Summer Newsletter 2011 - Society for College Science Teachers



Summer Newsletter 2011 - Society for College Science Teachers
Business Name
SCST Quarterly
Issue XLV No. 2
Summer 2011
Message from the President
Brian Shmaefsky
Dear SCST colleagues:
I hope all of you had a good ending to the 2010 – 2011
academic year. It was a challenging year for colleges dealing with
austere budget cuts and dwindling grant funds. All of us have
taken heroic efforts to maintain an effectual and positive teaching
environment in spite of the constraints of tight budgets. Our enthusiasm to teach appeared unrepressed at the SCST National Conference on Science Education held in San Francisco on March 10-13,
2011. We had nineteen wonderful presentations of the best practices in college science teaching.
The sessions spanned the breadth of science disciplines
and even presented many ways to teach in a cross-disciplinary
way. Our shared NSTA/SCST Nanotechnology symposium was a
resounding success. We had over 60 people in attendance. Those
who were not SCST members learned about the benefits or our
organization. The 2010 NSTA/SCST OUSTA recipient, Robert
Beichner, returned to give the Marjorie Gardner Lecture called
―SCALE-UP: A Student centered active learning environment for
undergraduate programs. Our 2011 SCST Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher recipient Melanie M. Cooper of Clemson University shared her teaching philosophy at the OUSTA
Once again McGraw-Hill Higher Education was kind enough to
sponsor the SCST dessert and
poster social. I look forward to
Inside this issue:
seeing our members at the annual
convention in Indianapolis, IndiNational Convention News
ana on March 29–April 1, 2012.
Member News
Presentation and poster proposals
are available on the SCST website
and should be submitted to SCST
Regional Updates
President-Elect Nancy Elwess.
Call for OUSTA Noms
Teaching Tip
Contributed Information
Editor’s Note
Wow, it is my first year as SCST
president. I want to give my appreciation to our outgoing board
members and introduce those new
to the board. Best wishes to PastPresident Connie Russell who
will continue on to mentor me
during my presidency. Very big
thanks go out to SecretaryTreasurer Kerry Cheesman who
helped us interpret all of the budgetary items that helps us operate. I
want to thank former Councilor-at-Large Linda Tichenor who was
elected to take on Secretary-Treasurer position. It is great to welcome our new Councilor-at-Large Dee Silverthorne to the board.
Regrettably, our National Membership Chairperson Kathy Sorenson
must step down to pursue or increasing responsibilities at American
River College. I am still looking for candidates to fill her position.
I also look forward to working with NSTA College Representative Timothy Slater who replaced Walter Smith. We are already
planning the next combined symposium for the Indianapolis convention. I am keeping open the communication with the NSTA staff,
Alan J. McCormack, NSTA President, 2010–2011, and Patricia Simmons, NSTA President-Elect, 2010–2011 to ensure the needs of college members are represented. The JCST staff is continuing to forge
a good relationship with SCST to ensure a high-quality journal that
meets our members‘ needs. Last but not least, I appreciate our webmaster Nick Roster and newsletter editor Zane Laws for working on
creative ways to keep our membership informed of SCST events and
college science teaching.
Best wishes as you finish your semester and prepare for the
2011 – 2012 academic year.
~ Brian
SCST Quarterly
Summer 2011
SCST Board Members
Connie Russell
Angelo State University
ASU Station # 10890,
San Angelo, TX 76909
[email protected]
President Elect
Brian Shmaefsky
Lone Star College - Kingwood
HSB 202V, 20,000 Kingwood Dr.
