). The Standards call for inclusion of 3 dimensions of science proficiency: disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts in both curriculum and assessment. Development and adoption of NGSS-aligned curriculum and pedagogy has moved instruction away from a passive toward a dynamic approach that models all 3 NGSS dimensions. This, however, is only one of the necessary endeavors in meeting NGSS goals—aligned assessment is also needed.


To accommodate the vision of the new Standards, researchers and educators have encouraged assessment developers to incorporate more sophisticated means to evaluate student knowledge. The integration of interactive models, written scenarios, computer simulations, and extended response formats allow students to demonstrate a richer level of cognitive processing and knowledge application, thereby incorporating 2D or 3D NGSS elements. While these types of assessments achieve alignment to the NGSS, they often entail inherent drawbacks in efficiency and objectivity. Thus, there exists a need for assessments that achieve NGSS alignment while working within the multiple-choice (MC) framework.


We present the development of an MC item cluster that uses narrative exploration of a real-world phenomenon and requires middle school students to apply either 2 or 3 NGSS dimensions in order to correctly respond to each item and solve a mystery. The assessment contains 13 conceptually grouped MC items pertaining to the learning objectives of a two-week middle school unit on cell biology called Cells in Context. The unit, which explores cells, cells systems, and how pathogens disrupt cell and tissue function, addresses NGSS PEs and incorporates 3D elements. Our presentation carries the potential to stimulate new ideas for NGSS-aligned test development and curriculum integration, and spark enthusiasm for NGSS-aligned assessments in the classroom.

Paper #16007: The Western Regional Noyce Alliance (WRNA) – Shifting research and evaluation strategies in response to COVID-19

Principal Author: Larry Horvath, San Francisco State University
Co-Authors: Melissa Yisak, American Institutes for Research; Bridina Lemmer, American Institutes for Research; Sanlyn Buxner, Planetary Science Institute; Jennifer Nelson, San Francisco State University


With funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), San Francisco State University (SFSU) partnered with two evaluators, American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Planetary Science Institute (PSI) to gather evidence on how participation in the Western Regional Noyce Alliance (WRNA) sponsored proffesional development is associated with STEM teachers’ classroom practices, pedagogical content knowledge, and their teacher identity. Initially (i.e., before COVID-19) the evaluation design relied on observations of classroom videos paired with interviews. In the original evaluation plan, AIR planned to ask teachers to self-record their classrooms at two-time points: (1) before attending the WRNA sponsored professional development session(s) in Spring 2020 and (2) after attending the WRNA sponsored summer session in Fall 2020. We would use a modified version of the Inquiry Science Instruction Observation Protocol (ISIOP) (Minner & DeLisi, 2012) to examine the depth to which teachers implement modeling as a practice as specified by the K-12 Framework for Science Education in their actual classrooms, analyzing differences based on classroom observations before and after the completion of the PD session(s). However the majority of schools closed due to COVID-19 prior to being able to collect the first videos. To address these concerns, we redesigned our study to do a pre and post lesson plan analysis using the EQuIP Rubric for Mathematics and the EQuIP Rubric for Science while looking specifically for evidence of elements of modeling.  Looking at lesson plan design with a standardized tool will allow us to identify any changes in teacher understanding from before and after participation in a PD combination. Additionally, we are planning on asking for classroom video of the post-lesson and use the modified ISIOP as originally planned.  SFSU, AIR, and PSI will host a round table session to discuss how the study design shifted, and is still shifting, in response to COVID-19.

Paper #11020: How teachers center race in their view of discourse as a tool to support science identity construction: a preliminary study

Principal Author: Emelia Pelliccio, Teachers College, Columbia University
Co-Authors: Felicia M. Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University




Research has revealed how students’ relationship to the “culture of power” in science has a powerful influence on their science identity construction (Barton & Yang, 2000; Visintainer, 2019). Only when students are positioned as knowledge makers and doers of science can teachers foster a positive identity building environment in their classrooms. Discourse is an important component of this environment, given that it can serve as a unique barrier to access when teachers and students are not equipped with tools to lead classroom discussions that explicitly position all students as scientific knowledge makers and doers. While several studies highlight discourse practices that can prevent the creation of equitable identity-building environments, the question remains of how teachers view their role in fostering these environments for students (Patterson, 2019; Zangori, 2019). The research study presented here follows two high school chemistry teachers, both of whom have over three years of teaching experience and have completed graduate work in education. Through surveys and semi-structured interviews, this study unpacks teachers’ beliefs to better understand how teachers perceive their role in identity building through discourse and in particular if race is centered in this perception. By considering the teacher perspective directly, we can uncover not just what happens in science classroom discourse but why. Teachers’ beliefs on the purpose of discourse, their role in discourse, and how race is centered in this understanding of discourse are important for both teacher educators and teachers themselves to unpack throughout the process of their development. Given that teachers’ beliefs and prior experiences are powerful in shaping their practice, this unpacking work is essential for informing future personal and professional growth.

Paper #10084: Developing institutional capacity to support early career social justice science teachers

Principal Author: Jarod Kawasaki, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Co-Authors: Sandy Chang, University of California, Los Angeles


It is estimated that California will need an additional 33,000 math and science teachers over the next 10 years. Current teacher shortages across California public school districts is exacerbated by the challenge of retaining early career teachers (i.e., 1-5 years of teaching). University-based teacher education programs offer little in terms of organized support for early career graduates from their programs. We report on interviews conducted with 23 early career science teachers that graduated from a social justice-oriented teacher residency program. Our goal was to identify their needs and challenges as early career teachers working in schools that serve students from working class communities of color. These needs and challenges can inform the design of intentional learning opportunities to engage alumni in their continued development as social justice science educators. Supporting alumni in this way can contribute to their growth and has the potential to sustain their careers at the high-needs schools they are currently working at. Preliminary findings suggest that early career teachers have great and sometimes desperate needs that are not being met. In particular, early career science teachers are struggling to develop coherent science lessons that address the diverse needs of their students. That is, early career teachers are burdened with both developing their curriculum and enacting inclusive and equitable pedagogy. Stemming from this, early career teachers have a dire need for socio-emotional support. Connecting with like-minded teachers that regard teaching as an act of social justice is imperative to sustain the day to day challenges that emerge as an early career teacher working in the highest needs and most underserved schools. Findings from this study can inform university-based teacher preparation programs on the ways they can engage with their alumni in an effort to sustain their work as social justice science educators, and hopefully, increase teacher retention.

Paper #11019: Preservice Elementary Teacher Knowledge and Use of Scientific Modeling across a Teacher Education Program

Principal Author: Adam Bennion, University of Michigan
Co-Authors: Elizabeth A.. Davis, University of Michigan


Scientific modeling is central to the work that scientists do. Scientists use models to reason, support explanations and arguments, make sense of abstract phenomena, and more. Each of these uses can be mirrored in the work that students do with models. Despite the relevance of this practice, modeling is poorly understood by many preservice elementary teachers. This is partly due to teachers’ limited experiences with first-hand modeling in science. To better understand preservice elementary teachers’ knowledge and use of modeling, we followed a group of them from their physics content course through their science methods course. During this time we collected data in the form of lab work, lesson plans, interviews, and video records of teaching. We found that these preservice teachers primarily engaged in modeling by developing models to make connections to the real world, to collect and analyze data, and to compare models to find common features. These same practices were reflected in the lesson plans the preservice teachers wrote. We recommend that science teacher educators work with preservice teachers to help them focus on the sensemaking aspect of modeling. This can be done by providing scaffolded modeling experiences and helping to push their thinking toward model development and sensemaking.

Paper #11018: Integrating STEM into Elementary Education: A Case Study of a Professor’s Journey

Principal Author: Amanda M. Gunning, Mercy College
Co-Authors: Elena Nitecki, Mercy College; Meghan E. Marrero, Mercy College; Brian T. Baldwin, Kean University; Kristen Larsen, Mercy College Center for STEM Education


While calls are made for increased STEM teaching in the elementary grades, it is unclear how existing elementary teacher preparation programs can change to meet this need. Through the lens of growth mindset, we explore the reflective case study of a veteran elementary education professor who has taken on the challenge of teaching of a STEM pedagogy course. This qualitative case study uses rich description to uncover the supports that helped change her instructional methods, and thus those of the department of childhood and elementary education she chairs. This study shows how professors can be supported through a faculty professional learning community to grow and take on new challenges, in a conducive environment. It is hoped the lessons learned here can be transferred to other colleges to support the growth of veteran faculty to take on new roles and embrace STEM education for all students.

Paper #10083: Supporting Elementary Teachers’ Growth as Teachers of STEM

Principal Author: Amanda M. Gunning, Mercy College
Co-Authors: Elena Nitecki, Mercy College; Meghan E. Marrero, Mercy College; Latanya T. Brandon, SUNY New Paltz; Kristen Larsen, Mercy College Center for STEM Education


In this qualitative case study, six elementary teachers participate in two graduate-level courses on STEM pedagogy. Findings illustrate how the teachers were able to develop an increased self-efficacy for teaching integrated STEM units and lessons through Bandura’s four modes of self-efficacy development (1997). An important finding that emerged from this work is how the elementary teachers studied here develop facility with creating these integrated lessons and fluidly move among the subjects within a unit of instruction. Although these teachers are participating in a teacher leadership program, at the time of data collection, the leadership portion of the program had not yet begun. The participants of the study already exhibited signs of leadership growth via their embrace of STEM teaching.  

Paper #10081: Conceptualizations of Disability in a Science Teacher Education Textbook

Principal Author: Teresa J.. Shume, North Dakota State University


This study examined the conceptualization of disability in a teacher education textbook. Drawing on Norman Fairclough’s post-structurally informed approach to critical discourse analysis, I deconstructed the language used in a science teacher education textbook to portray disability, and examined relationships to broader socio-political contexts in pre-K-12 education and teacher education. This study was informed by Foucault’s (1977) poststructuralist conception of the ways in which knowledge-power relations arise. The medical and social models of disability served as conceptual lenses for this analysis because they represent the principal paradigms in the fields of special education and disability studies in education respectively. The analysis showed the textbook’s conceptualization of disability was imbued with the medical model, representing disability as a finite, knowable deficit that resides in individual learners, and portraying students with disabilities as needy and passive. The textbook’s medicalized conceptualization of disability is further analyzed in relationship to the hegemony of the medical model and the emancipatory ideology of the social model. Implications are discussed for teacher educators seeking to engage preservice teachers in sophisticated thinking about their legal and ethical professional responsibilities toward a more just and equitable education for learners with disabilities.

Paper #16006: Teaching Digital Literacies Through an Online Science Investigation for Elementary and Early Childhood Preservice Teachers

Principal Author: Megan R. Hines, Salisbury University
Co-Authors: Jeni Davis, Salisbury University


While technology is often integrated in science teacher preparation programs, emphasis is rarely on digital literacies (Wetzel et al., 2014)), and literature does not address how to teach PSTs to design effective online science instruction. By teaching PSTs about digital literacies and modeling how to harness digital technologies when carrying out scientific investigations, we can help PSTs understand how digital literacy plays an essential role in doing science and/or gaining scientific knowledge.


The purpose of this presentation is to make available lessons developed to explicitly teach digital literacies through a scientific investigation in elementary and early childhood science methods courses in both a face-to-face and fully online environment. Initial analysis from PSTs’ reflections indicate that while this population overall preferred their class to be held in a face-to-face setting, having an interactive online module that offered various modes of learning, including videos of the investigation itself, still enabled them to learn well. In this session, participants will discuss the barriers to online science inquiry and how teacher preparation programs can adjust practices to integrate principles of effective teaching and learning in science methods courses. Through conversations with other teacher educators and inservice teachers, the sharing of lessons and results of this study, improved efforts can be made to better support remote science teaching and learning.

Paper #10079: Designing formative assessments that align with science teacher identity: Challenges and successes in preservice and induction

Principal Author: Kristen V. Larson, Teachers College, Columbia University
Co-Authors: Felicia M. Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University; Jessica F. Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia University


This presentation focuses on an examination of teacher-designed, classroom-based formative assessments and the science teacher identities that teachers develop. Through a lens of Understanding by Design and reflexivity, we can understand how four science teachers used backward construction in designing their formative assessments and how they represented themselves through those assessments. This study highlights themes that existed among all four teachers’ assessments and makes connections between assessments and goals and teacher identities. This work offers a discussion of the interconnectedness between goals, practices, and teacher-designed formative assessments from preservice preparation through one induction year of teaching. Implications are made for science teacher education and induction programs as they design curriculum that supports early-career teachers in assessment goals and design.

Paper #10078: Supporting candidates’ learning with a system of resources for mentor-candidate collaboration

Principal Author: Karin Lohwasser, UCSB
Co-Authors: Soo-Yean Shim, University of Washington; Caroline Long, University of Washington; Mark Windschitl, University of Washington


Student teaching can be a productive journey with effective mentoring, but too often preservice teachers (PSTs) experience it without the support that makes it most meaningful. In this presentation, we share our work across two Noyce-NSF research projects and the resulting suite of resources we designed to promote productive collaboration between mentors and PSTs in their field placement classrooms.

From examining experiences of 65 PSTs in their field placements, our first study showed inequities in how the PSTs were able to participate in planning, teaching, and assessment. For example, some PSTs took the lead in planning for lessons as early as December, while others had to wait until mid-February, and some never had this opportunity. Similarly, the duration of PSTs taking the lead in teaching ranged from more than five months to three weeks. By exploring the types and timing of opportunities that deepened the PSTs’ learning, we developed theories about what experiences and supports would benefit them throughout student teaching.

To reduce inequities and enhance PSTs’ opportunities to learn, we developed in our second study a system of tools and resources – based on the findings generated from the first study – to foster productive partnerships between PSTs and mentors. The system includes a website with mentoring resources (http://mentorteachers.org), newsletters with timely tips and tools, short video guides and protocols for effective mentoring practices, trajectories for PSTs’ learning opportunities, and feedback tools.

Through conducting surveys and interviews with mentors and PSTs, we have been examining whether and how these resources can increase the frequency and quality of PSTs’ opportunities to learn. We have found that several of them can transform the ways that mentors and PSTs dyads interact with each other and with students. For example, the newsletters and trajectories help them see what they were supposed to be doing throughout their time together. Other tools supported conversations with each other or helped develop knowledge of students.

Paper #10077: The Long-Term Effects of a Teacher Professional Development: Gains Re-Examined After Three Years

Principal Author: Joanna Philippoff, University of Hawaii at Manoa


Although many studies have looked at changes in teacher knowledge, attitudes, and behavior during the course of professional development (PD) programs, long-term monitoring is rare. This is a case study of the long-term effects of a year-long PD in inquiry science. The teachers demonstrated pre- to post-PD gains on instruments examining content (marine science) and pedagogical content knowledge and self-efficacy. This study administered the same instruments to the same teachers (N = 23) three years after the PD ended, in addition to interviewing the teachers about factors that enhanced or impeded PD implementation. Although declines were expected due to the lack of PD follow-up, results varied over instruments. The teachers’ sustained gains on self-efficacy but returned to near baseline levels on pedagogical content knowledge. On marine science content knowledge addressed in the PD the teachers’ retained about half of their PD gains. Although a small case study, this paper emphases the need for long-term support of teachers to sustain change over time and has implications for interpreting the results of PD.

Paper #10076: Examining Secondary Master Teachers’ Tensions with Transitioning to Remote STEM Instruction

Principal Author: Jeffrey Radloff, SUNY Cortland
Co-Authors: Dominick Fantacone, SUNY Cortland; Angela Pagano, SUNY Cortland


Current national science education reform emphasizes the use of science and engineering practices to engage students in authentic, integrated STEM learning experiences. This approach requires teachers adapt or modify inquiry-based instruction to include the use of engineering design and applicable technology to teach scientific principles. Often, these changes are unfamiliar or challenging for teachers to implement, leading to variation in instructional success across individual classrooms. As a result, adopting and implementing reform-based science instruction requires ongoing support. 

Concurrent with reform efforts is a rising trend to offer remote learning at the K-12 level, accelerated recently by the COVID-19 pandemic. To meet the needs of remote learners, teachers must be prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate this new teaching environment, including tech-related pedagogical and content knowledge. However, teacher professional development focused on planning for and engaging students in remote learning is widely lacking, and best practices for remote STEM teaching and learning are still being established. As more science instruction moves online, we need to understand how to best support teachers making this instructional shift. 

This paper presentation investigates in-service secondary master STEM teachers’ experiences with transitioning to remote teaching during the pandemic, specifically identifying and characterizing tensions faced when doing so in the absence of related professional development. Data was collected using survey methods and analyzed with a focus on teachers’ perceived tensions with transitioning to remote STEM teaching. Results revealed that despite participants’ extensive STEM teaching experience, teachers faced several intersecting conceptual, pedagogical, political, and cultural challenges tied to remote contexts. Findings provide concrete entry points for teacher support and professional development with transitioning to remote science settings.

Paper #10075: Project VECTOR: Virtual Education Communities- Teaching Online with inclusive Resources: Disrupting Inequities in STEM Classrooms by Co-Constructing a Model for Inclusive Digital Pedagogies

Principal Author: Amanda L.. Mazin, PhD, Teachers College Columbia University
Co-Authors: Jessica F.. Riccio, EdD, Teachers College Columbia University; Kristen V.. Larson, EdD, Teachers College Columbia University


There is currently a gap in the research base with respect to how institutions of education systematically work to confront disparities in STEM classrooms, specifically with attention to special education. COVID-19 has redefined the classroom as entirely virtual for the first time in a district as large as NYC. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (2019) commissioned a report on the Advancing Research & Innovation in STEM Education of Preservice Teachers in High-Needs School Districts initiative in which they made recommendations for future research on high-quality STEM education for all students, inclusion of measures of first-year teachers’ non-teaching responsibilities and the total amount of resources provided to them, research on novice STEM teacher induction suggestions to include integrated STEM coursework, research on how mentors assigned to a novice STEM teacher (a) work at or are knowledgeable about the novice’s school, (b) are knowledgeable about the novice’s curriculum and teaching assignment, and (c) are readily accessible. Most importantly, there was a deficit in the literature on the preparation of preservice teachers for traditionally disadvantaged K–12 students in STEM.

