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WVU STEM Department Colloquium's

WVU Physics Department Demo Event

Professor Kathryn Williamson and graduate student, Tommy Steinberger, are hosting a special demonstration party colloquium this Thursday, February 16, 2017 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in G09 White Hall.

In this nontraditional colloquium, the audience is encourage to browse the "Demonstration Playground" that has been set up while enjoying hors d'oeuvres provided by the department. Approximately twenty physics demonstrations will be on display. You may watch a demonstration or try it out yourself. There will be volunteers near each demo that will be more than happy to help with running the demo or answering any questions. A short tutorial of the lecture demonstration website will also be presented along with tours of both demonstration rooms.

2017 Colloquium Speaker Series

John Stewart, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics, will be presenting a talk on "The Effect of Prior Knowledge and Gender on Physics Achievement" 

The presentation was held on: Wednesday, February 8th, 2017 from 4:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m. in room 104 of Clark Hall.

The abstract Dr. Stewart presented on can be found below:

Gender differences on the Conceptual Survey in Electricity and Magnetism (CSEM) have been extensively studied. Ten semesters (N=1621) of CSEM data is presented showing male students outperform female students on the CSEM posttest by 5% (p<.001). Male students also outperform female students on qualitative in-semester test questions by 3% (p=.004), but no significant difference between male and female students was found on quantitative test questions. Male students enter the class with superior prior preparation in the subject and score 4% higher on the CSEM pretest (p<.001). If the sample is restricted to students with little prior knowledge who answer no more than 8 of the 32 questions correctly (N=822), male and female differences on the CSEM and qualitative test questions cease to be significant. This suggests no intrinsic gender bias exists in the CSEM itself and that gender differences are the result of prior preparation measured by CSEM pretest score. Gender differences between male and female students increase with pretest score. Regression analyses and structural equation models are presented to further explore interactions between preparation, gender, and achievement.

2016 Colloquium Speaker Series

Deliberate practice helps students develop science process and metacognitive skills.

This talk, presented by Michelle Withers, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, highlighted three different uses of deliberate practice - as summative assessment, formative assessment and teaching assistant development - to improve student learning and metacognition. The event was held on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, at 4:00 p.m., in G09, White Hall.

2015 Lecture Series

WVU guest lecturer to offer insight into minds of students studying physics.

Fred Goldberg, professor in the Department of Physics and Center for Research in Math and Science Education at San Diego State University, discussed the thought processes of pre-service elementary school teachers studying physics.

The lecture, "'Following Students' Thinking and Reasoning in a Guided Inquiry Physics Course for Prospective Elementary Teachers," was held on July 31, 2015 at 2 p.m. in room 105 of White Hall.

The talk focused on the Next Generation Physics and Everyday Thinking (Next Gen PET) curriculum and the best ways to reach students while following this innovative curriculum. Next Gen PET is a guided inquiry physics and physical science curriculum intended mainly for courses and workshops for prospective elementary school teachers. The curriculum was designed around research on student learning and an alignment with concepts of the Next Generation Science Standards.

This lecture was presented by the WVU Physics Teacher Education Coalition Project, in association with the Center for Excellence in STEM Education and the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

An Overview of the NSF S-STEM Program

This presentation described the National Science Foundation's Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program.

This program makes awards to non-profit institutions of higher education to allocate scholarships to low-income students with demonstrated financial need who are academically talented. Its overarching motivation is to improve the STEM workforce of the United States to ensure our competitiveness in the global marketplace.

On Friday, December 4th, 2015 at 3:30 p.m., in the Mountainlair, Rhododendron Room, Dr. Lee described the defining characteristics of the program as well as some prominent awards in the S-STEM portfolio. Parameters which have evolved in the most recent solicitation and the motivations for the changes will get special emphasis. Guidance was provided on potential areas of confusion including: the role of diversity, motivations behind the strand structure, and the need for all projects to be knowledge-based and knowledge-generating.

Proposal Development Workshop: Submitting Successful Proposals to the NSF IUSE Program

This workshop, on Saturday, December 5th, 2015, from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., at the WVUteach House, provided an overview of the National Science Foundation's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Program.  It covered all aspects of its history including the programs that preceded it, their goals, and their evolution over time. A complete description of the present IUSE program and the distinguishing characteristics of grants in today's portfolio will be given. We also explored the process of proposal review, examples of good and bad reviews, and the benefits of reviewing. The characteristics of a good proposal was analyzed from looking at several project summaries as well as a full proposal. Guest speakers detailed the strategies that led to their submission of a funded IUSE proposal. All topics were explored through classroom techniques developed for modern interactive teaching. Participants left with numerous resources and guidance essential for submitting their own IUSE proposal.