Kingwood, TX 77339-38
[email protected]
Past President
Thomas R. Lord
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
114 Weyandt Hall
Indiana, PA 15705-1090
[email protected]
National Convention
March 29 – April 1, 2012
Kerry Cheesman
Capital University
1 College and Main
Columbus, OH 43209
[email protected]
Bonnie S. Wood, PhD
Professor of Biology
University of Maine at Presque Isle
181 Main Street
Presque Isle, Maine 04769
[email protected]
Claire Sandler
University of Michigan
Science Learning Center
930 North University St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1055
[email protected]
Linda Tichenor
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
Fort Smith, AR 72913
Linda Tichenor
[email protected]
Paul Dolan
Northeastern Illinois University
5500 N. St. Louis Ave.
Chicago, IL 60625
[email protected]
Membership Chair
Kathy Sorensen
American River College
4700 College Oak Drive
Sacramento, CA 95841
[email protected]
Newsletter Editor
Zane Laws
Cisco College, Abilene Campus
717 E. Industrial Blvd.
Abilene, Texas 79602
[email protected]
Nicholas O. Roster
Northwestern Michigan College
Biology Department
Traverse City, MI 49686
[email protected]
Page 2
Highlights in Summer Newsletter
2012 National Convention
Call for presentations
page 3-6
Deadline is fast approaching
OUSTA Nomination
Deadline is June 1
“Big Picture Test”
page 9
page 10-11
SCST Quarterly
Society for College
Science Teachers
Call for Presentations
Send this form to: Nancy L. Elwess,
SUNY Plattsburgh at: [email protected]
SCST MEETING: National Meeting – March 29–April 1, 2012, Indianapolis, IN
I wish to participate as a:
________ PRESIDER (Complete the name, address, and telephone items only)
________ PRESENTER
Please visit NSTA‘s web site at and SCST website at for details.
I. Presenter information (please type information as you wish it to appear in convention program):
First Name:
Middle I.:
Last Name:
Work Address:
Work City:
Work State:
Work Zip:
Work Country:
Do you want to
receive your mail at
work or Home?
Home Address:
Home City:
Home State:
Home Zip:
Home Country:
Work Phone:
Home Phone:
Presenter # 1
Presenter # 2
Include my e-mail address in the Abstracts and Proceedings: No
Presenter # 3
Please check ONE of the following NSTA Program Strands: go to for definitions.
Not Applicable
Mapping Our Way to Success Through the New Core Standards
Page 3
Pathways to a Sustainable Planet
Merging Inquiry, Creativity, and Innovation Through STEM
Traveling New Instructional Roads Through Technology
Presenter # 4
Summer 2011
20 Minute Paper
30 minute joint paper/panel/forum
Poster only
Check here if you would like to present your paper as a poster
if the paper cannot be included in our program
Science Area
(Place X by one)
(Place X by all relevant)
National Science Standards Focus
(Place X by one)
Science Teaching Standards1
Professional Development Standards2
Middle School
Assessment Standards3
High School
Science Content Standards4
Science Education Program Standards5
Informal Education
Science Education System Standards6
planning school science programs, planning and delivering inquiry-based programs, assessing teaching and student learning, facilitating student
learning, creating environments that enable students to learn science, creating communities of science learners 2learning of science content through
inquiry; integrating knowledge about science with knowledge about learning, pedagogy, and students; promoting lifelong learning opportunities
the use of assessments by classroom teachers to improve classroom practice and plan curricula; methods of reporting student progress
developing the knowledge and skills identified in the Standards in the context of the teaching and assessment standards
designing and implementing a school program consistent with national and state standards
policies and issues that influence science education at the district, state, or federal level
VI. AV EQUIPMENT ---for NOTIFICATION purposes only.
Due to high rental expenses, SCST will provide LCD projectors and a PC with a CD drive and ports for USB flash drives. Slide projectors,
video projectors, overhead projectors, modems, phone lines, etc. cannot be provided by the Society.
Page 4
SCST Quarterly
VIII. SAFETY NSTA Minimum Safety Guidelines for Presenters and Workshop Leaders (
Identify any potential safety hazards associated with your presentation. (If not applicable – place X in box to left)
What precautions will be taken during the presentation to deal with these hazards and to inform the audience?
What safety equipment will be required? (Please specify what equipment you will be providing and what equipment you need NSTA to provide)
Please include a list of all reagents to be used in your presentation.