We perceive our work as the co-construction of a model that can be employed at scale in all Educator Preparation Programs, and STEM classrooms with opportunities for interdisciplinary adoption in every classroom in a virtual learning context.


Paper #11017: Impacting Elementary Science Education: Pre-service Teacher Physical Sciences Instruction

Principal Author: Johannes Addido, University of Wyoming
Co-Authors: Andrea Burrows, University of Wyoming


This action research study is to ascertain if pre-service elementary education students developed conceptual understanding of the topic of pushes and pulls.

The data collection is done through field notes and artifacts.

The following research questions were investigated:

1. What is the level of pre-service teachers’ conceptual understanding of pushes and pulls based on field notes and artifacts?

2. What can the instructor inference from the pre-service teachers’ conceptual understanding of pushes and pulls based on field notes and artifacts?

3. How can instruction be altered to increase pre-service teachers’ conceptual understanding of pushes and pulls?

Conceptual understanding of science concepts is the ability of students to apply learned scientific concepts to phenomena in an everyday life. This includes the capacity to identify new information, construct explanation and make connections between relevant phenomena (Widiyatmoko & Shimizu, 2018).

Analysis of the data shows that none of the pre-service teachers displayed full conceptual understanding of pushes and pulls.

About 45.8% showed no conceptual understanding and 54.2% exhibited partial conceptual understanding.

The activity-based lesson which was used to teach pushes and pulls generated a lot of student interest and promoted engagement. Nonetheless, the findings show pre-service teachers did not translate their interest and enthusiasm in the activity into building complete conceptual understanding.

The challenge for science educators in relation to the results of this study is to design lessons that target physical science misconceptions of students as well as increasing their conceptual understanding.

This helps students to organize their knowledge into a coherent whole and promotes ways of learning new ideas through connections with prior knowledge

Paper #11016: What’s the Rule? Exploring Pre-service Teachers’ Understandings of Buoyancy

Principal Author: James Minogue, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Maddy Leen, North Carolina State University; Emily Jackson, North Carolina State University; Kern Qi, Davidson College; Tabitha Peck, Davidson College; David Borland, RENCI (Renaissance Computing Institute)


While preservice elementary teachers bring valuable resources to their teaching of basic physics, prior research has consistently suggested that they often lack subject matter knowledge and tend to operate in classrooms with a limited working knowledge of the common faulty everyday ideas that their students hold. They also tend to be less confident in their ability to teach physics compared to the life sciences, and often struggle to describe teaching strategies that could be used to teach core physics concepts well. Our work employs haptically-enabled science simulations (HESSs) as a vehicle to isolate and describe teachers’ development of a functional understanding of how their students learn basic physics and how to teach it well. The study was exploratory and descriptive in nature (i.e. not inferential). We employed a straightforward randomized pre-test-post-test control group design with a convenience sample (N = 27) drawn from our undergraduate pre-service teachers. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups (9 in each). All groups experienced the same core simulation and used identical interfaces (laptop and haptic device);  “H+V” user received haptic force feedback and visuals (force arrows), “H” user received haptic force feedback but no visuals (force arrows), and “V” users received visuals (force arrows) with no haptic feedback. We looked at their pre-post simulation responses to an assessment prompt that asked participants to come up with a “rule” that explains why things sink or float. Analyses included the use of the SOLO taxonomy, content analysis of term use, and an inventory of common faulty ideas regarding buoyancy. Findings suggest the experience with our HESS pushed participants past the notion that sinking and floating can be explained by weight alone, we still found evidence of disjointed pieces of knowledge post-HESS). This underscores the need for science teacher educators to zero in on the development of relation-based reasoning and mechanistic explaining when working with pre-service teachers.

Paper #13002: Video analysis in preservice science teacher education: A reflection on its homeostatic effect during challenges to clinical fieldwork in a viral pandemic

Principal Author: Jessica F.. Riccio, Ed.D., Teachers College Columbia University
Co-Authors: Kristen V.. Larson, Ed.D., Teachers College Columbia University; Lorna V.. Otero, Teachers College Columbia University; Ibrahim Dincer, Teachers College Columbia University; Maggie Olney, Teachers College Columbia University


Our presentation will utilize the exploratory session format. We envision participants will visit each of three stations situated around an issue and context from the point of view of the community member in a preservice clinical experience course. Specifically, in light of using backwards planning with evidence from instantaneous policy shifts and unforeseen crises, our goal is to show how our normal instructional plans turned into emergency preparedness measures. We will share three contexts in which steady state was maintained from multiple perspectives: 1) with a master teacher mentor in our nested model of preservice/induction teacher support; 2) with a preservice teacher in our use of video analysis tools for observation and live feedback from the student teaching community of practice and; 3) with an inservice teacher seeking certification in our reimagining of teacher action research (TAR) projects. If the meeting is virtual, we will share our presentation using the video annotation tool we use in class, Vialogues, to allow for presentation and feedback amongst participants. When all participants have had time to explore the stations, we seek to have a panel discussion to share and engage in Q&A surrounding preservice preparation in epic times.

Paper #10074: How do Educators Engage Toddlers in STEM-Related Learning Experiences?

Principal Author: Christine D. Tippett, University of Ottawa
Co-Authors: Roxana Yanez Gonzalez, University of Ottawa; Todd M. Milford, University of Victoria


In this presentation we focus on toddlers (children aged 18 to 30 months) and STEM education, as we examine how early childhood educators engage toddlers in STEM-related learning experiences that arise from the children’s interests. Despite the acknowledged importance of learning experiences for children in this age range, there is limited research on young children’s experiences in science and STEM, and even less (approaching none) on toddler’s experiences with STEM. Two theoretical frameworks guide our work with young children: social constructivism and play based learning. Participants were two early childhood educators and nine toddlers. We made 16 weekly visits to the daycare centre over the spring and summer of 2019, observed educators and toddlers for 45-50 minutes in a variety of settings. Data consisted of fieldnotes, photos, and reflections. Open coding focused on types and sequence of educator-child interactions and was based upon three broad categories of interactions: verbal prompts and support, environmental supports, and behaviour guidance interventions. Our results provide a starting point for researchers, educators, parents, and administrators who want to learn more about how social constructed, play based learning can support science and STEM education with toddlers.

Paper #10073: Thinking about thinking: College students’ epistemological beliefs about sources of knowledge

Principal Author: Kathryn Green, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Lisa Borgerding, Kent State University


Proceedings abstract:  This study explores the epistemological beliefs of non-science majors in an undergraduate biology classroom.  Pairs of students were given thirteen questions, some controversial and some non-controversial, and asked to create categories based on what type of authority students would turn to as a source of knowledge.  Examples of questions included “How did all lifeforms come to live on Earth?”, “What happens to us after we die?”, and “How did the Grand Canyon form?” We explored how the sources of knowledge categories differed depending on the controversial nature of the question and what types of categories were created.  Student pairs created 17 sources of knowledge categories ranging from broad categories such as “scientist” to very specific categories such as “God” and “environmental biologist”.  Results also showed that seven out of 10 controversial questions were placed in categories of questions to be answered by God or religious experts, while non-controversial questions were deemed answerable by scientists. This study shows that the type of issue is important when considering students’ epistemological beliefs, and that educators should be aware that their students often consider non-scientific sources of knowledge when thinking about controversial scientific issues.  

Paper #10071: Developing Teachers to Meet the Needs of Diverse Students through After-school STEM Career Clubs

Principal Author: Margaret R.. Blanchard, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Kristie S.. Gutierrez, Old Dominion University; Kylie J.. Swanson, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs


This paper focus on teacher professional development (PD) to help develop 24 Teacher-Coaches’ multicultural education competency (Atwater, 2000) for working with students in STEM Clubs at four rural middle schools in the southeastern U.S. Teachers who are culturally competent are able to use pedagogical strategies (i.e., culturally responsive pedagogy, culturally sustaining pedagogy) that “tap into the diverse cultures of their students to make learning meaningful and comprehensible” (Pang et al., 2011, p. 560).  A primary project goal was to increase students’ interest in STEM and related careers (Gutierrez, 2016; Habig et al., 2018) for diverse students underrepresented in STEM careers: first generation, minorities, and females. Quantitative (e.g., STEBI (modified), TPACK, STEM Club Leadership Survey) and qualitative (e.g., Teacher Beliefs Interview (TBI), yearly reflections, pre-Club meeting audio, DoS ratings) data were collected and analyzed over 3 years. T-Coaches gained confidence and self-efficacy in STEM, increased technological and pedagogical content knowledge, and became more student-centered in their beliefs about teaching. T-Coach teams that developed stronger communities of practice rated higher on measures of STEM Club success (Hoyle, 2017). T-Coach levels of participation were critical to the development of team relationships, positive Club experiences, and more desirable Club outcomes with diverse students.

Paper #11014: A Multi-disciplinary Approach in Creating a STEM Education Minor

Principal Author: Helen Douglass, The University of Tulsa


This poster shares the process of creating a STEM Education minor for undergraduate education students as well as students in other disciplines interested in STEM Education at the k-12 level.  This includes both formal and informal settings.  A multi-disciplinary team of STEM faculty, staff, industry partners and informal STEM educators used a design thinking protocol to create the minor to serve pre-service teachers entering the workforce, as well as those students from among engineering, business, the arts and humanities with an interest in STEM Education.  The process is shared, as well as the current prototype in the final approval stages from university curriculum review committees. 

Paper #10070: How can science teacher educators best prepare students to teach engineering practices?

Principal Author: Kristie S.. Gutierrez, Old Dominion University
Co-Authors: Orlando Ayala, Old Dominion University; Jennifer Kidd, Old Dominion University; Stacie Ringleb, Old Dominion University; Krishna Kaipa, Old Dominion University; Pilar Pazos, Old Dominion University


Teacher education is facing challenges given the recent incorporation of engineering practices and core ideas into the Next Generation Science Standards and state standards of learning. To help teachers meet these standards in their future classrooms, education courses for preservice teachers [PSTs] must provide opportunities to increase science and engineering knowledge, and the associated pedagogies. To address this need, Ed+gineering, an NSF-funded multidisciplinary service-learning project, was implemented to study ways in which PSTs are prepared to meet this challenge. This study provides the models and supporting data for four unique methods of infusion of engineering skills and practices into an elementary science methods course. The four models differ in mode of course delivery, integration of a group project (with or without partnering undergraduate engineering students), and final product (e.g., no product, video, interactive presentation, live lesson delivery). In three of the models, teams of 4-6 undergraduates collaborated to design and deliver (when applicable) lessons for elementary students. This multiple semester, mixed-methods research study, explored the ways in which four unique instructional models, with varied levels of engineering instruction enhancement, influenced PSTs’ science knowledge and pedagogical understanding. Both quantitative (e.g., science content knowledge assessment) and qualitative (e.g., student written reflections) data were used to assess science knowledge gains and pedagogical understanding. Findings suggest that the PSTs learned science content and were often able to explain particular science/ engineering concepts following the interventions. PSTs in more enhanced levels of intervention also shared ways in which their lessons reflected their students’ cultures through culturally responsive pedagogical strategies and how important engineering integration is to the elementary classroom, particularly through hands-on, inquiry-based instruction.

Paper #10068: The Disappearance of Natural History and Live Organism Study from Biology Teacher Education

Principal Author: Cole J.. Entress, Teachers College - Columbia University


Biology teachers, it is generally agreed, should teach their students an approximation of professional practice—that is, rigorous investigation of the living world. However, it is unclear when aspiring biology teachers are supposed to learn how to model or facilitate investigations of living organisms. The marginalization of natural history and fieldwork within biology proper—what we might call content studies for preservice teachers—has been documented. I will argue, however, that biology teacher education has undergone a quiet, parallel evolution. This paper will supplement a general literature review with suggestive lines of historical evidence (e.g., methods textbooks, course offerings) to explore how biology methods courses—and, to a lesser extent, professional development—have diverted attention from direct encounters with living things. I suggest that the “lost arts” of specimen collection and the husbandry of living organisms for classroom display and study may offer ways for biology teachers and students to engage in meaningful investigation of biological phenomena.

Paper #10067: Introducing a Core Practices Instructional Framework for Science Teacher Preparation

Principal Author: Ron E.. Gray, Northern Arizona University


In this conceptual paper, I describe a secondary science teacher education program framework centered on core practices of teaching science. The specific practices were drawn from the rich literature in mathematics and science education, among others. As the work on practices across the literatures varies, multiple design elements were developed to construct a coherent and comprehensive framework. Design elements range in grain size from the moment-to-moment (e.g., eliciting and responding to students’ ideas) to the unit level (e.g., supporting ongoing changes in student thinking). Here I outline the framework, describe its design elements, and illustrate its use in a graduate level science teacher preparation program.

Paper #10066: Designing Geospatial Inquiry and Geospatial Technology Skills Professional Learning and Development for Secondary Teachers

Principal Author: Brooke A. Whitworth, Clemson University
Co-Authors: Lori Rubino-Hare, Northern Arizona Univeristy; Nena Bloom, Northern Arizona University; Eric Nolan, Northern Arizona Univeristy; Francis Boateng, University of Mississippi; Mark Manone, Northern Arizona University


The current study scaled-up proven professional learning and development (PLD) to provide Teacher Workshops (TWs) to secondary teachers. The purpose was to identify what components of Teacher Workshops delivered at scale prepared teachers to implement Geospatial Inquiry, to determine how well teachers were prepared to teach with geospatial technology (GST) performance skills, and to examine the relationships between facilitator and workshop implementation factors and teacher characteristics. Situated cognition provided a theoretical framework for the design, development, and implementation of the TWs. Surveys, GST assessments, observations, and artifacts were analyzed using a-priori coding, descriptive statistics, and generalized linear models. Participants included 344 secondary teachers who attended TWs across the nation. Results indicated the components and features of the PLD that were helpful to preparing teachers fell into three categories related to situated cognition: social interaction and collaboration, context and coherence, and tools and active learning. In addition, teachers’ GST skills, knowledge, and preparedness were significantly greater following the workshop. There was a significant positive effect on teachers’ GST performance from workshops that were delivered in-person. Facilitator factors, teacher gender, age, race, and whether teachers had attended another GST workshop prior to this one also influenced GST performance. The findings suggest several factors designers and developers of PLD should consider and attend to during development and implementation. Specifically, designers and developers should note the importance of context, teacher characteristics, and facilitators.

Paper #10065: Increasing Hispanics in the Educator Workforce: A Science Methods Intervention to Improve Passing Rates on an EC-6 Science Certification Examination

Principal Author: Christopher S. Long, University of North Texas
Co-Authors: Pamela Esprivalo. Harrell, University of North Texas; Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North Texas


For many years, the teacher pipeline has continued to show teachers of color are in high demand and short supply. As there is little parity between the teacher workforce and students enrolled in public schools, teacher preparation providers must support teachers of color, with experiences that retain and ultimately certify them, so that they may enter the teaching workforce as expeditiously as possible. This study explores the impact of a science methods intervention on Hispanic elementary teacher certification scores.

Paper #10064: Understanding Teacher Professional Identity Development: An Exploration of Secondary Science Teacher Beliefs and Practices Through Reflective Practice

Principal Author: Preethi Titu, Kennesaw State University
Co-Authors: Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota; Josh Ellis, Florida International University


Teachers’ beliefs about science teaching are established and nurtured through their own experiences as learners. While teacher beliefs have a significant impact on their classroom practices and provide a strong basis for their classroom actions, teachers’ sense of identity has been shown to play a key role in their understanding of their own actions (Kelchtermans, 2005). A greater understanding of their own identities can assist new teachers as they face many of the challenges in their careers. Given that it is critical for teachers to be reflective on their practice that facilitates their continued growth during the induction period, this research focuses on beginning teachers’ identity development. This longitudinal qualitative study followed three beginning science teachers throughout a three-year induction period and explored their practice, thereby enabling them to reflect on those practices that help build an understanding of their continuous process of science teaching development while identifying who they are as a teacher The research design employed is an exploratory multiple case study (Yin, 2014). The study used a framework of evolving teacher identity modified from Beauchamp and Thomas (2006) to explore the teachers’ identity development in terms of their classroom roles and responsibilities, the ways they think of and describe themselves as professionals, and their beliefs and practices about their classroom teaching and student learning. Data were collected from multiple sources, including classroom observations, teacher interviews, and reflective journals. The findings provide insight into how beginning teachers perceived their identities based on the three themes: (a) role as a teacher; (b) teaching practice, and (c) enhancing student learning. This study informs teacher educators about the importance of reflection as they work to prepare future teachers and support in-service teachers in developing their identities and shaping their beliefs toward teaching in their classroom.

