Spring 2014

Most people know that engineers make things, and "making things" is one of the most inherently creative tasks imaginable. Yet often, those with enhanced logical abilities are told to pursue STEM and those with enhanced creative abilities are told to pursue arts. We will explore the value of presenting STEM disciplines as "inherently creative vehicles for social good' in order to broaden the appeal of STEM disciplines and encourage diversity.

From the Speakers: Join us to hear about how a small team was able to create a mechanism to connect nonprofits with people in the community interested in volunteering... and what you might want to consider if you want to make something happen that you really believe in. Hear from Indi Go Art Co-Op how they've used the site to recruit volunteers for their mission of providing a space in which artists, musicians, and appreciators of art can come together to celebrate the arts.

We present several studies conducted in our lab that shed light on what students attend to when performing cognitive tasks in physics. The studies, drawing from a variety of methodologies from the learning sciences, aim to understand the obstacles to, and factors facilitating, competent performance.  The findings from some of the studies debunk biases/hunches that many physics professors have about what students do, and the audience will very likely find several of the findings surprising.  Pedagogical implications of the findings will be discussed.

In the past decade, the classroom has moved rapidly from the traditional pen, paper, and chalkboard classroom towards the digital classroom. Communicating, collaborating and sharing knowledge between students and their teachers via email, forums, chat, blogs, and even text messaging is commonplace now. But how much of these technology are accessible to users with disabilities? Can they access the Internet and electronic information? Can they participate effectively in an online chat and or discussion?

The majority of students who arrive at community colleges place into developmental (remedial) mathematics classes. The history of struggle in mathematics brings a special challenge to the college instructor. In this talk I will share aspects of my approach as an instructor and in particular how it is different from traditional mathematics lectures.

Dr. Wolske will discuss his work with local schools and libraries. In particular, the De-Mystifying Technology project at Kenwood Elementary School has led parents and students in building their own computers. Wolske will also talk about other GSLIS and CDI initiatives.

We have built an inexpensive battery powered wireless laboratory system that allows students to do hands-on physics activities outside the classroom, guided by their own computer. The system, called IOLab, combines flexible software with a wireless data acquisition platform containing an array of sensors to sample and display real-time measurements of position, velocity, acceleration, force, rotation rate, orientation, magnetic fields, voltages, light intensity, sound intensity, pressure, and temperature.

When I tell people I study teacher stress, they usually respond with a hearty laugh and sarcastic comments to the effect of “Hah! Teachers don’t have stress!” Teacher stress can impact everything from job satisfaction to behavior management. In this lunch presentation I will discuss the science of stress, impact of stress on the educational environment, and initiate dialogue on how the issue of stress can be addressed in teachers.

Our campus's newest institute is the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and the Environment (iSEE), which has three foci: research, education & outreach, and campus sustainability. Mr. McCall will give an overview of iSEE, a look at how well our campus is meeting the targets set out for 2015 in the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP), and a vision of how our campus will set concrete plans in place to meet our long-term sustainability goals, including carbon neutrality by 2050.

Robb Lindgren and Emma Mercier give an overview of the Digital Environments for Learning, Teaching, & Agency (DELTA) program in the College of Education and discuss related faculty projects.


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