Do you plan to use (Mark with ―X‖ any that apply):
Open Flame
Radioactive Substances
I have received a copy of the "Minimum Safety Guidelines for NSTA Presenters and Workshop Leaders" and agree to comply with the
guidelines during my presentation. (Place ―X‖ to indicate yes)
My session will address my chosen National Standard by: (Please enter one sentence response) (OPTIONAL)
Page 5
SCST Quarterly
Please insert an abstract (200 word maximum) for the SCST Programs and Abstracts
Those applicants whose presentations are accepted are encouraged to submit a brief (≤1000 words) article for our newsletter, the SCST Quarterly, to
ZANE LAWS, Cisco College, Abilene Campus, 717 E. Industrial Blvd, Abilene, TX 79602. [email protected]
Page 6
SCST Quarterly
Summer 2011
Membership News
Kathy Sorensen ~ Membership Chair
Thanks to all of you who have renewed your membership over the past few months!
Thanks to all of the new members who have recently joined the Society!
At many institutions, money is tighter, choices must be made, and sometimes, limiting the number of memberships or cutting them out entirely, is the easy choice to make. The executive board
at SCST thanks all of you who choose to be members.
I want to remind you of the benefits of being a member of SCST for only $20 a year: 1) Quarterly
newsletter; 2) SCST monographs; 3) Teaching Tips manuals; 4) SCST mini-grants; 5) The Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award (OUSTA); 6) Strands at the National and Regional NSTA meetings that focus solely on the issues of college-level science teaching; and finally, 7) Colleagues from across the nation who are passionate about improving college science
teaching for all students.
As announced at the San Francisco meeting, I will be stepping down as membership chair. If you
are interested in serving, please contact me at [email protected] I will be happy to talk
with you about the responsibilities of this position.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding membership [email protected]
Yours, Kathy Sorensen
The Society for College Science Teachers
Page 7
SCST Quarterly
Summer 2011
Regional Updates
SCST Councilors-at-Large
Watch for updates on the upcoming
area meetings
2011 Area Conferences:
Hartford, Connecticut
October 27-29
New Orleans, Louisiana
November 10-12
Seattle, Washington
December 8-10
Regional Meetings
Page 8
SCST Quarterly
Summer 2011
Outstanding Undergraduate
Science Teacher Award
Committee Update
2012 OUSTA Award
Claire Sandler
The Outstanding Undergraduate Science Teacher Award ( OUSTA ) is awarded each year by
SCST to one deserving college science teacher. The award includes a $1,500 prize and $500 each
year for two years to help defray the cost of travel to the annual NSTA/SCST conference, as well as
complimentary one year membership to both NSTA and SCST.
If you are an outstanding college science teacher, or if you know of one, we encourage you to look
into this excellent opportunity. Nominees need not be members of SCST and individuals may selfnominate. Nomination packets are due June 1, 2011. For more information, see http:// and click on the “ Grants and Awards ” link, or email
[email protected]
SCST established the OUSTA to recognize the achievements of our colleagues who have enhanced the profession as outstanding
teachers of science. The annual award is based upon a selection process the evaluates nominees according to the following categories: 1) teaching excellence, as demonstrated through teaching philosophy and effectiveness, teaching innovations, and course and
curricula development; 2) scholarship, demonstrated through publications in science education, presentations, grants received and
other forms of scholarship including discipline-based research; 3) service to science education, students, the profession, scientific
and educational organizations, the nominee‘s institution, local teachers and their school systems, and the general public with the
overall goal of enhancing understanding of scientific issues.
Page 9
SCST Quarterly
Summer 2011
Member Contributions and Announcements
Teaching Tip
Big Picture Test: A quick and simple method to assess
student learning
I dropped into the office of a colleague, Dr. Sandhya Baviskar, who like myself, is
a graduate of the Idaho State University ’ s Doctorate of Arts program in biology which emphasizes specific
pedagogical training in college science teaching. I thought I would “ pick her brain ” for a good teaching tip to
share with the readers of the SCST Quarterly. As it happened, she had just finished a lecture to a large, introductory biology course ( n=100 ) ; and she was eager to share with me an assessment she had just performed to discover what her students “ learned ” during her lecture. She showed me the writing assignment.