Paper #14003: Learning to teach science through the use of representations: The role of professional development in supporting elementary teachers with this practice

Principal Author: Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana University - Bloomington
Co-Authors: Celeste Nicholas, Indiana University - Bloomington; Andrea Phillips, Indiana University - Bloomington; Qiu Zhong, Indiana University - Bloomington; Alex Gerber, Indiana University - Bloomington; Joshua Danish, Indiana University - Bloomington; Dionne Cross Francis, University of North Carolina; Cindy Hmelo-Silver, Indiana University - Bloomington


This session features three related papers on the topic of teachers learning to teach science using representations in order to promote the scientific practice of developing and using models.  The data from these three papers are a part of a larger, multi-year project on this topic and each of them takes us through understanding different components of the project team’s professional development work with the teachers and the teachers’ learning of this key scientific practice.  Each study employs qualitative research methods examining a range of data from interviews, video of lessons, and artifacts from coaching and/or other professional development activities. The results from these three papers collectively contribute to the field of science teacher education with respect to understanding: 1)  the role that orientations and emotions play in a teachers’ willingness to make changes to their practice, 2) the role of a coaching relationship, as one form of PD, in supporting elementary teachers in incorporating science representations into their teaching, and 3) how teachers’ reflections and learning of how to teach science with representations can inform the design of PD seeking to be adaptive.

The session is organized to first provide an overview of the larger project in order to situate the three papers and where the data presented in each fits within the timeline of the larger project goals.  Following this introduction is a presentation of the key research objective, research design, summary of findings, and implications of the work for the field of science teacher education.  The session concludes with a synthesis by a discussant representing the project that focuses on the related themes across the papers and the contributions the papers together are making towards the overall goals of the project, and thus the field of cognitive research on science teacher learning.  The session ends with a question and answer period for the audience and authors to interact.

Paper #11013: Impact of Student Worldviews and Epistemic Orientation on Perception of Argument in Science Classrooms

Principal Author: Mark McDermott, University of Iowa
Co-Authors: Darrin Ellsworth, Xavier Catholic High School


Learning environments that meet the goals of the NGSS are complex.  A multitude of interacting factors under the categories of teacher perspectives, teacher actions, student perspectives, and student actions impact the type of engagement realized in the learning environment.  One potential factor that has not been studied to a great extent is the impact of student worldview.  Worldviews are typically defined as overarching perspectives that influence behaviors (Hedlund-deWitt, et. al, 2014).  It is likely that student overviews are related to student epistemic orientation in the science classroom and both these factors impact student views on argumentation.  In this study, worldviews and epistemic orientation of parochial school students enrolled in a high school physics course will be evaluated.  Analysis will take place to explore potential connections between these two factors, as well as connections to student views on argument in science.  Students will respond to a Worldview Survey (WS), and Epistemic Orientation Survey (EOS) and a Student Perceptions of Argument-based Inquiry (SPAI) Survey to collect indications of the student perspective.  Analysis of the data will allow for discussion surrounding implications for science classrooms and science teacher preparation programs related to understanding the impact of student worldviews on their willingness to engage in argumentation. 

Paper #10063: Using Trade Books to Develop PST’s NOS Understanding: An On-Going Action Research Study

Principal Author: Helen Meyer, University of Cincinnati
Co-Authors: Lillian Sims, University of Cincinnati; Randy Gibson, University of Cincinnati


This action research study is part of a larger re-visioning of the secondary science methods sequence at the University, which is being co-created by expert science teachers from the local urban school district. The action research team for this study includes two experienced teachers and an experienced university teacher educator all of whom have more than 15 years’ experience in their positions. In addition to this study’s team, a larger grant funded cohort of teachers and teacher educators have been working on refining and revising the mathematics and science methods sequences as a collaborative project between the urban school district and the university. The action research study reported here is one aspect of the larger revision, based on the consensus goals of a) expanding the resources pre-service teachers consider for learning science and mathematics and, b) of improving the pre-service teachers’ awareness of the Nature of Science (NOS) and Mathematics. In this presentation, we will briefly detail the science methods course sequence, how the sequence timing fit with the initial and revised goals, the implementation experiences and outcomes, and how the documented outcomes contributed to revisions for the next cycle.

            The focal point of this research study was the book The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks. This book was selected for its humanization of science, the social and societal values embedded in the practice of science, and its broad look at a transformational scientific event that remains highly relevant to current scientific research. We believed the book would allow us to align with McComas’s (2002) expansive view of NOS as a social study of science and the interaction of scientists and society rather than a specific NOS tenet. Over the two implementation cycles and preparation for the third cycle we revised the project to shift the focus from the creation of a final product to a developing a pedagogical model for planning, teaching, and learning about science as a problem-based (PBL) unit.

Paper #10062: Learning to Use Flipgrid for Student Engagement and Formative Assessment: Lessons from an Elementary Preservice Teacher

Principal Author: Sharfun Islam Nancy, University of South Florida
Co-Authors: Karl G. Jung, University of South Florida


Given the prevalence of technology resources in today’s elementary classrooms, the increases in one-to-one initiatives, and the recent and necessary moves to synchronous and asynchronous learning environments, it is important to build understanding of how elementary teachers learn to use various technology tools for science instruction. It is also important to understand how teachers are able to utilize those tools to support their formative assessment of student science learning, so instruction can be tailored to continue and further that learning. This presentation seeks to build understanding in these areas by exploring one preservice elementary science teacher’s use of the technology tool, Flipgrid, within her 3rd-grade classroom. Specifically, it examines how this teacher learned to implement Flipgrid to support her students’ engagement in 5E learning experiences, and the ways in which she explored using it for formative assessment purposes. Implications for Flipgrid, as well as preservice teacher education, will be discussed.

Paper #10061: Partnering with University Science Faculty to Bring a Picture of Authenticity into the High School Classroom through Video

Principal Author: Stephen R. Burgin, University of Arkansas
Co-Authors: M. Hassan. Beyzavi, University of Arkansas


In this presentation, we report on the findings of using a video showcasing authentic chemistry research techniques to introduce high school chemistry students and their teacher to the work of a university chemistry professor. Through this work, we found that the viewing of the video when the research chemist was present had the greatest impact. 

Paper #10060: ArcGIS Story Maps: Blended learning opportunities to bring technology into the classroom

Principal Author: Sarah Nuss, William & Mary/VIMS
Co-Authors: Stephanie Letourneau


It can be problematic to engage students in science as some concepts are difficult for students to visualize. One way of alleviating this issue includes using authentic research from scientists, allowing students to explore real-world situations. Despite challenges created with the implementation of technology in the classroom, teachers are utilizing digital learning to aid classroom instruction and the student learning process. Esri’s ArcGIS Story Maps is an evolving tool that allows end users to explore a topic through images, videos, interactive maps, data, figures, and text. This platform is accessible for educators, researchers, industry professionals, and even students. The objective of the study was to compare perspectives of translating science through traditional learning versus digital learning. For this pilot study, current research focused on a thin-layer placement marsh restoration technique was translated into a lesson plan and Story Map. Both teachers and students were interviewed to understand their perspectives on digital learning, and to gain feedback on the two created learning tools. This study outlines the difficulties with utilizing technology in the classroom, but it also highlights the benefits when used in a strategic manner, and finally shares the perspectives of teachers and students on the Story Map tool specifically by better understanding student and teacher perspectives on digital learning, we are able to provide useful resources to assist teachers in quality science education.


Paper #10059: Preliminary Exploratory Factor Analysis of a STEM Observation Instrument

Principal Author: Joshua A. Ellis, Florida International University
Co-Authors: Emily A. Dare, Florida International University; Mark D. Rouleau, Michigan Technological University; Elizabeth Ring-Whalen, St. Catherine University; Benny Mart. Hiwatig, University of Minnesota; Khomson Keritithamkul, University of Minnesota; Feng Li, Florida International University; Corbin Rice, University of Minnesota; Farah Faruqi, University of Minnesota; Preethi Titu, Kennesaw State University; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota


There is a lack of observation instruments available that inform teachers and teacher educators of what “good” STEM integration looks like in practice, creating a limitation in furthering the agenda on high-quality STEM education. There is a need to establish a valid and reliable instrument designed to identify and describe high-quality STEM teaching for use in classrooms where multiple disciplines may be integrated. The work presented here describes the need for such an instrument, outlines the development of such an instrument, and shares preliminary validity work conducted on the instrument.

The work described here is part of a four-year funded project that seeks to improve the quality of K-12 integrated STEM education in science and engineering classrooms through the development and dissemination of a classroom observation instrument for integrated STEM instruction. This 10-item instrument was intentionally designed not only for research purposes, but to be used as a formative educational tool for improving integrated STEM education (e.g., for use by teacher educators and classroom coaches to provide feedback to teachers). Exploratory factor analysis was performed on instrument scores from 136 classroom videos to identify latent factors and assess internal consistency of the instrument. This analysis revealed a simple two-factor solution with components that were labeled STEM Practices and STEM Integration.

The relationships among the items reflect some of those expected from existing theoretical frameworks of STEM integration. Additionally, these two resulting factors provide evidence for the dimensionality of the observation instrument, which may be further evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis. Given its alignment with theory, internal consistency, and dimensionality, this observation instrument is an adequate and appropriate instrument to assess the quality of integrated STEM instruction in K-12 classrooms.

Paper #10058: Citizen Science for Social Good: Engaging Underrepresented Youth in Pollinator Conservation

Principal Author: Rita Hagevik, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Co-Authors: Kaitlin Campbell, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke


Citizen science is a way to employ the collective strength of communities and the public to engage in the practice of scientific discovery while participating in environmental problems. The social good is addressed through environmental justice and inclusion of and attention to diversity in age, gender, race/ethnicity and social class when addressing issues important to underrepresented communities. Children who are natural explorers through partnerships with adults and scientists can participate in citizen science projects. A discourse of social good and social justice through outdoor environmental citizen science projects can lead to environmental stewardship, justice and promotion of social good for them as adults. In this study we examined five citizen science projects around pollinator conservation that engaged 130 middle and high school participants over a four-year period of which 82% were minorities at a campus garden and apiary on a University campus along with four scientists, ten undergraduate science majors, and five science teachers. Students participated in the program that occurred for three hours for twenty Saturday mornings during the academic year and in the summer for two weeks at the “bee camp”. The citizen science projects included the great sunflower project, the great pumpkin project, the native bee project, project budburst, and bumblebee watch. We collected a variety of mixed data from participants using a bee no bee quiz and the CASI survey which measured students’ views of themselves and their ability to succeed (pre and post). We analyzed the students’ science research posters and interviewed students that presented in science competitions to determine if their views of pollinators and conservation had changed. It was found that through the collection of data, analysis, and participation in national citizen science projects that the participants’ confidence in doing science as well as in their desire to be an advocate for pollinators through conservation increased. The students created a name for themselves, “bee ambassadors”.

Paper #10057: “How do we show we are credible?”: Understanding the contributions of varied experiences and perceived expectations towards developing a professional identity as a teacher educator

Principal Author: Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana University - Bloomington
Co-Authors: Dionne Cross Francis, University of North Carolina; Claire Ceslijarev, Indiana University - Bloomington; Alex Gerber, Indiana University - Bloomington; Andrea Phillips, Indiana University - Bloomington; Qiu Zhong, Indiana University - Bloomington


This study sheds light on the challenging transition of becoming a teacher educator (TE) and in particular the relationship between credibility and professional identity. Employing self-study methodology, the authors of this study also serve as the participants. Over the course of one academic year the authors met eight times, recording their 2.5-3 hour discussions about issues associated with their development as teacher educators. Each of these sessions were transcribed and analyzed for the purpose of this study. A key issue that quickly rose out of the data was that despite each member having some teaching experience there was a shared feeling of being illegitimate in the position of TE. This led the group to further explore within the data the idea of credibility and what factors contribute to or negate presenting oneself as being a credible science teacher educator. An iterative and collaborative process of data analysis resulted in the uncovering ideas associated with the questions of: a) what does it mean to be credible and why is it important, b) where do our perceived expectations to be credible come from, and c) what are the metrics for measuring credibility? Given what we found in response to each of these questions, we believe this study will be of interest to all members of ASTE, but in particular the graduate student membership, as they may be living through and experiencing similar challenges with respect to developing their professional identity. Thus, implications are first discussed from the importance of forming a peer group throughout the doctoral process that directly addresses issues associated with credibility and its influence on forming a ‘new’ professional identity as a TE. Additionally, implications are presented from the perspective of experienced faculty (Authors 1 and 2) regarding the importance of faculty mentors engaging along with novice teacher educators to explore issues of professional identity, as it can also bring to light questions about one’s own practice that may benefit from further self-study research.

Paper #10056: Developing and Empirically Grounding the Draw-An-Engineering Teacher Test

Principal Author: Tina Vo, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Co-Authors: Rebekah Hammack, Montana State University


Construct-Centered Design (CCD) was chosen to develop a Draw-An-Engineering-Teacher-Test (DAETT). This research documents the development and empirical ground of the DAETT, answering the questions: a) What are identifying and measurable epistemic features associated with elementary teaching about engineering? and b) How do elementary preservice teachers conceptualize engineering education in their classrooms? A multi-stage mixed-methods study was conducted in line with the steps of CCD. To better understand the types of artifacts and evidence that could be produced by preservice teachers, an exploratory pilot of the DAETT was conducted. The pilot occurred within a large state-level university. All participants (n=70) were preservice elementary education teachers from the university who were enrolled in a K-8 science methods program. The DAETT instructed participants to draw themselves teaching engineering on a sheet of paper. On the back of the paper, they were asked to “Describe what you are doing.” and “Describe what the students are doing.” From this pilot study, we found that the use of conceptual models as a tool for understanding and discussing preservice teachers’ ideas are useful but can be limited. A rubric with four areas and multiple levels of understanding were developed based on the data: Problem Scoping, Solution Formation, Product Evaluation & Optimization, and Communication. Each area contained levels 0-4 and were field-tested in a secondary study to ground the revised claims. The participants in the second study were purposefully selected to share key features with the original test group. Participants (n=34) were, again, all preservice elementary education teachers from a large state-level institution enrolled in an elementary science methods course. Across both studies, nearly half of participants did not include any engineering design related aspects in their drawings. However, there were numerous examples of identifiable and measurable epistemic practices of engineering that aligned with the revised claims developed after the initial pilot.

Paper #14002: Online Professional Development for Elementary Science Teachers

Principal Author: Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Angelina Constantine, University of Minnesota; Farah Faruqi, University of Minnesota; Connie Hvidsten, BSCS; Amy Belcastro, BSCS; Karen Askinas, BSCS; Renee DeVaul, BSCS; Susan Kowalski, BSCS


Online PD has emerged as a viable means to provide increased accessibility and flexibility for teachers and to reach larger numbers of teachers (Nese et al, 2020). However, the challenge is to “design effective professional learning programs based on the best theories of learning and employing the most effective media and technology available (Fishman, 2016, p. 47).” One strategy for designing effective online PD is to start from a high-quality in-person PD grounded in research and learning theory.

This paper set presents findings from three iterative pilots of the development of an online PD for elementary science teachers. First, a design-based research study presents both practical and theoretical findings for how to support elementary teachers in collaborative learning to improve their teaching of science through attention to student thinking and a coherent science content storyline. Given that research shows online instruction is effective only when technology tools are “appropriate for the instructional tasks, instructors provide timely feedback to students, and levels of student interactivity are high (Durrington et al., 2006, p. 190),” the second paper reports findings about technology tools that support collaborative learning, promote content deepening, and promote a focus on student thinking. For online learning to be successful, it is necessary to develop rapport and a sense of community (Ouyang & Scharber, 2017). Thus, the third paper reports on mechanisms for developing and maintaining rapport and community within an online PD.

Paper #16004: A Collaboration for Remote Recruiting Across Multiple STEM Teacher Preparation Programs

Principal Author: Mary Urquhart, The University of Texas, Dallas
Co-Authors: Katie Donaldson, The University of Texas, Dallas; Shelly R.. Rodriguez, The University of Texas, Austin


Recruiting STEM majors into teaching has long been a challenge, one that STEM teacher preparation programs in the UTeach network have typically relied on face-to-face messaging to address. Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, remote recruitment of STEM majors into university-based teacher preparation programs became a sudden necessity in 2020. A national UTeach Recruitment Working Group was established in late spring 2020 to brainstorm ideas and strategies to increase recruitment in response to lagging enrollment numbers. This presentation will share with the broader community of science teacher preparation programs the collective wisdom, strategies, and outcomes of the working group to-date, including how the use of technology in recruitment and our messaging may be strengthened long-term. The multi-institution collaboration has also expanded beyond a focus on the pandemic-induced enrollment crisis to recognize a shared need to improve the recruitment of people of color into the STEM teaching profession. We offer our collaboration as both a source of ideas to inform the practice of programs outside the UTeach network and as a model for other organizations to establish multi-institution collaborations to tackle the challenges that face us all.

Paper #11012: Development and Testing of the Draw-A-Programmer Test (DAPT) to Explore Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Conceptions of Computational Thinking

Principal Author: Jacob A. Hall, SUNY Cortland
Co-Authors: Jeffrey D. Radloff, SUNY Cortland


National standards portray science as a set of shared ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts in common with engineering and computer science. Representing a departure from previous standards, they now include a measure of computational fluency focused on understanding how to solve real world problems using machines. Underpinning this fluency are four pillars of computational thinking (CT) that include: abstraction, pattern recognition, algorithmic thinking, and decomposition.

This inclusion of computational fluency entails major shifts in elementary science curriculum and pedagogy. In-service and pre-service teachers need access to CT-related resources and professional development, and teacher educators need to integrate CT across science teacher education programs. At the core, these changes require an understanding of computer science (CS) as a viable career path and set of discrete knowledge and skills, including those related to computer programming. However, research has repeatedly shown teachers and preservice teachers to be unfamiliar with reform-based instruction and tech-related careers. Yet, if teachers do not understand CS or CT, then they cannot be expected to authentically portray it to their students.

