From the Student Division

SD_Logo_BlackThis month, we feature updates from ASEE’s student chapters at Ohio Northern University and Stanford University.

Ohio Northern University Update

A student performs an experiment at ONU's elementary STEM Day.
A student performs an experiment at ONU’s elementary STEM Day.

Every semester, ONU’s ASEE chapter puts on its most anticipated event: STEM Day. For one day, they take over an elementary school and lead activities designed to excite kids about engineering. These activities can involve everything from robotic arms, balloon cars, and card towers, to activities in cerebral skills like project management and brainstorming.

ONU’s National Championship-winning robotic football team rounds out the day by flexing their brainy brawn in an on-field demonstration. The students are always excited to watch the different robots in action. In the end, the STEM Day achieves its goal of exciting many students about science, and gives them some hands-on learning outside of the classroom.

Stanford University Chapter Update

Our Stanford chapter has led and participated in many educational activities on campus over the past year. Every year, the group plans a colloquium that brings together people from a variety of backgrounds with an interest in engineering, science, and education. Last year, they held the 3rd annual colloquium on “The Science of Learning: Evidence-Based Teaching in STEM Education,” with approximately 80 participants. The keynote speaker was Dr. Paul Doherty, a senior scientist at San Francisco’s Exploratorium, whose main job is helping high school science teachers make science relevant, engaging, and fun.

Professor Burchat gives a talk at Stanford's ABC lunch meeting.
Professor Burchat gives a talk at Stanford’s ABC lunch meeting.

In addition to the annual event, Stanford holds more regular activities to engage the campus community in the discussion of STEM education. In 2013 they began holding monthly ASEE Breakfast Chats, or ABCs, and were awarded funding through the university’s Student Projects for Intellectual Community Enhancement (SPICE) program to continue these into the current year. The ABC’s are held on the first Friday of every month at 9 AM (serving bagels and juice) and are structured as presentations accompanied by group discussion. These sessions typically see about 15-30 attendees and are led by a variety of people, from Ph.D. students and Stanford professors to staff from MOOC company Coursera. Topics have similarly covered a wide range, such as: “Diversity in STEM education,” “How Prior Knowledge Affects Student Learning,” and “The Evidence of Peer Assessment.” They have also started piloting a monthly journal club, where participants read an article related to STEM education and discuss the content over wine and cheese.

The student division is currently busy preparing their annual spring quarter seminar course. This year’s course will focus on feedback and assessment in engineering education. The course has grown in the past several years, with enrollment reaching 20 students in 2014.

Overall they have been fostering a community of students, staff, and professors interested in increasing the quality of STEM education, where they prioritize student learning and take effort to explore innovative ways to better prepare students for future careers. constantly exploring new ways to better engage the wider community on these topics.

Learn more about their chapter at asee.stanford.edu.

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