This exploratory study uses a Draw-a-Programmer instrument (adapted from the DAST, DAET) to investigate how preservice teachers understand and visualize computer science and scientists. Here, we detail the development and testing of this tool, and then analyze and consider our findings as they apply to all levels of elementary teacher education. Results reveal somewhat stereotypical yet discrete conceptions of computer programming as separate from science and engineering that provide concrete entry points into fostering standards-based computational thinking skills. Implications are discussed as they relate to teacher education and research.

Paper #10055: Teachers’ feelings of awe: An examination of the role of awe in science instruction and student learning

Principal Author: Sarah J. Carrier, NC State University
Co-Authors: M. Gail. Jones, NC State University; Julianna Nieuwsma, NC State University; Kathryn Rendee, NC State University; Emma Refvem, NC State University


Science in the natural world has elicited human feelings of awe and wonder as we try to understand the magnificent and the mysterious. Awe has been described as feelings of interest, curiosity, and a desire to understand the unknown (Valdesolo et al., 2017). Many schools today focus on preparing students for achievement tests leaving aside more innovative aspects of teaching to focus on test preparation (Jones, Jones, & Hargrove, 2003). Most instructional models focus primarily on students’ cognitive growth with limited attention to student affect and emotional connections with learning. By identifying teachers’ feelings of awe, we can support their inclusion of awe in science instruction to engage student emotions and motivation. We share our initial research on teachers’ impressions of awe in science and discuss instruction potential. Our findings revealed that teachers have a variety of interpretations of awe, and we use these findings to recommend strategies to provide teachers with common understandings of awe and methods to include awe in their science instruction.

Paper #11011: Updates and Applications of the FAVSTE: A Framework for Analyzing Video in Science Teacher Education

Principal Author: Michelle Forsythe, Texas State University
Co-Authors: Anna Arias, Kennesaw State University; Brett Criswell, West Chester University; Joshua Ellis, Florida International University; Lawrence Escalada, Northern Iowa University; Heather Johnson, Vanderbilt University; Amy Palmeri, Vanderbilt University; Margaret Parker, Illinois State University


Engaging pre-service teachers in the analysis of videos of teaching has become a widely-used and highly-regarded strategy within teacher preparation. This use of video tasks has expanded in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including as a substitute for live field experiences. However, despite evidence of the myriad ways that video can support science teacher preparation, uncertainties remain regarding how to use video tasks most productively.

In 2016 a group of teacher educators from across the U.S. was brought together through a project initiated by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards that was focused on the use of video in science teacher preparation. Over the years of this work, this Collaborative found, as Kang and van Es (2019) reported, that existing frameworks “offer[ed] limited guidance on how to consider each feature of the video-based activity system at different points in the trajectory of learning to teach” (p. 5). Additionally, these frameworks left many of the decision points regarding how to implement video tasks invisible to teacher educators. As a result, the Collaborative developed its own tool to support the video use: the Framework for Analyzing Video in Science Teacher Education (FAVSTE).

This presentation synthesizes the ongoing work of this Collaborative of science teacher educators from nine teacher preparation programs. The poster provides an overview of the FAVSTE for those who might be unfamiliar with its development, details ongoing refinements to the framework for those who have been following the progress of this work, and illustrates practical models of use that highlight how science teacher educators are using the FAVSTE in teacher preparation courses. The FAVSTE advances the current research base by integrating and expanding the frameworks of other scholars to provide a multi-dimensional account of implementing video tasks in teacher education. This work also supports the practice of science teacher educators by detailing how a breadth of teacher preparation programs are using the FAVSTE to improve instruction.

Paper #10053: Instructional Time and Sense-Making in Elementary Classrooms

Principal Author: Joanne K.. Olson, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Jacob Pleasants, Keene State College


Instructional time is understudied in science education, but has been raised as a concern by teachers for years. This study is a secondary analysis of a dataset collected as part of a federally-funded professional development effort involving grades 3-5 teachers. In this study, we assessed lesson length, its relationship to the quality and length of sense-making experiences, how time is allocated in science lessons, and how teachers frame issues of time in their work. Time was a predictor of sense-making quality, and a threshold of 45 minutes appears to be required if high-quality sense-making is to occur. Lessons of differing sense-making quality and length had different structures. Shorter lessons had a predominate focus on activity, with a mere 3 minutes provided for sense-making, if it occurred at all. Lessons with higher quality sense-making tended to intersperse sense-making and exploration of phenomena, with sense-making occurring far earlier in the lesson and taking far more time. Teachers are very aware and concerned about time, and in many cases, consciously skipped sense-making due to time constraints. 

Paper #11010: Conceptualizing the Nature and Role of Failure in the Engineering Design Process

Principal Author: Benny Mart R. Hiwatig, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota


A vital feature of integrated STEM instruction is contextualizing learning in real-world problems by engaging students in design-based tasks (Kelley & Knowles, 2016; Sanders, 2009). The Engineering Design Process (EDP) has been a prevalent instructional framework used in K-12 STEM education (Dym, et al., 2005). Given this process-oriented nature of the EDP, it can be argued that failure is intuitively embedded in its implementation. Failure is defined as a disruption of an activity that necessitates a reflective and/or intentional disposition about the ongoing activity (Koschmann, Kuuti, & Hickman,1998). This paper aims to explore how ideas about failure fit the EDP and if so, how these can support the current teaching practices within the EDP framework and improve students’ learning experiences in STEM education. Opportunities for failure exist in varying degrees in the stages of the design process. They may range from low-level errors such as mistakes in worksheets to incorrect explanations in the learn stage, and even failure of students’ design solution to meet the criteria and constraints set for the design challenge. Consequently, in this paper, we illustrated how failure is inherent to the EDP, and how instances of failure may manifest in each of the stages of the design process. We also discussed how such iterative process promotes continuous improvement, and pushes students’ thinking beyond what they already think as successful. Finally, we presented a conjecture about the EDP as an instructional design for Productive Failure and Productive Success, in order to initiate further conversations about how STEM learning can be optimized in this pedagogical framework. As a whole, the EDP endorses a positive perception about failure which is critical in building a growth mindset among students and seeing failure as a prerequisite to long-term learning. Further implications of this discussion involve equipping our pre-service teachers a more optimistic and productive disposition about failure which we hope will cascade to their interactions with their students.

Paper #10051: Does Cultural Proficiency affect Retention in Alternatively Certified Teachers?

Principal Author: Alison L.. Dossick, Virginia Commonwealth University
Co-Authors: Elizabeth W. Edmondson, Virginia Commonwealth University; Dwayne R. Cormier, Virginia Commonwealth University


We will present a pilot study examining the relationship between alternatively licensed science and math teachers’ cultural proficiency and their rates of retention. The long term retention for alternative licensed teachers is less than that of traditionally licensed teachers (Zhang & Seller, 2016; Ronfeldt, Schwartz, & Jacob, 2014). Cultural proficiency will be rated using a cultural proficiency survey (YYY, 2018) and a semi-structured interview. Due to the accelerated coursework in alternative certification programs, these teachers may not have had any formal introduction to culturally relevant pedagogy (Jordan, 2017). We will examine how that may affect their retention rates as alternatively certified teachers (ACT’s) tend to be placed in the most diverse schools (NCES, 2020). 

Open math and science positions are most likely to be filled by ACT’s. Alternatively Certified Teachers in these subjects are also less likely to have any prior education courses needed for teaching. Additionally, the most heavily sought after teachers in the subjects of science and math are more likely to be placed in high needs schools (urban; rural; and secondary) where more support is beneficial, (Ronfeldt, Schwartz, & Jacob, 2014). These reasons, coupled with the lack of CRP in alternative licensing programs, point to a gap in the preparation of ACT’s in science and math.

If a relationship between cultural proficiency and retention is found, alternative licensing programs may use this information as they add course requirements and topics to be addressed. Pre-service teaching programs will also benefit from this research as they prepare new teachers to enter increasingly diverse school systems. Finally, school districts may want to have additional professional development for ACT’s to address any gaps resulting from their accelerated licensure. District professional development may include CRP if it is found to help with retention rates of all teachers.


Paper #11009: Exploring how Teachers Engineer Equitable Science Learning: A theoretical framework under development

Principal Author: Sarah Boesdorfer, Illinois State University
Co-Authors: Allison Antink Meyer, Illinois State University; Rebekka Darner, Illinois State University


The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) frame the preparation of students for “college, career, and citizenship” in ways that emphasize connections between students’ lives, disciplinary knowledge, and practice. This calls upon teachers to design science instruction that values students’ cultural and community assets. Engineering, which is also a component of the NGSS, is grounded in human problems and interests, thus providing authentic contexts for instruction that supports connections between students’ lives, science, and engineering design. In this poster, we share a theoretical framework under-development that posits that the inclusion of engineering in science instruction can serve as a mechanism to implement of culturally responsive secondary science instruction. We also put forth how this framework can inform science teacher professional development to highlight and improve teachers’ culturally relevant practices, thus fostering increased student interest and performance in science.

Paper #10050: Stronger Together: Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Experiences of an Interdisciplinary Science and Social Studies Methods Course

Principal Author: Vanessa A. Klein, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Co-Authors: Evan M. Mooney


We designed and undertook this study in response to the ongoing marginalization of science and social studies instruction in elementary grades in favor of math and reading instruction.  As the instructors of two interdisciplinary elementary social studies and science methods courses at a Northeastern mid-sized state university, we explored how the course structure, chosen readings, shared assignments, instructional approaches, co-teaching, and rationales of the courses influenced our students’ thinking about interdisciplinary approaches to curriculum and instruction, as well as their thinking about both social studies and science as disciplines.  We sought to understand how integrating disciplines contributed to students’ understandings of both content and pedagogy.  Findings revealed that students struggled with interdisciplinary interpretations at first due to limited content knowledge but developed integrated and sophisticated conceptions of science and social studies through largely positive experiences of the courses.  The study has implications for both teacher education and in-service teaching through the finding that interdisciplinary methods courses support preservice teachers’ interdisciplinary thinking, which leads to opportunities for social studies and science in their instruction.

Paper #10049: Scientist’s perspectives and values on communicating the nature of science to the public.

Principal Author: Sarah V. Poor, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Benjamin C. Herman, Texas A&M University


A public that demonstrates functional scientific literacy is essential to the resolution of socioscientific issues (SSI) such as climate change. An important component of this functional literacy is a deep understanding of the nature of science (NOS) which enables people to make informed decisions regarding SSI. Scientists’ interaction with the public could be a meaningful form of public NOS education, yet very little research explores scientists’ NOS conceptions and their perspectives on public NOS communication. This triangulated, mixed-methods study investigated scientists’ NOS understanding and evaluated how scientists prioritized various NOS constructs for public science communication. Our results indicate that scientists’ conceptions of NOS ranged from “has merit” (conflicting views, expressing stereotypical and non-stereotypical views) to “informed” (non-stereotypical views). We also found that scientists believe communicating NOS to the public is important, yet many are concerned that accurately communicating the realities of their work could influence public trust and support of science. Scientists most highly value communicating about the purposes for why science is conducted with the public. This investigation will contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve and leverage scientists’ interactions with the public to promote scientific literacy. The authentic and highly-contextualized descriptions of scientists’ work outlined in this study will benefit both science communication researchers and practitioners as well as kindergarten through postsecondary educators.

Paper #10048: Program Attributes for Science and Mathematics Teacher Leadership Development

Principal Author: Christine R. Lotter, University of South Carolina
Co-Authors: Brett Criswell, West Chester University; Jan Yow, University of South Carolina; Anna E. Hutchinson, University of Cincinnati; Jill Schaefer, University of Kentucky; Paula Adams, Clemson University; Greg T. Rushton, Middle Tennessee State University; Sally Ahrens, University of Nebraska–Lincoln


Using Smylie and Eckert (2018)’s teacher leadership framework, this study investigated the structure of eight funded Noyce Master Teaching Fellow (MTF) programs that focused on developing or supporting science or mathematics teacher leadership. The study involved four data sources: (1) grant proposals for each of the Noyce MTF projects, (2) external evaluation reports for each project, (3) project documentation, including annual and final funding agency reports from each project, and (4) interviews with each project principal investigator. Through an analysis of the programs’ selection criteria, intended outcomes, and experiences, we found that the programs’ structures diverged based on whether the program was developing teacher leaders and/or supporting teacher leadership. Development of teacher leaders focused on engaging the teachers in experiences such as content and pedagogical professional development, university content courses, and networking opportunities with experienced teacher leaders to improve the teachers’ content and instructional expertise. The teachers were supported in teacher leadership through engagement in conference presentations, mentoring opportunities, and further networking opportunities. Our analysis further investigated the grant programs’ features in reference to the development of a community of practice and an enhancement of teachers’ professional identity. The presentation will discuss common structural components across the programs and the implications of these elements for effective teacher leadership development.

Paper #10046: Supporting the instruction of engineering practices: Limitations of “The Engineering Design Process”

Principal Author: Jacob Pleasants, Keene State College
Co-Authors: Joanne K. Olson, Texas A&M University


With the growing incorporation of engineering into science education, teachers have the additional responsibility to develop students’ engineering practices alongside scientific ones. To meet that goal, teachers are often encouraged to engage students in engineering design activities in the classroom. A very typical way to structure those activities is around a flowchart model of the “Engineering Design Process” (EDP). However, use of the EDP to structure instruction creates a potential for lessons to focus on the completion of the task at hand, to the exclusion of meaningful conversations about engineering practices.

We investigated this issue in the context of a professional development (PD) project aimed at helping elementary teachers incorporate engineering into their science instruction. During PD workshops and in our ongoing support of participants, we encouraged teachers to engage students in explicit conversations about engineering practices in order to help those students reflect on their experiences and understand the thought process underlying the practices. We also encouraged teachers to utilize instructional models that went beyond the EDP.

We found that when teachers organized their engineering instruction in ways that went beyond the EDP, they were far more likely to engage students in explicit conversations about engineering practices. In contrast, lessons structured around the EDP offered few, if any, opportunities for students to reflect on and make meaning of those activities. Despite our efforts, however, the vast majority of lessons that we observed followed a formulaic EDP structure. Our findings indicate that, as useful as EDP models might appear, they do not necessarily promote students’ learning of engineering practices. Teacher educators should therefore approach the EDP with extreme caution and help pre-service and in-service teachers understand the substantial limitations of the EDP.

Paper #10045: Nature Journaling in 3D: Supporting standards-based science instruction with preservice teachers

Principal Author: Kelly Feille, University of Oklahoma
Co-Authors: Stephanie Hathcock, Oklahoma State University


Science education reform calls on elementary teachers, who are generalists by nature, to engage their learners in authentic science learning experiences through science and engineering practices across scientific disciplines. For students to engage as scientists, they require relevant science and engineering problems that exist in real-world contexts. The schoolyard (the outdoor area immediately surrounding a school building) provides the opportunity for frequent and repeated access to both natural and human-made environments where students can participate in active inquiry of scientific phenomena. Additionally, in the time of COVID-19, educators are deeply concerned with how they may safely engage their students in constructivist work during in-person schooling. With the potential health concerns regarding indoor classrooms, the schoolyard has emerged as a safer space where authentic science learning may continue. Nature journaling has the potential to bridge 3-dimensional, standards-based instruction with natural phenomena in students’ place of the schoolyard, where concerns related to COVID-19 may be lowered. This work is informed by previous work in the areas of 3-Dimensional science instruction, place-based education, nature journaling as authentic scientific work, schoolyard pedagogy, and meaning making in elementary science. We describe innovative practice within elementary science methods courses where preservice elementary teachers engage in nature journaling practices and imagine ways to incorporate outdoor learning into their future practice.

Paper #10044: Undergraduate utilization of virtual reality in conducting student designed scientific research

Principal Author: Kate Walker, University of Arkansas


One goal of the undergraduate science lab is to teach research and experimental practices. Students gain research skills in formulating a scientific research question, collecting and analyzing data and drawing conclusions. Students often use technology and group work to gain skills in digital literacy, research, writing and speaking skills. When students conduct their own research or experiments, the teacher is deploying a form of inquiry instruction and students begin to grasp how science actually is conducted (McComas 2014). Students should be given limitations for safety but certain research should be given as an opportunity to expand on personal interests and emphasize key content. The rationale for this is students are likely to have increased interest in their work, driving affective and cognitive components in the students’ learning (Dohn et al, 2016). Inquiry is likely to improve science concepts in the learner as well (McComas 2014).


In an undergraduate Human Physiology lab, Students are tasked with creating a research project involving physiological functions deviating from homeostasis while utilizing virtual reality. The project entails students working in groups to design a semester long research project where they collect meaningful data to represent their understanding of deviations of a particular function and the workings of systems in the body involving that particular function. Part of this involves learning how to find scientific articles and how they are used in scientific research. The assessment is a presentation of their research.


With the implementation of virtual reality, I noticed a change in student motivation in their research projects. Students learned ways virtual reality alters someone’s physiological state and the level of significance. During their research projects, students self- reported gains in methods of data collection, ethical decision making, and integration of many modes of technology such as virtual reality, smartwatches and transducers (as part of a data acquisition system).

Paper #10042: A call for culturally relevant teacher preparation through urban teacher residencies situated in race-visible pedagogies: The beginning conversation

Principal Author: Anna Ghurbanyan, Columbia University
Co-Authors: Jessica F. Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia University


An investment in a large-scale, year-long teacher residency program would improve teacher retention, reduce turnover rates of all public schools teachers, especially those with fewer than five years of experience. In a large urban city, turnover rates vary by school characteristics, academic areas, grade levels, and location. Specifically, schools with high concentrations of poverty and high-need students have the highest rates of teacher turnover. The sociocultural factor that impacts the school performance of poor students places them at a sheer disadvantage from the start. Despite the diversity of the student body (less than 15% of the student body is white), roughly 60% of the teaching force is white (NYC Independent Budget Office, May 2014).

We offer a thoughtful expansion of a residency program, which as part of candidate’s year-long residency commitment, will support the educational needs of a diverse student body by linking professional development programs, PDPs, to cultural pedagogies that address racial literacy and engage race-visible pedagogies. We argue for a goal-oriented residency program fitted with high-impact PD that will concentrate on creating an opportunity for novice teachers to receive culturally relevant training, the lack of which underlie the high attrition rates among beginners. A successful residency program would incorporate opportunities for novice teacher candidates to have conversations about race and racism and implement race-based pedagogies. Felicia M. Mensah makes a point that if we want teachers to teach in culturally relevant ways, then we must allow them to learn in this way (Mensah, 2011)—perhaps this learning must become a critical element of an expansion of teacher residency programs. The high-impact training would be in collaboration with a university. The oversight and evaluation of university faculty would contribute to the educational quality with an intentional focus to develop race-visible pedagogies and a sequence of culturally responsive coursework aligned with teachers’ diverse classroom needs.

Paper #15002: Teaching Elementary Science Methods Online: Using Student Feedback to Prepare Pre-Service Teachers for the Uncertain Future of Science Teaching

Principal Author: Jessica L. Chen, Teachers College, Columbia University


In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, preparing elementary preservice teachers to teach science presents new challenges and new opportunities for designing science methods courses that are completely online. With the goal of preparing elementary preservice teachers to teach science in equitable, socially just ways, I share how I am redesigning a science method course for the online space that was previously taught in-person. Multicultural science education, situated learning, and science teacher identity are the theoretical frameworks that underpin and guide the course. To further inform the structure and assignments for the online course, I analyzed the final papers of preservice teachers enrolled in the Spring 2020 semester, which transitioned to distance learning for the last six weeks of the semester. The salient aspects of the course that contributed to the preservice teachers’ perspectives, practices, and understanding of science and science teaching were sharing and discourse, doing inquiry-based science labs and lessons, and practicing science teaching. To continue with sharing and discourse online, the preservice teachers will plan and lead online discussions on issues of diversity, equity and social justice. They will also create videos of their science stories to share with peers to spark meaningful conversations around science and science teaching. I am also refining science labs and lessons for the preservice teachers to do in their homes and to create videos or photobooks of their process to share and discuss with peers. To engage the preservice teachers with some online science teaching practices, I will ask them to create science lesson sequences for young students to do at home and to organize the lesson content on Google Classroom. I will also invite elementary science teachers to share their experiences and insights with teaching science online. This syllabus share contributes to the conversation around best practices for preparing elementary preservice teachers to teach science during and after the pandemic.

Paper #10041: Assessing high school biology curriculum for the depth of the using mathematics and computational thinking practice

Principal Author: Amber M. Cesare, The Pennsylvania State University
Co-Authors: Kathleen M. Hill, The Pennsylvania State University; Tiffany M. Lewis, The Pennsylvania State University; Amy V. Farris, The Pennsylvania State University; Courtney Nagle, The Pennsylvania State University


Recent science education reform emphasizes that students should learn disciplinary content by engaging in scientific practices. This necessitates a major instructional shift, requiring sophisticated content knowledge, an understanding of scientific research practices, and an ability to enact science-as-practice (Lehrer & Schauble, 2006) pedagogy. However, science teachers have a limited understanding of everyday scientific practice as it occurs in professional science, which also diminishes their potential success in enacting instruction that teaches authentic practice. Currently, very limited resources exist for teachers to evaluate the presence of the practices in curricula and/or classroom instruction. The goals of this study are (a) to assess teacher-selected lessons for the presence and richness of the using mathematics and computational thinking (UMCT) practice and (b) to determine how state-level testing impacts teachers’ decisions involving science curricula. In order to achieve the aims of this study, we worked with a cohort of 23 high school biology teachers and analyzed their beliefs about teaching science; their knowledge of the UMCT practice; and a vast collection of  teacher-selected curricula. We examined the curricular resources looking for depth of students’ opportunities to use math and computational thinking in biology by iteratively developing a lesson assessment tool. Consistent with other studies, we found that teachers had a limited understanding of the UMCT practice. Teachers most often referenced the data sub-practices of creating, analyzing, and visualizing data when describing the UMCT practice. Lesson plan analysis showed that teachers engaged students in the sub-practices of using mathematics and computational thinking that teachers are most familiar with (e.g, graphing) while not including less familiar practices (e.g., computational problem solving, systems thinking). Our findings also illustrate that the Pennsylvania state standards and the mandated assessment are in direct contrast to the science-as-practice view.


Paper #10040: A Thematic Analysis of Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Definitions and Descriptions of Equity in Science Instruction

Principal Author: Pamela Harrell, University of North Texas
Co-Authors: Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North Texas; Eun Young Lee, University of North Texas; Chris Long, University of North Texas; Nazia Khan, University of North Texas


This study investigated how pre-service elementary teachers (N = 380) perceived equity in science instruction prior to the commencement of the science teaching methods course. The study aimed to elicit and describe how the pre-service elementary teachers defined equity in science instruction and how they planned to incorporate equity into their future science teaching practices. Pre-service elementary teachers’ responses to a six open-ended question survey served as the data. Inductive thematic analysis of data indicated that pre-service elementary teachers’ in this study held alternative conceptions about equity in science education: One-third of pre-service teachers understood equity as providing appropriate access and support based on students’ needs. Another one-third defined equity as providing identical teaching approaches and resources to all students regardless of their dominant (predominantly White) or nondominant (predominantly racially/ethnically, culturally, socioeconomically, and linguistically diverse) backgrounds. One important implication is the need for pre-service teachers to understand that opportunity gaps in science education between dominant students and nondominant students is dependent on building their knowledge of what is equity and what is equitable science instruction. It is imperative that pre-service teachers understand their knowledge plays a pertinent and critical role in framing the issue of the opportunity gaps between dominant and nondominant students. Another implication is the need for science teacher educators to create opportunities for their pre-service teachers to identify their own cultural backgrounds as well as to critically and continuously reflect on their own biases and prejudices towards nondominant students who come from diverse backgrounds.

Paper #10038: Compare Synchronous and Asynchronous Interaction for Online Science Teacher Preparation

Principal Author: Jianlan Wang, Texas Tech University
Co-Authors: Yuanhua Wang, West Virginia University


Online teacher education is an important alternative in response to the problem of teacher shortage. The format of interaction is critical in leveraging social and intellectual connection between learners. Yet, few studies have examined this issue in online teacher preparation. In this study, we examined two commonly used interactional formats that are synchronous and asynchronous interaction. We separated 145 pre-service science teachers into four groups experiencing face-to-face interaction (G1), synchronous interaction through online meetings (G2), asynchronous interaction through online forum (G3), and individual work without interaction (G4). The four groups received the same curriculum and the impact of instructors on peer interaction was controlled. We compared pre-service teachers’ social and cognitive presences and their science teaching using the 5E model between the four groups. The results show that the two groups with synchronous interaction (G1 and G2) outperformed the one with asynchronous interaction (G3) and no interaction (G4) in social presence, cognitive presence, and science teaching. Pearson correlation data suggest that the participants’ social presence correlated largely with cognitive presence and their teaching practice to some extent. However, cognitive presence correlated poorly with the teaching practice. The findings provide empirical evidence supporting the importance of interaction in online instruction. Synchronicity was positively related to the pre-service teachers’ connection to peers in the learning community, which entailed better interaction with content but might not necessarily promote their cognitive learning outcome. Implications for online teacher preparation were also discussed.

Paper #10037: Beyond the city lights: Resiliency of secondary science teachers in rural schools.

Principal Author: Beverly DeVore-Wedding, Adams State University


Recruitment and retention concerns for teachers, particularly in rural school districts and in science, fill the daily news and research literature. The shortage of STEM workers is also another concern as well. Then why do nationally recognized secondary science teachers remain in rural schools with lower salaries, increased responsibilities beyond teaching content, and multi-preparations, stay in those schools?  How do they overcome challenges in their schools?

This multiple case study focuses on the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) awardees who have taught secondary science in rural school districts 10 years or more. Eight rural PAEMST high school science teachers were identified in Nebraska and the six contiguous states; four consented to participate in this study. Interviews of these teachers and a colleague, principal, and or students were conducted to answer the questions.

Using a lens of resiliency, similarities were identified that show how these teachers overcome adversity and thrived in their rural schools and communities. These characteristics and strategies may help schools with their recruitment and retention of teachers as well as teachers themselves benefiting from hearing other teachers’ stories of success and longevity.

Paper #11007: Developing a Geospatial Technologies Focused Professional Development to Promote Interdisciplinary Approaches in STEM Education

Principal Author: Matt Reynolds, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Soonhye Park, North Carolina State University; Eric Money, North Carolina State University; Kyle Bunds, North Carolina State University


Spatial thinking has been shown to be necessary for success in science education and is required by many 21st-century STEM careers. Geospatial technologies (GST) have been widely advocated in K-12 education as a vehicle for improving spatial thinking skills and problem-solving skills; however, without proper training teachers’ often lack the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to integrate GST in their classroom (Moore et al., 2016). This study aimed to design and pilot a systematic, intensive 4-day professional development (PD) for teachers from high-need middle and high schools to develop the competency required to integrate GST into their classrooms. In particular, through the PD, we intended to improve: (a) teachers’ knowledge of GST, (b) geospatial thinking skills, (c) self-efficacy in integrating GST into their curriculum, and (d) ability to effectively plan and implement GST-integrated lessons. At the conclusion of the GST-focused PD, teachers reported higher efficacy with the use of assorted GSTs to teach STEM curriculum and described being able to decide how best to apply various options to meet their pedagogical goals. This GST-focused PD demonstrates the tremendous potential of GST to engage students in learning core science concepts and other STEM-related issues.

Paper #11006: An Exploratory Study of Middle School Students’ Motivation in Science between Korea and the USA: Focused on STEM Education Program

Principal Author: Hyundong Lee, Daegu National University of Education
Co-Authors: Hyonyong Lee, Kyungpook National University; Jaedon Jeon, Kyungpook National University


This exploratory study is aimed at exploring the validity of the Science Motivation Questionnaire (SMQ) items, which were developed for university students, to measure the science motivation of middle school students and to analyze the gender and country differences among the factors of SMQ. A total of 371 students participated in this study: 171 middle school students from the USA and 200 secondary students from Korea. All participants were enrolled in the STEM program and activities in Utah, USA (for US students) and at a Korean university institute for gifted and talented students (for Korean students). In this study, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and latent mean analysis were used to analyze the gender and country differences. The results indicated that the 25 items of SMQ scale were theoretically meaningful and valid for middle school students. The latent mean difference by gender indicated that male students have higher intrinsic motivation, career motivation, grade motivation, and self-determination than female students. Moreover, a significant difference exists in these factors between the two countries. Further findings reveal that Korean students were higher than US students in terms of the aforementioned factors. This study will provide significant insights into and contribution to science motivation issues in STEM education and the development of design-based engineering programs.

Paper #10036: Development of NOS PCK During a NOS Course

Principal Author: Jerrid Kruse, Drake University
Co-Authors: Sarah Voss, Drake University; Isaiah Kent-Schneider, Drake University; Renald Daemicke, Drake University


While having students read, write, think and act like scientists is a worthy goal, the nature of science (NOS) asks students to think metacognitively about these practices (Abd-El-Khalick, 2013) so that they develop an understanding of “what science is, how it works…how scientists operate as a social group and how society itself both influences and reacts to scientific endeavors.” (Clough, 2006, p. 463). Despite the importance of understanding NOS concepts in many aspects of students’ lives (Sinatra and Southerland, 2003, Herman, 2018), teachers struggle to implement research-based NOS instruction ,for example, struggling to use explicit and reflective NOS questions. 


Students’ understanding of NOS and how to teach it were assessed through CoRe documents and interviews. Using a rubric adapted from Lee et. al. (2007), students were scored in nine categories that represented their knowledge of NOS ideas and teaching practices. Students were scored on their knowledge four times at regular intervals throughout the semester. During the first interval, between the pretest and time 1, students were taught NOS content. During the second interval, students were taught about how to teach NOS with learning theory-informed strategies (e.g. explicit & reflective). During the final interval, students engaged in a practicum teaching experience where they taught NOS to K-12 students.


Students’ median CoRe scores for each topic increased across categories of the Family Resemblance NOS model (Dagher and Erduran, 2016). Besides the general increases from time 1 to time 4 one to four, radial graphs allowed some patterns to be noted. Initially, students’ NOS understandings became more intricate and descriptive but CoRe scores did not show large median growth until time 3. This finding illustrates that NOS pedagogy must be explicitly taught. Finally, the PCK construct, knowledge of student understanding, jumped at time 4 aligning with a practicum teaching experience thus showing the importance of such experiences for pre-service teachers’ NOS PCK.

Paper #10035: What is a STEM Career?: STEM Teachers’ Conceptions of STEM Careers

Principal Author: Shannon L.. Navy, Kent State University
Co-Authors: Anna Gjurkovitsch, Kent State University; Jennifer Heisler, Kent State University; Jeffrey Papa, Kent State University


STEM is at the forefront of many educational initiatives. There are many pushes for creating an innovative STEM workforce as this is often linked with a country’s economic success. However, little is known about if and how knowledge of STEM careers is embedded in K-12 education. Teachers of STEM subjects have important roles to educate students about STEM careers. Yet, it is not known how STEM teachers conceptualize STEM careers and if they include knowledge of STEM careers in their instruction. This study surveyed and interviewed STEM teachers across the United States to understand their knowledge, perceptions, and views of STEM careers. Quantitative analysis of the survey data revealed there is much variation to how teachers categorize careers as STEM or not. Qualitative analysis of the interview data indicated that people and prior experiences are the greatest influences on STEM teachers’ understandings of STEM careers. In addition, the teachers perceived benefits and drawbacks of including knowledge of STEM careers in their instruction. This study suggests that science teacher educators need to ensure that STEM careers are included in preservice teachers’ preparation, STEM teachers need to consider embedding STEM careers into their instruction, and administrators need to support teachers who wish to include this as a component to their curriculum.   

Paper #10034: Impact of historical science stories on post-secondary biology students’ NOS understanding and attitudes toward science

Principal Author: Michael P. Clough, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Benjamin C. Herman, Texas A&M University; Alex J. Sobotka, Texas A&M University; Alister R. Olson, Texas A&M University


Accurately portraying the nature of science (NOS) has been a longstanding goal of science education. However, achieving this end remains an elusive and vexing problem. The reasons for this are varied, but minimal standards set by governments for earning a science teaching license along with most universities’ unwillingness to go beyond those minimal standards are largely to blame for poorly prepared science teachers who have little chance to effectively promote accurate NOS understanding. To alleviate these and other obstacles and assist teachers in making accurate NOS instruction a more common part of science instruction, with United States National Science Foundation funding, a project titled The Story Behind the Science: Bring science and scientists to life was launched. This Project has produced thirty short (4-6 pages) historical stories that address the development and acceptance of fundamental science ideas in astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics.

We conducted a study to determine the impact of five historical stories on students in a large introductory post-secondary majors biology course at a research-extensive university in the upper Midwest. The research questions that framed this study are:

  1. What effect, if any, do five historical short stories implemented in a post-secondary majors biology class have on students’ understanding of the nature of science?
  2. What are the perceptions of post-secondary biology students toward:

      a)   historical science stories containing embedded NOS questions and comments?

      b)   the goal of understanding the nature of science?

The results of this study were positive regarding the value of implementing historical short stories in the setting where the study took place. The short stories had meaningful positive impacts on students’ understanding of the NOS, interest in science careers, and interest in science content. The kind of stories implemented in this study appear to be a viable way to improve university students’ understanding of the NOS and interest in science.

Paper #10033: Learning from contrasts: Productive reflection by a preservice science teacher inspired by multiple field placements

Principal Author: Hong H.. Tran, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Daniel K.. Capps, University of Georgia


Supporting preservice science teachers (PSTs) in becoming reflective practitioners has been an important aim of teacher education programs. The idea that supporting PSTs in reflecting on teaching and learning experiences can promote continued growth and development through induction and beyond is quite powerful. This study examined the experience of a PST during a semester-long field placement. The PST was placed with three practicing teachers who were enacting the same set of instructional resources in their classrooms. We used a qualitative approach consisting of analysis of reflective journal entries to investigate the nature and change of the PST’s reflective comments throughout the semester. We looked for evidence that reflection may have resulted from contrasts the PST observed during her placements. Results indicate that growth in views on managing learning environments was supported by the PST contrasting instructional guidance in multiple placements and through the act of teaching. Results highlight the potential benefit of designing learning experiences that contrast key ideas we would like PSTs to focus on that might otherwise get lost in the noise of an early field experience.

Paper #10032: A Multiple Case Study: Insights into Integrated STEM Teacher Preparation Programs

Principal Author: Joleen L. Henning, Drake University
Co-Authors: Jerrid Kruse, Drake University


New teacher credentialing programs in STEM have been esteemed as an answer to increasing both preservice and inservice teacher’s ability to offer more effective STEM content and practices in the K-12 classrooms (Weld, 2017). This research session will focus on 3 aspects of STEM teacher credentialing programs in Iowa: 1) What current  STEM teacher education faculty know and perceive about STEM education?, 2) The common and differing structures of the STEM credentialing programs between the Iowa institutions, and 3) How STEM teacher education faculty are actually planning, teaching and assessing their programs – what do they  plan for preservice teacher learning focused on STEM integration? How do they carry out these plans and assess the plans that attempt to effectively prepare future STEM ed teachers? This study used a constructivist lens and case study methodology allowing the researcher to develop an in-depth understanding of preservice STEM teacher credential programs in Iowa. The participants were faculty who are teaching and running the STEM teacher credentialing programs in Iowa. The data collected included semi-structured interviews, a faculty survey on demographics and STEM education knowledge/perceptions, and documents from science/STEM methods course. The results of this research is based on provisional coding and pattern identification across institutions for all transcribed interviews, document analysis and survey results. Trustworthiness of the findings were done by member checking interviews transcription and triangulation of interviews with survey and documents. Participant quotes will be used to help attendees understand key findings and recommendations for STEM teacher education.

Paper #10031: Endeavor STEM Teaching Fellowship & Regeneron: Two Programs, One Experience

Principal Author: Rashida Robinson, Teachers College, Columbia University
Co-Authors: Felicia Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University; Charlemya Erasme, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth


In this study, we were interested in ascertaining the experience of science teachers who participated in a STEM Certificate Program. STEM Fellows from three cohorts, between 2016 and 2019, were invited to participate in this study via an online survey/questionnaire, an individual interview conducted using Zoom, and existing data and artifacts (Fellow’s assignments from course work and research/laboratory projects with scientists). Thirteen K-12 teachers participated in semi-structured interviews. The interview questions were based on participant experiences and backgrounds. The transcripts from these interviews were subsequently coded and analyzed for emergent patterns and organized according to recurring themes for each participant. A comparative analysis was then done by looking for patterns and larger themes across the thirteen participants, which allowed for the grouping and categorizing of the data into specific themes. The research team also interviewed the Project Director, analyzed the transcript, and used it to supplement the primary interview data from the thirteen STEM Fellows.  From the comparative analysis a few themes emerged: the high quality of the program; the value of working with like-minded STEM teachers and learning from practicing scientists; the applicability of content and laboratory skills to the classroom; and the expansion of science content knowledge. Implications are discussed in terms of recommendations for improving each program and making the collective experience more meaningful. The findings and recommendations address the broader impact of the two programs for STEM education in terms of continual teacher learning among teachers and the teacher-scientist relationship.

Paper #14001: What I did – What I learned: Discursive resources students use to communicate ‘practice’ and ‘content’

Principal Author: Molly H. Weinburgh, Texas Christian University
Co-Authors: Cecilia Silva, Texas Christian Univesity; Kathy H. Smith, Tarleton State University; Callie Price, Texas Christian University; Daniella Biffi, Texas Christian University; Monica Amyett, Texas Christian University; Toni Domino, Texas Christian University


The three papers present research conducted with emergent multilingual learners (EMLs) engaged in a 16-day summer program. The study is based on the argument that the language of science is a hybrid of the modes of natural language, mathematical expressions, visual representations, and manual-technical operations. Data were the EMLs’ written entries from a graphic organizer (What I Did-What I Learned [WID-WIL]). We analyzed how EMLs used  hybrid language to communicate within a summative writing task (WID) to describe their ‘doing’ and a reflective writing task (WIL) to outline their ‘knowing’. Three of the four modes were utilized by EMLs. Due to the nature of the task, they used natural language, incorporating mathematical expressions, while describing manual-technical operations.


Paper 1 describes the teaching philosophy for the summer program and setting for research. To avoid lexical and grammatical features acting as barriers that obstruct students’ real understandings, the instructors invited students to focus solely on communicating. Thus, allowing “linguistic flexibility”. Manual-technical operations were found only under the WID prompt with the most common code being ‘set-up’.

Paper 2 describes how EMLs used natural language as a discursive resource. As expected, students used features from summative and reflective writing for the WID and WIL, respectively. The prominent feature of the WID was ‘procedure’ and the one on the WIL was ‘cause/effect’. Both prompts elicit the use of new academic words.

Paper 3 describes the findings related to mathematical expressions as a way to communicate scientific practice and understanding. EMLs primarily used typological language in WID and WIL. Topological language was also commonly expressed in WID, while rarely used in WIL. Mathematics was communicated more often in procedural steps of the investigation, rather than central to supporting scientific findings.

Each paper concludes with the implications for science teacher educators and suggestions for further research.

Paper #16003: A Maker Rubric for STEM Learning Environments

Principal Author: Shelly R.. Rodriguez, The University of Texas, Austin
Co-Authors: Shaunna Smith, The University of Hawai'i - Manoa


Making is an iterative process of designing, building, tinkering, and problem-solving resulting in the creation of personally meaningful artifacts. As an educational tool, making provides a way to learn, apply, and display knowledge. The use of making as an approach to science education has been recognized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as having the potential to broaden participation in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) while also fostering innovation and increasing student retention (National Science Foundation, 2017). However, for school-based making to thrive, teachers need support in learning to foster the agency of their students, promote active participation, and leverage the cultural resources of the classroom (Bevan, 2017). Thus, more must be done to prepare future STEM classroom teachers to implement maker practices. This proposal provides an introduction to a maker-centered lesson rubric and unpacks its uses in STEM learning environments. The presentation will include a discussion of the theoretical frameworks that informed rubric development as well as a review of how the rubric has been used as both a design tool and as an assessment tool with STEM teachers. Attendees of this session can expect to explore making as an educational framework and consider the utility of a maker rubric in supporting innovative teaching. The presentation will provide practical tools and lessons learned. The session will be of significance for those interested in maker education and its integration with STEM instruction in schools.

Paper #11004: Nature of Science Meets Scientific Literacy Axiology

Principal Author: Chris Pavlovich, Montana State University




National science education reforms are directed at scientific literacy, a complex concept requiring multidimensional transformations. The definition of Scientific Literacy has been long debated by multiple stakeholders. What does it look like to be scientifically literate, and how do educators support this growth in students? 

Reform documents simultaneously target the form and function of science education. Form and function is altered in multiple dimensions; the what, why, and how of science have become central to pedagogy and student performance. This is a complex overhaul of massive proportions in which to measure success or progress. How can science educators make meaning of this for classroom practices?

This poster session identifies dimensions within the literature of Scientific Literacy and compares it to reform documents and national survey tools. The results suggest a multidimensional approach to pedagogy and scientific literacy simultaneously. This poster streamlines these distinctions in terms of science learners and teachers.

Paper #10030: Exploring Positionality of Science TAs Through Conceptualizations of Equity and Social Justice

Principal Author: Katherine Seol, Teachers College at Columbia University
Co-Authors: Anna Ghurbanyan, Columbia University; Felicia Moore. Mensah, Teachers College at Columbia University


Throughout institutions across the nation, undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants (TAs) are increasingly involved in teaching undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. Yet, TA education or preparation lacks the kind of substantive pedagogical and professional development (PD) embedded in generally in teacher education programs. Following a discussion of the research on teaching assistant training, social justice for science education, and science teacher identity, this qualitative study examines the individual identities, perceptions, and experiences of nine teaching assistants at an urban university in the Northeast United States. The unique positional identity of each teaching assistant is used to situate their respective personal experiences of inequality and bias in STEM as well as their views or orientation toward social justice. The purpose of this study was to reveal the intersection of key social markers in the learning and teaching of science in a university context and provide directions for future research. Ultimately, we hope to contribute to the science education research on the narratives impacting students and teachers across science education contexts and ways to improve the quality of teacher education and TA PD programs.

Keywords: teaching assistant development, social justice, STEM education, science teacher identity


Paper #10029: Why are Rabbits not Rodents? Student-Scientist-Teacher Partnerships as a Model for Early Childhood Classrooms to Experience the NGSS Practices

Principal Author: Donna L. Farland-Smith, The Ohio State University
Co-Authors: Sarah McClusky, Ohio Northern University


The purpose of this research was to assess student-scientist-teacher interactions in an early childhood setting. This presentation/paper focuses on the language and interactions of a visiting scientist and a group of second-grade students (N=18). Overall, the observations of the interactions among the second-grade students and the visiting scientist revealed all eight of the NGSS practices and their applications to the elementary curriculum, over the course of a year. The rich dialogue between the students and scientist exposed students to content not normally in mainstream curricula provided evidence as to how the NGSS practices are socially constructed in the elementary classroom. Also relevant in this study is the instructional strategies implemented by the visiting scientist which engaged the elementary students: 1) the consistent use of productive questions, 2) engaging students in what the visiting scientist called “the powers of observation” 3) explicit instruction of academic and discipline-specific vocabulary 4) consistent and ongoing use of formative and summative assessment strategies.  In other words, the student-scientist-teacher partnership in the early childhood classroom in this particular study was an effective model for students to experience the NGSS practices and the partnership allowed the students, scientist, and teacher to learn new information through the co-construction of knowledge.    

Paper #10028: Influence of COVID-19 Science Perceptions and Sociocultural Membership on University Biology Students’ Pandemic Decisions

Principal Author: Benjamin C. Herman, Texas A&M University
Co-Authors: Michael Clough, Texas A&M University; Asha Rao, Texas A&M University; Joanne Olson, Texas A&M University; Alex Sobotka, Texas A&M University; Alister Olson, Texas A&M University; Sarah Poor, Texas A&M University


A longstanding goal in science education is to prepare people to effectively make decisions about socioscientific issues (SSI) that will promote individual, societal, and environmental well-being. The COVID-19 pandemic presents a crucial SSI research and education context as citizens are being asked to accept and act on scientific knowledge that is both well-established and developing during this crisis. Like all SSI, the COVID-19 pandemic requires decisions that: are often perceived as contentious; should involve scientific knowledge; may invoke pseudoscientific thinking; entail ethical considerations; and vary across social groups. Understanding the factors impacting peoples’ COVID-19 decisions will facilitate science teaching efforts that prepare students to efficaciously respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This investigation determined how perceptions about COVID-19 science and sociocultural group membership associate with 569 university biology students’: 1) COVID-19 behaviors after significant pandemic related events (e.g., government imposed stay at home orders); and 2) beliefs about future societal COVID-19 responses. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses demonstrate that 22% of the variability in the students’ COVID-19 mitigating actions after stay at home orders are accounted for by, in order of importance: COVID-19 knowledge, political orientation, personal responsibility to mitigate COVID-19, gender, and beliefs about COVID-19 model use to guide policy. Similar analyses revealed that 39% of the variability in the students’ beliefs about societal-wide COVID-19 mitigating measures going forward are predicted by political orientation, COVID-19 knowledge, personal responsibility to mitigate COVID-19, beliefs that economic concerns be considered during pandemic responses, and beliefs about COVID-19 model use for policy. Pedagogical recommendations include asking students to analyze how theirs and others’ sociocultural membership, personal biases and perceptions about science influence how they engage with and make choices about SSI such as COVID-19.

Paper #10027: A Study of Student-to-student Conversations in Secondary School Physical Science Classroom

Principal Author: Jennifer F. Oramous, University of Arkansas


This qualitative exploratory case study will define productive conversation and then analyze student conversations in physical science classrooms to determine what aspects and patterns of student-student conversation play a critical role in students’ ability to co-construct knowledge. Current literature will be discussed along with the definitions of productive conversation and the use of argumentation in the classroom. The method of the study is Conversation Analysis (CA), which will show some patterns in productive and unproductive conversations.

Results showed that the dominant pattern of interaction was (open-chain) pattern which exclude the final evaluative statement like the closed-chain and IRE patterns have. The secondary interaction was (closed-chain), but there was very little triadic patterns within the student discussions. A comparison of the talkative group and the less talkative group showed a (similar pattern just fewer conversations in the same amount of time).

Paper #10026: Persistence, Grit, and Perseverance in STEM Education

Principal Author: Richard L. Lamb, East Carolina University Neurocognition Science Laboratory
Co-Authors: Douglas Hoston, East Carolina University Neurocognition Science Laboratory; Leonard Annetta, East Carolina University; Denise Bessler, East Carolina University; Alison Crowe, East Carolina University


Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has occupied a significant place in education research and in the popular media due to its perceived importance (Kang, Keinonen, & Salonen, 2019). Despite this level of importance multiple issues exist in attempts to reduce attrition and maintain the progression of minoritized students through STEM courses into STEM career fields. Historically underrepresented students in STEM  disciplines often experience biopsychosocial pressures in the form of academic pressures (AP) and social pressures (SP) resulting from demands to show persistence, grit, and perseverance (PGP) which can result in the development of latent trauma and cumulative stress. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of increased demands for PGP within STEM learning environments as identified through measures of cumulative stress and trauma. A framework through which to examine increased demands to persist is known as ‘John Heneryism’. Results illustrate a complex positive feedback loop between existing allostatic load, existing psychosocial pressures, PGP, John Henryism, and cumulative stress and latent trauma. This suggests that in combating allostasis and  existing psychosocial pressures there is a requirement to mitigate the negative effects of PGP. Mitigation would require the presence of highly coordinated efforts covered not just by science educators but other supports. The following ASTE members will be interested in this presentation: science educators at all levels, educational researchers, and methods instructors. This study helps to bridge our understanding of how PGP in STEM disciplines influence socio-emotional wellbeing for our students. This study also discusses how we may be able to structure supports in the classroom at all levels of science education to support our most vulnerable students.

Paper #10025: Investigating Engagement and Flow With A Placed-based Immersive Virtual Reality Game

Principal Author: Alec Bodzin, Lehigh University
Co-Authors: Robson Araujo Junior, Lehigh University; Thomas Hammond, Lehigh University; David Anastasio, Lehigh University


An immersive Virtual Reality (iVR) game for high school students to learn about locations in their watershed with a primary focus on their city was designed and developed, employing a design model that focuses on flow. An exploratory study with the iVR prototype game was conducted in an urban school in the eastern USA with 57 adolescents ages 16-18 from a population that is economically disadvantaged with high numbers of transients, English language learners and other students who are typically unengaged in traditional school-based learning environments. After game completion, the participants completed a 10-item survey measuring elements of flow and a 12-item survey designed to measure perceptions toward learning with VR games, immersion and presence. Participant focus groups were conducted with an emphasis on features that promoted engagement, learning, immersion and presence. The findings revealed that all students experienced a flow state when they played the iVR learning game. Almost all users (98.1%) had positive attitudes towards using the iVR game. Students experienced high immersion and presence. In addition, students had favorable attitudes towards learning with iVR games in school environments.

Paper #10024: An International Perspective on Policy Drivers Impacting Science Teacher Education

Principal Author: William R.. Veal, College of Charleston
Co-Authors: Patricia D.. Morrell, University of Queensland; Meredith A.. Park Rogers, Indiana University; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota; Eric J. Pyle




The purpose of this study is to examine the policies and influences on science teacher preparation in different countries. A neoliberal framework dictates that multiple governmental and external factors are responsible for influencing education. For science teacher preparation (STP), the policy decisions can be based upon advancement of the country by improving the economy through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Seventeen science teacher education academics were interviewed via Zoom to explore science teacher preparation standards, accreditation processes, and impacts on tertiary programs in different countries. Each conversational interview followed a semi-structured format focusing on understanding the policies that govern STP in each country and how these policies influence the structure of the various institutions’ science teacher preparation programs.  While the K-12 curriculum may reflect a nationalistic perspective, STP doesn’t respond as quickly to the changing K-12 classroom situation. Often individual science methods instructors are given broad guidelines for success that are fitted into a science focused curriculum. Data analysis suggests that some a priori themes found in the literature were supported. For example, a series of dyads representing the opposite ends of spectra (e.g., nationalism and internationalism or traditionalism and modernization) were found to exist and influence STP in some countries, but not all. Most of the developing economy countries in this study focused their educational values on primary education and the ability of children to read, write, and develop 21st century skills. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers and planning were not evident. In conclusion, due to the policies dictated by changing government entities and the desire to improve a country’s economy or place in the world, STP cannot be viewed as an isolated set of requirements or standards. 

Paper #10022: How Pre-service and In-service Elementary Teachers Engage Student Avatars in Scientific Argumentation within a Simulated Classroom Environment

Principal Author: Jamie N. Mikeska, ETS
Co-Authors: Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue, Towson University


Engaging students in productive scientific argumentation is one of the hallmarks of high-quality science instruction. However, productive scientific argumentation is complex and difficult to learn how to do well. To date, only a few studies have investigated the ways in which science teachers across the professional continuum (from novice to more experienced teachers) facilitate scientific argumentation. In this research study, we examined how one performance task coupled with an online, simulated classroom environment consisting of five upper elementary student avatars could be used to provide opportunities for elementary pre-service teachers (PSTs) and in-service teachers (ISTs) to practice facilitating argumentation-focused discussions. The overall purpose of this study was to examine similarities and differences in how PSTs and ISTs engage student avatars in scientific argumentation during a small group discussion. Findings showed that most of the PSTs and ISTs provided opportunities for students to engage in both argument construction and critique during these discussions. When compared with the PSTs, the ISTs provided more extensive opportunities for students to engage in both components of scientific argumentation, and this contrast was most pronounced for argument critique. In addition, findings show that the ISTs were more likely to engage the students in both argument construction and critique simultaneously, which suggest ISTs were better able to integrate these aspects of scientific argumentation during these discussions. Finally, the ISTs used a wider variety of teaching moves more frequently during these discussions to prompt student engagement in argument construction and argument critique. Overall, this study provides an opportunity to better understand the nature of the teaching moves that elementary teachers use to support students’ engagement in scientific argumentation and the ways in which these moves may potentially transform or build across the professional teaching continuum.

Paper #10021: Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Nature of Science Development among Science Education Doctoral Students

Principal Author: Andrea Phillips, Indiana University
Co-Authors: Jessica McClain, Indiana University; Shukufe Rahman, Indiana University; Claire Cesljarev, Indiana University; Qiu Zhong, Indiana University; Conghui Liu, Indiana University; Tulana Ariyaratne, Indiana University; Valarie Akerson, Indiana University


Research on Nature of Science (NOS) conceptions and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for NOS contains a gap in the realm of examining doctoral students aiming to be teacher educators. This research examines the development of PCK for NOS development of participants in a course focused on the philosophy and research around NOS. The data analyzed for this study was recordings of discussions taking place during class. These recordings were analyzed for development of five components of PCK for NOS. Findings show substantial development in NOS orientations and instructional strategies for NOS, and the beginnings of PCK development for NOS assessment, NOS curriculum, and knowledge of students as NOS learners. Knowledge of NOS instructional strategies showed substantial development as much of the research read and discussed as a part of the course dealt with the need for explicit-reflective NOS instruction, and related strategies to achieve this goal. NOS orientations increased substantially–participants went from having little awareness of NOS to valuing it as a major outcome of science education. This research is of interest to the ASTE membership as it provides a better understanding of the NOS understandings and PCK for NOS among science education doctoral students whose responsibility it is to introduce NOS and NOS instruction to their future students in teacher education programs.

Paper #11003: Bringing the Crosscutting Concepts to the Foreground of a Science Content Course for Elementary Education Majors: Initial Development

Principal Author: Robert B. Marsteller, Wesley College


The Next Generation Science Standards are the culmination of an effort to reform K-12 science education.  The NGSS are structured around performance expectations and three interrelated dimensions of learning: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts (NGSS Lead States, 2013).  However, the crosscutting concepts have not been addressed in either curriculum design or research literature as thoroughly as the other two dimensions (Fulmer, et al., 2018).  It is likely that the crosscutting concepts represent the most novel aspect of the NGSS and are therefore unfamiliar to teachers and students alike.  A lack of familiarity with this approach to organizing scientific knowledge is an impediment to implementation.  Additionally, many assessment methods have not attempted disambiguate understandings of the cross cutting concepts relative to the other learning dimensions (Fick, Arias, & Black, 2017; Fortas et al., 2018; Li, Wesiner, Lee, & Rivet, 2017; National Research Council, 2014; Windschitl & Stroupe, 2017).  It is therefore necessary to increase familiarity of the crosscutting concepts within the developing teacher workforce and to develop methods of assessment that adequately capture the development of those understandings.  To that end an undergraduate science content course for elementary education majors has been redesigned to prioritize the crosscutting concepts and to concurrently develop an appropriate assessment system.  Discoveries from the redesign and development process will be presented, as well as some initial data.

Paper #16002: Nature notebooks during a pandemic

Principal Author: Jennifer Kreps. Frisch, University of Minnesota Duluth


We are anxious, and so are our students. It is not safe to be in the classroom, and that makes it difficult to teach teachers. In our role as science teacher educators, we have to think about how an understanding (or lack of understanding) of science is affecting our communities and our students, and so the pandemic has reinforced our commitment to finding ways to guide future teachers to not only understand how science is done, but also to connect to science by participating in it. In addition, we have to acknowledge the anxiety of our time, and help our future teachers cope with an uncertain future. We know that being outdoors can be safer, and that some of the things we do outdoors (walking, meditating, appreciating beauty) can enhance wellness. In order to restructure a science methods course to go online, while also considering our teacher candidates’ safety and wellness, a semester-long nature notebook assignment was constructed. This assignment, including its structure, aims, and formative and summative assessments, will be shared and discussed in the roundtable.

Paper #10020: Describing the Affordances of Emerging Technologies for Diverse Learners: An Embedded Case Study of Science Learning with 3D, haptic, VR among Students with ADHD

Principal Author: Rebecca Hite, Texas Tech University
Co-Authors: Gina Childers, Texas Tech University; Gail Jones, North Carolina State University


Three dimensional (3D), haptic, and virtual reality (VR) technologies provide student-directed opportunities to investigate and learn about scientific phenomena. Comprised of both hardware and software elements, 3D, haptic, VR (herein emerging) technologies induce a psychological state of virtual presence within the computer-constructed world, consisting of the user’s perceptions of control, sensory engagement, perceived realism, and attention. However, the bulk of research on emerging technologies as instructional tools in K-12 science focuses on neurotypical learners. It is unknown to the extent that neurodivergent learners experience the empirically-sourced affordances of virtual learning environments (VLEs) for science learning such as: zooming in and out of objects, spatial rotation and orientation, viewing abstract processes in real time using multiple representations of phenomena, among others. Therefore, this descriptive embedded case study sought to address this dearth in the literature of  neurodivergent students’ experiences with emerging technologies for learning science, using a platform that combines 3D haptic and VR technologies together (zSpace). Using field notes from three learning sessions, a final interview, and a pre- and post-content assessment on the human heart, we describe observed and reported aspects of virtual presence and affordances of emerging technologies from five middle grades students who have a diagnosis of ADHD. Utterances and observations were coded and frequency counts were calculated by constructs; content assessments were scored using a rubric and students’ performance was sorted by affordance. Students’ assessments evidenced gain scores in affordances of spatial rotation (+22) and viewing abstract processes (+7); no change for multiple representation; and loss scores in spatial orientation (-2), which largely mirrored what was observed and reported by students during zSpace sessions. This case study provides unique insight to the needs of neurodivergent learners in using emerging technologies for their science learning.

Paper #10019: A model to develop questioning and discussion techniques of pre-service science teachers

Principal Author: John Pecore, University of West Florida
Co-Authors: Tadlee Welty, University of West Florida; Minkyoung Kim, University of West Florida; Melissa Demetrikopoulos, Institute for Biomedical Philosophy


Effective questioning and discussion are fundamental yet challenging instructional skills for pre-service teachers to master. This presentation illustrates a model for providing pre-service teachers an online virtual learning simulation experience to practice teaching skills

Paper #10018: Using epistemic tools to support teacher PCK of controversial socio-scientific issues

Principal Author: Lynne M. Zummo, University of Utah
Co-Authors: Sara Dozier, Stanford University


Science denial is increasingly a problem in the US, and science education has an important role to play in reducing it (Darner, 2019). Instruction that is grounded in socioscientific issues (SSIs) and leverages epistemic tools offers a potential path to mitigating science denial (Owens et al., 2017). However, for such instruction to be effective, teachers must develop strong pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) around implementing epistemic tools for SSI learning. With these ideas, we designed and implemented a professional learning experience (PLE) for in-service high school science teachers to support development of PCK around using epistemic tools for teaching about climate change, a controversial SSI at the flashpoint of science denial in the US. This presentation describes the PLE and analyzes data collected as teachers participated in and then reflected on a climate change science learning sequence scaffolded by 3 different epistemic tools. Through qualitative coding of teacher artifacts and written reflections, we identified 3 main findings: 1) an epistemic tool for data analysis supported teachers’ sensemaking of primary scientific data sources; 2) an epistemic tool designed to foster social discourse and collaboration supported teachers in generating a pool of social knowledge that then became a resource teachers leveraged to develop scientific explanations; 3) an epistemic tool for claims evaluation supported metacognitive work and laid the foundation for development of PCK around climate science denial. This presentation has implications for the use of epistemic tools in teacher learning and the development of PCK related to controversial SSIs.


Paper #10017: Pandemic Science Methods Instruction: What Do Pre-Service Elementary Science Teachers Explore and Learn from Outdoor Excursion?

Principal Author: Sherri L. Brown, University of Louisville


With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s universities and colleges required online learning and shelter-in-place/stay-at-home protocols for the end of Spring 2020 semester. This new reality resulted in the fact that undergraduate elementary science methods students (SMSs) would not be able to continue to attend courses held in the Title 1 urban elementary professional development school (PDS); thus, March 3, 2020 was the last day that elementary SMSs met for a face-to-face course session. Moving immediately from a class environment where SMSs were co-planning and co-teaching science lessons in the PDS classrooms to an online learning environment was a challenge for all. This exploratory study discusses the use of various online learning management systems (LMSs), but specifically reports on 15 SMSs use of Flipgrid™ to explore and research their outdoor environments. Initial review of SMSs’ video experiences (n=30) supports the use of video technology to explore and capture outdoor environments during pandemic shelter-in-place conditions. Initial findings suggest purposeful observation and exploration of outdoor environments show increased awareness and content knowledge of local environments. Findings also suggest that continuing outdoor exploration and research experiences in face-to-face or online learning environments may increase future teacher’s abilities to conduct hands-on authentic science experiences with their future elementary students. A continuation of this pilot study will occur Fall 2020 where data collected will be analyzed and added to this study.

Paper #10016: Pre-service Elementary Teachers’ First-Time Science Teaching Experiences: A Phenomenological Study

Principal Author: Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North Texas
Co-Authors: Sumreen Asim, Indiana University Southeast


This presentation details a phenomenological study of 22 pre-service elementary teachers’ experiences of teaching science for the first time in a science teaching methods course. The research question guided this study: What is the essence of pre-service elementary teachers’ new lived experiences as they transition from teacher candidates to teacher candidates teaching science for the first time? Three themes emerged from the phenomenological analysis of data: (1) finding a space for teacher-centered instruction; (2) Reimaging the role of engagement and participation with scientific practices; and (3) Seeking a middle ground for science instruction. The essence of participants’ new lived experiences highlighted a pedagogically defined perspective, the competence, to guide future teaching. In tracking across the three experiences and linking these experiences together it was evident that the essence of participants’ experience of teaching science for the first time was about seeking and creating a personal operating system to capture the experience and package it as both knowledge-in-practice and knowledge-for-practice. The findings of this study calls for follow-up longitudinal studies of pre-service teachers’ experiences along the teacher professional continuum. That is, to study transitions within and long the professional continuum with a select cohort of pre-service teachers as they move along the continuum rather than just studying one aspect of the transition at one point within/along the professional continuum. It also calls to provide opportunities for pre-service teachers’ to engage in discourse about transitions rather than just a mere reflection on the transitions. The discourse centered on experience as it is subjectively lived informs the science teacher education community about the new meanings, like the development of teacher competence, that will help both science teacher educators and pre-service teachers to re-orient how to understand the new lived experiences and relate them to future science instruction.

Paper #11002: Professional Development for Postsecondary Science and Mathematics Faculty Developing Inclusive Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences

Principal Author: Rommel J.. Miranda, Towson University
Co-Authors: Laura Gough, Towson University; Matthew Hemm, Towson University; Trudymae Atuobi, Towson University; Christopher Oufiero, Towson University; Vanessa Beauchamp, Towson University


This HHMI-funded Inclusive Excellence professional development program presentation focuses on two overarching goals: 1) provide professional development for postsecondary science and mathematics faculty to promote effective inclusive teaching practices, and 2) reform science and mathematics laboratory courses to incorporate authentic research experiences via course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). This poster presentation can help to inform and guide postsecondary science and mathematics educators who are interested in developing course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), as well as creating a curriculum and support system that allows both traditional and non-traditional students, especially underrepresented students, to participate in authentic research projects and provide assistance in continuing research at the university and beyond graduation. This poster presentation can further help to inform and guide science education professional developers about innovative year-round inclusive professional development that is designed to help postsecondary science and mathematics faculty develop CUREs, their science and mathematics education approaches, and their inclusive pedagogical techniques.

Paper #10015: Climate Change, Marine Science and the NGSS: Planning Professional Development

Principal Author: Lauren Madden, The College of New Jersey
Co-Authors: Louise Ammentorp, The College of New Jersey; Nathan Magee, The College of New Jersey; Graceanne Taylor, Save Barnegat Bay


It is increasingly important that teachers feel adequately prepared to discuss climate change with their students as the effects of climate change become more and more apparent over time. Yet, research shows that teachers at the K-8 level are often underprepared in this area (Plutzer et al., 2016). Additionally, nearly all existing science curricula focus almost exclusively on the 1/3 of Earth's surface covered in land, rather than the 2/3 covered in water. Understanding marine environments is essential for building a comprehensive perspective on climate systems and climate change. Though the NGSS offer many opportunities for helping teachers address these needs, many K-8 teachers are not comfortable implementing these standards (Haag & Megowan, 2015; Harris et al., 2017). In an effort to better understand the current state of teachers’ understandings of climate change, marine science, and the effective use of the NGSS, in preparation for a professional development experience and curriculum modification, we surveyed preservice and practicing K-8 teachers (N= 164) and conducted a focus group discussion with a subset of 10 survey respondents. We used an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design approach (Cresswell & Clark, 2017), to analyze the data and describe the current state of K-8 teachers’ understanding of climate change, marine science, and use of the NGSS. We found that participants had a mixed level of comfort with their knowledge and ability to teach both climate change and marine science, but a high level of interest in learning more. They also shared strategies they were currently using to teach these topics. The participants also had a mixed level of confidence and comfort using the NGSS altogether. Our findings revealed the range of current understandings of climate change, marine science and the NGSS held by teachers in our state and will be used to inform our modification of [name withheld] curricular materials and creation of a series of professional development workshops to best meet these teachers’ needs.

Paper #10014: Preparing Teachers Online: Navigating Online Teaching for the First Time

Principal Author: Brent Gilles, University of West Georgia


Recently, faculty everywhere were thrust into the position of online teacher because of Covid-19. However, teacher preparation programs have undergone changes over the last decade in how they deliver their curriculum to preservice teachers. Online and hybrid courses have become more commonplace as full-time teachers earn advanced degrees or transition into teaching from another career field. The preparation of teacher educators to teach in these environments continues to lag. Studies are needed to explore the experiences of teacher educators trained in face-to-face pedagogy as they transition to nontraditional teaching methods, such as hybrid course design and implementation. The purpose of this self-study is to investigate my experience developing and implementing a hybrid course after only receiving training to teach face-to-face. Self-study methods were used to explore a hybrid science methods course and the students acted as secondary participants. The findings detail how my notion of engagement changed through the ways that the students identified their engagement in the course. It also revealed how the course design supported students to develop their identities as teachers. The implications for this study include the differing ways that hybrid and online courses should be designed to best engage students and how they support the development of students’ teacher identities.

Paper #10013: STEM Identity Authoring in Collaborative Intergenerational Partnerships

Principal Author: Laura Rodriguez, Eastern Connecticut State University
Co-Authors: Todd Campbell, University of Connecticut; David Moss, University of Connecticut; John Volin, University of Connecticut


Our research addresses the problem that many people lack opportunities to develop identification with STEM fields (i.e., science, technology, engineering, and math) especially underrepresented populations in STEM (e.g., females, Blacks, Hispanics). This multiple case study investigated STEM identity authoring in three intergenerational collaborative learning partnerships in an informal STEM program. Adults and high school teens were paired in two-day workshops to learn conservation science and geospatial technologies with the goal of designing and implementing community conservation projects and further developing their identification with STEM. Our research examined how the design and implementation of intergenerational projects provided opportunities for: (1) adults and teens to demonstrate competence in STEM knowledge and understandings, (2) adults and teens to participate in the performances of STEM practices, and (3) adults and teens to be recognized for their competence in knowledge and performances of STEM fields. Qualitative methods were used throughout. Data consisted of field observations of intergenerational partners followed by separate semi-structured interviews with each participant. Artifacts such as presentation posters, online maps and websites, educational materials (e.g., pamphlets and booklets), email, and forum posts were used as secondary data sources. Findings inform how formal and informal STEM education programs can foster identification with STEM fields and lead to increased participation in STEM pursuits throughout the lifespan. This work is needed due to the importance of STEM identification in learners of all ages and backgrounds for developing STEM literacy and agency in STEM pursuits. Those attending the program will gain insight into a novel informal STEM learning approach that shows promise for promoting STEM identification across the lifespan.

Paper #10012: Teaching Science Makes Me Nervous: Examining Science Teaching Emotions of Minority Elementary Pre-Service Teachers at an Urban University

Principal Author: Franklin S. Allaire, University of Houston-Downtown
Co-Authors: Patrick King, University of Houston-Downtown; Anne C. Frenzel, Ludwig Maximilians University


Research on content-related teacher emotions is emerging as a critical area of study given that positive and negative emotions are relevant for teachers’ well-being, the functioning of the classroom, and the quality of teaching.  Anecdotal evidence from elementary pre-service teachers shows that they tend to be nervous about teaching science.  Research suggests that strong emotions in connection with science teaching can be predictors of the quality of instruction as well as student performance.  In the present research, the researchers developed and used the Science Teacher Emotions Scales (Sci-TES) to measure three emotions considered most relevant in the context of science teaching: enjoyment, anger, and anxiety. The survey was deployed during the Spring and Fall 2019 semesters with elementary pre-service teachers (n=185) enrolled in Elementary Science Methods course sections.  Preliminary data has been promising. The scales show relatively high levels of anger and low levels of enjoyment for teaching science. However, the scales also show students with variable levels of anxiety.  This presentation provides an analysis of the data, preliminary conclusions, and recommendations for PST support and future research.

Paper #10011: Embracing STEM Culture: Characteristics of STEM Hub Sites

Principal Author: Katie Laux, Hillsborough County Public Schools


The purpose of this qualitative research study was to explore teacher and administrator perspectives on STEM education in order to determine the extent to which they are demonstrating characteristics of STEM in their schools. This was done as part of a larger study to determine the effectiveness of individual STEM Hub sites in order to determine how to best support these schools in my role as a district-level administrator. The STEM Hubs are groups of schools in geographically identifiable patterns inclusive of all grade level bands (elementary, middle, and high) that collaborate and learn together. Although there are 28 schools in the STEM Hub network, I focused on five elementary schools that are in the same geographic area. Data were collected through interviews with teachers and administrators and observational notes from meetings and other events. Interviews were recorded and transcribed and then coded to look for themes in the data. Findings indicate that teachers and administrators have positive views towards STEM education and being part of a STEM Hub and that characteristics of STEM are being represented in different ways.

Paper #10010: Authentic Science Investigations in a Virtual Science Methods Course

Principal Author: Judith Morrison, Washington State University Tri-Cities


It is important to prepare future elementary teachers so that they have an understanding of and experiences with scientific practices in order that their future elementary students will be authentically engaged in the practices of science. This can be accomplished by requiring preservice teachers (PSTs) in a science methods course to carry out their own investigations and experience the NGSS scientific practices such as asking questions, designing investigations, collecting data, and developing and communicating explanations, in an authentic context. In order to accomplish this, an assignment was developed for my elementary science methods course incorporating the NGSS practices; students engage in the NGSS practices by individually carrying out an authentic, long-term science investigation over the course of the semester. As the PSTs design and carry out the investigation completely on their on their own outside of class time, the assignment fits well into a methods class being offered virtually. To understand the impact of the assignment, I posed the following questions: what do PSTs learn about using the practices of science from this experience? and what do they predict they will implement in their future teaching relevant to authentic investigations? Findings from PSTs’ written work and presentations demonstrate their learning about science, the challenges they faced doing the assignment, and their predicted use of similar investigations in their future teaching. As science methods courses are designed for virtual delivery, this assignment will provide ideas for how PSTs can be involved in the NGSS science and engineering practices in a virtual class environment without meeting face-to-face. This presentation describes the various aspects of this assignment so that other teacher educators could replicate it in their work with preservice teachers and adapt it for use when teaching virtual methods courses.

Paper #10009: Exploring shifts and interactions between teacher and student attitudes during Maker projects in science

Principal Author: Douglas Ball, Utah State University
Co-Authors: Colby Tofel-Grehl, Utah State University; Kristin Searle, Utah State University


This paper shares findings from a study exploring science teacher engagement with Maker technologies within science classrooms from professional development to enactment. This paper explores the interaction between one teacher’s negative attitude and his students abilty to overcome it. Students persisted despite teacher discouragement to succeed. Findings indicate that resistant teachers will continue to resist professional learning even when presented with evidence from their own students. While students reported high levels of success and capability at navigating the challenges of Maker projects in their classrooms, the teacher in this case study resisted and failed to accurately examine evidence from his students. Implications for teacher educators include the value of making and strategies for supporting students in the face of poor teacher engagement.

Paper #10008: Making space: Exploring the affordances of making for LGBTQ+ rural youth

Principal Author: Colby Tofel-Grehl, Utah State University
Co-Authors: Kristin Searle, Utah State University; David Feldon, Utah State University; Beth MacDonald, Utah State University; Andrea Hawkman, Utah State University; Mario Suarez, Utah State University; Liam Fischback, Utah State University; Katie Lundell, Utah State University


While the affordances of making for various groups have been explored, little work exists that explores the affordances of making, and technology in particular, for supporting engagement and identity development for LBGTQ+ youth.  Particularly in rural places, where supports for LGBTQ+ youth are low and suicide rates are high, the transformative and disruptive nature of e-textiles for creating a novel opportunity for youth to engage in building both their sense of community and personal identity holds potential. This paper shares findings from a one week making camp for LGBTQ+ youth in rural Utah.  Findings indicate shifts in identity around both STEM and gender for youth as well as articulations of a sense of belonging.

Paper #16001: An Exploration of the Perceptions of Science Teaching Orientations of 5th Grade Science Teachers in the Context of Specialized Science Instruction

Principal Author: Roberta M. King, The George Washington University


Science instruction in elementary schools can be poorly defined, of low status, and taught by teachers with inadequate subject knowledge (Shulman, 2015). This confusion can lead to low teacher confidence, morale, and professional dissatisfaction which may contribute to high attrition rates and diminished value of science teaching and learning (Alliance for Excellence in Education, 2014; Johnson, 2006; MetLife, 2013). Research has been useful in defining and conceptualizing teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in science and how the construct of PCK supports the professional work of science teachers. This study aims to understand fifth grade science teachers’ orientations as they teach within an elementary science specialist (ESS) model. Using a new conceptualization of PCK, the model of teacher professional knowledge and skill to include PCK (TPK&S) (Gess-Newsome, 2015), this study will seek to understand the perceptions elementary science teachers have of their orientations within the specific context of the specialist science classroom. Teacher interview and observational data along with data collected from a card sort, documents, and artifacts is analyzed to identify the components of and influences on science teaching orientations. The aim of this research, using the lens of PCK, is to develop new understandings of the orientations of specialist elementary science teachers which may prove beneficial to inform school and district policy related to departmentalization at the elementary level, and to refine the TPK&S model for understanding the perspectives of elementary science teachers.

Paper #15001: Studying Global Climate Change and Human Impact through Study Abroad Experiences

Principal Author: Tammy D. Lee, East Carolina University
Co-Authors: Bonnie Glass, East Carolina University


The discipline of science education is uniquely suited for studying abroad. Options and opportunities abound; therefore, we designed experiences to equip both in-service and pre-service teachers with the science content knowledge and growth opportunities we feel only an immersive experience such as studying abroad can provide. We focused on issues of climate change and human impact. These topics are emphasized in science education at all grade-levels. Our study abroad courses allowed undergraduate and graduate science education students to compare the natural resources, biodiversity, and ecosystems of our state with two locations in the tropics, while also experiencing unique cultures and conservation efforts of local communities. Students in our programs are largely from our state and rarely have traveled abroad; therefore, in addition to providing a unique opportunity to study science concepts, studying abroad has provided students with a broader perspective on the world and our place in it. 

In our presentation we will discuss the two study abroad courses implemented over the last three years. These courses were designed to address the national call to better educate students on the causes, effects, and methods of mitigating climate change. Both courses use a systems thinking framework to explore different ecological areas using multiple perspectives. Teaching climate change with a systems thinking approach emphasizes the interactions and relationships between the Earth’s spheres (geosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere), focusing on the impacts on the ecological and biological systems. Both locations that we selected (Monteverde in Costa Rica, and areas of the Dominican Republic) have ecosystems that dramatically illustrate the effects of climate change. It is essential that teachers understand global climate change to make informed decisions about curriculum that emphasize the impact on societies and natural ecologies, both locally and globally.

Paper #10007: Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Nature of Science Rationale

Principal Author: Melanie E. Kinskey, Sam Houston State University


While the importance of developing preservice teachers’ views of nature of science (NOS) is understood throughout the science education community, extant literature reveals holding informed views of NOS does not always translate to successful NOS instruction. In addition to holding informed views, science teacher educators must also help preservice teachers understand why NOS instruction is important. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how following explicit, reflective NOS lessons in an elementary science methods course with field-based interactions with students, would influence elementary preservice teachers views of NOS and rationale for NOS instruction. Data sources included pre/post course responses to “What is science?”, Young Children’s Views of Science (YCVS) interview analysis and reflections, and science lesson plans with reflections focused on NOS teaching. Findings suggest a combination of developing informed views of NOS and reflecting upon elementary students’ understandings of NOS help preservice teachers recognize why NOS instruction is important, while also assisting them in identifying areas of improvement within their own NOS instruction. These findings have implications for how science teacher educators incorporate NOS into science methods courses.

Paper #10006: Routes to Goal Satisfaction: What Resources do Recent Graduates of a STEM Teacher Education Program Draw Upon to Satisfy Their Goals for Student Learning?

Principal Author: Todd L. Hutner, The University of Alabama


An important goal driving a teacher’s instructional practice is students learning content. A plethora of resources are at the disposal of science, and STEM, teachers to help them satisfy goals for student learning. Traditionally, these resources were supplied by schools and included supports such as textbooks, student handouts, calculators, and lab supplies Recently, websites such as Teachers-Pay-Teachers have provided resources aiding teachers in satisfying their goals for student learning. The purpose of this research is to more fully understand the resources that recent graduates of an integrated STEM education teacher education program draw upon to help satisfy their goals for student learning.

Data comes from 10 recent graduates of an integrated STEM teacher education program upon the successful completion of their student teaching experience.

There are three main findings in response to the research question. The first, and most interesting, finding surrounds not what resources the new teachers drew upon, but the resource that was absent—teacher education. Of the ten participants, only three planned to use a lesson they either wrote or participated in during their teacher education coursework. Moreover, the teachers rarely expressed an expectation to utilize the pedagogical knowledge they developed during their teacher education courses.

Second, participants indicated a heavy reliance on both teachers from their student teaching semester and the apprenticeship of observation as resources for satisfying student learning goals. Interestingly, none of the participants mentioned their future colleagues as potential social resources for achieving student learning goals.

Finally, there existed a tendency to rely on the internet as an important resource for satisfying their goals. Often, participants mentioned not knowing a specific lesson to enact in order to satisfy student learning goals but felt confident in their ability to find online resources to help satisfy their goals.

Implications for teacher education and for research will be presented.

Paper #10005: Using Science Notebooks to Focus on the Student and the Teacher Perspective in an Elementary Science Methods Course

Principal Author: Ingrid Carter, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Co-Authors: Valarie Akerson, Indiana University, Bloomington


Elementary science methods courses discuss a variety of topics within a one-semester course. Within the various topics discussed, we focused this study on the use of notebooks in an elementary science and health methods course to support teacher candidates’ thinking about two components of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK): knowledge of science learners and knowledge of instructional strategies. We specifically explored how teacher candidates discussed science notebooks within the context of a methods course that explicitly focused on and delineated the student and the teacher perspectives within the notebooks. Teacher candidates engaged in science inquiry lessons as an elementary student, and then examined the lessons and pedagogical strategies from the teacher perspective. We found that the notebook supported reflection on the two perspectives and allowed teacher candidates to actively grapple with content and pedagogy. Teacher candidates noted the use of the notebook as a reflective tool, as a tool for assessment, and noted how it gave them a sense of how an elementary student might use a notebook. Finally, taking both the student and the teacher perspective in the notebook offered teacher candidates an opportunity to consider not just if but how they might use notebooks in their future classrooms. This presentation will share the instructional strategies we employed to support teacher candidates’ thinking about the use of science notebooks from both a teacher and a student perspective. Furthermore, we will share out findings with regard to how this approach to science notebooks can support teacher candidates’ thinking about instruction to foster two components of PCK: knowledge of science learners and knowledge of science instruction. ASTE conference attendees who teach elementary science methods may be particularly interested in this paper, however the concept of approaching the notebook from both a teacher and student perspective can be applied to any K-12 science methods course. 

Paper #10004: Science Teacher Education in the Time of COVID-19: A Document Analysis

Principal Author: Ayça K. Fackler, The University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Chelsea M. Sexton, The University of Georgia


During the spring semester of 2020, education shifted in unprecedented ways due to a global respiratory pandemic. Along with the K-12 and university courses that were thrust online, education methods courses, existing in a nexus—often dependent on both education systems to achieve all learning goals, also transitioned to remote learning. In a document analysis, we analyzed the trends of many science teacher educators through a Facebook group, websites from professional organizations, and educator-created repositories. In the process, we identified five themes of discussion around the quick transition to emergency remote teaching: modification of teacher education, adoption of online interactive tools, how to address emergent concerns, the shifting foci of science methods courses, and collaboration with the larger community. While some aspects of this pandemic-teaching paradigm will emerge in the new normal of teaching, we expect that most practices will return to closer to their pre-pandemic states of hands-on and in-classroom learning. Through this analysis, we provide evidence of the resilience of teacher educators and how the field bands together to help through trying times.

Paper #10003: Secondary Science PSTs’ Instructional Planning for Language- and Literacy-Integrated Science

Principal Author: Alexis Rutt, University of Virginia
Co-Authors: Frackson Mumba, University of Virginia


The growing number of English Learners (ELs) in United States’ K-12 public schools, coupled with greater attention to the role of language in science instruction from the Next Generation Science Standards, means that more secondary science teachers will have the opportunity to teach linguistically diverse classes in a language- and literacy-integrated manner. However, despite well-documented benefits of integrating language and science instruction, few science pre-service teachers (PSTs) are prepared to teach language- and literacy-integrated science in their classrooms, especially at the secondary level. 

The purpose of this study was to determine to what extent and in what ways 11 secondary science PSTs planned instruction for linguistically diverse science classrooms following their participation in two language- and literacy-integrated science methods courses. Guided by a researcher-created instructional framework, we used pre-intervention surveys, post-intervention interviews, and PST-developed lesson plans and reflections to determine to what extent and in what ways PSTs were able to integrate language and literacy into their science instruction following the intervention. Overall, results indicated positive changes in PSTs’ implementation of language- and literacy-integrated science practices in their instructional planning after participation in the science methods courses. These changes were reflected in the increased number of PSTs including each practice in their lesson plans, as well as in the quality of each practice’s inclusion. Despite these areas of growth, PSTs as a group still struggled to integrate students’ multilingual resources and unique sociocultural contexts into their instruction.

Results suggest that language- and literacy-integrated science methods courses can support PSTs in developing science lessons for linguistically diverse populations. However, more training is needed to support PSTs in identifying and integrating students’ unique experiences and linguistic abilities into science instruction.

Paper #10002: Latinx Preservice Teachers’ Experiences and positions with Translanguaging Pedagogy in Science Classes

Principal Author: Noushin Nouri, University of Texas RGV


In a translanguaging science classroom (TSC), both teachers and students can use every available language resource to develop conceptual learning of science (Karlsson, Larsson, & Jakobsson, 2019). Using translanguaging pedagogy in science class can pave the way for bilingual students like the Latinx population to be more involved in science classes. As a result, science teachers who are going to teach bilingual or multilingual students should be prepared and open to use tranlanguaging strategies in the science classroom. For properly preparing the science teachers, capturing their current position and experience with translanguaging is crucial. In the current research we interviewed 9 Latinx preservice teachers to capture their ideas and ideology about translanguagin. We also wanted to know to what extent they have experience with translanguagin in science classes and how much they are prepared to implement it. The results show although many of them have language exclusive ideology for teaching science, they have some rationales to include students’ language in science classes. They also are aware of some strategies although they mostly confuse translanguaging with code-switching or translating.  

Paper #13001: Investigating the Influence of Mixed Reality on Elementary School Students’ Science Reading Performance

Principal Author: Leonard A. Annetta, East Carolina University
Co-Authors: Denise M. Bressler, East Carolina University; Ashley Holder, Fayetteville State University; Alexis Dunekak, East Carolina University


Many elementary school readers fail to fully comprehend fundamental science vocabulary needed for scientific literacy. Integrating visual imagery into reading instruction can improve students’ comprehension, enhance retrieval, and increase retention. The audio-visual experience of reading enhanced text through mixed reality may play a beneficial role in scientific reading, especially for low-proficiency readers. This study explored whether reading elementary science text through mixed reality promotes students’ reading performance. Thirteen elementary school students participated in a pretest-posttest with data sources included a reading fluency and retelling test, and post interviews. Results suggest that low-proficiency readers performed equal to or better than moderate-proficiency and high-proficiency readers on the reading assessment; their interviews revealed that they enjoyed reading with the mixed reality because of its auditory benefits and learning potential. The findings demonstrated that there is a potential for reading scientific text through mixed reality to help improve reading performance among low-proficiency readers. Implications for future research are discussed.

Paper #10001: STEAM Designed and Enacted: Understanding the Process of Design and Implementation of STEAM Curriculum in an Elementary School

Principal Author: Cassie Quigley, University of Pittsburgh
Co-Authors: Dani Herro, Clemson University; Holly Plank, University of Pittsburgh


Educators are now moving classroom instructional objectives away from what content do we need to know towards how can we support learners in the process of inquiry. Consequently, an increasing number of schools have revamped their curricula to support students. One such example of modified curricula is the rising trend of STEAM Education. However, limited research exists on STEAM teaching practices. The purpose of this study is to understand the ways in which elementary teachers can both design and enact STEAM teaching practices in order to define specific curricular supports for STEAM education. Our key findings were 1) teachers who designed relevant problems provided instructional pathways aligned to the STEAM conceptual model, and 2) teacher facilitation promoted both inquiry and authentic tasks- two strategies often difficult for teachers. This research demonstrates the importance of teachers’ designing STEAM curriculum using problem-based units in ways that promote student inquiry. The data demonstrates this as critical to enact discipline integration, teacher-facilitation and authentic tasks.

Paper #11001: The Effects of Computational Thinking Professional Development on STEM Teachers’ Perceptions and Pedagogical Practices

Principal Author: Sarah A. Haines, Towson University


The authors investigated the impact of exposure to computational thinking activities and professional development on inservice teachers’ perceptions and teaching practices in elementary and secondary school education. The participants of this 2017/2018 research study were STEM teachers from the Baltimore County (Maryland) Public Schools in the United States of America.  The major focus of this study was on the impact of professional development activities on the inclusion of computational thinking activities in the k-12 mathematics and science classrooms. The analysis of the data indicated that most of the participating teachers felt that the professional development activities were valuable and made a positive impact on the quality and quantity of computational thinking activities they implemented in their classrooms. Most of these teachers stated that they would implement computational thinking activities on a weekly or monthly basis.  Based on the analysis of the data and the results of this study, a list of future research questions is included.