Instead of having the students merely select a multiple choice response, she asks them to write meaningful
sentences constructed from the terminology provided. In this way, she can assess the thought processes and
perhaps clear up the misconceptions during the next class period. She calls the technique “ The Big Picture
Test. ” Here is what she does.
At the conclusion of a lecture, she projects a PowerPoint slide which has the following instructions—
“ C onstruct five meaningful sentences using the following groups of words. The sentences should be biologically ( scientifically ) correct. ” She first gives the example of how to construct such a sentence using the
words, “ organisms, ecosystem, and environment” to read as: “ The interactions between organisms and
their environment take place within an ecosystem.”
The next slide instructs the students to do the same us-
ing the following terms: 1 ) lysosome, damaged organelles and enzymes; 2 ) central vacuole, poison and
nutrients; 3 ) energy, ecosystem, and nutrients; 4 ) ER, Golgi apparatus, and vesicle; 5 ) ribosomes, protein, and nucleus.
As of this present issue, we have not quantified the acceptable responses versus the misconceptions;
however, in the summer issue of the Quarterly, we will have more data driven information. It could be interesting! Meanwhile, here are some of the responses that clearly indicate that we may have more work to do with
our students in large lecture courses. We would like to hear from others who try this technique.
<[email protected]>
Continued on the next page.
727-710-3969 – Direct
Page 10
SCST Quarterly
Teaching Tip Continued.
Lysosome, damaged organelles, enzymes
1. Lysosomes produce enzymes that help to repair damaged organelles.
2. The enzymes of lysosomes repair the damaged organelles.
3. Lysosomes fix damaged organelles with enzymes.
4. Enzymes created within the lysosomes is used to decompose damaged organelles.
5. Damaged organelles have enzymes that are called Lysosomes.
6. Lysosomes repair damaged organelles so they can secrete enzymes in the cell.
7. Lysosomes can produce enzymes that will remove damaged organelles.
Central vacuole, poison, nutrients
8. Nutrients are broken down into poison in the central vacuole in plants.
9. As your body takes in nutrients the central vacuole removes the poison.
10. The central vacuole need nutrients and not poison.
11. The central vacuole separates poison from the nutrients and breaks them down.
12. Poison can be passed through the central vacuole and transformed into nutrients.
13. The central vacuole can process poison into energy.
14. Central vacuole filters poison and collects nutrients.
15. Central vacuole helps the cell by determining the difference between poison and nutrients.
ER, Golgi apparatus , vesicle
16. A Golgi apparatus sends vesicles holding materials that are broken down by the ER.
17. The Golgi apparatus connects with the ER to trap vesicles in the cell.
18. Golgi apparatus serves as a vesicle for ER.
Ribosomes, protein, nucleus
19. Animal cells contain vacuoles some of which are nucleus and ribosomes
20. mRNA from nucleus combines protein in ribosomes.
21. In the nucleus the ribosomes absorb proteins.
22.Ribosomes are proteins that help create the nucleus.
23. Nucleus contains proteins that pass through the ribosomes
24. Ribosomes are located in the nucleus and they produce proteins by interacting with the nucleus.
25. Ribosomes go to the nucleus to make protein.
26. Proteins make up ribosomes and nucleus.
Page 11
SCST Quarterly
Leading Science Publishers —Scientific American and W.H. Freeman —Tackle Science
Literacy by Reinventing the Science Textbook to Inspire Non-Science Majors
Educators and Students Give ―Biology for a Changing World‖ Praise
New York, April 12, 2011 — Science transforms our lives each day, but for many non-science students, the subject of science is often viewed with trepidation. To improve science understanding —at the higher education level — two leading science authorities
have created a different kind of textbook to satisfy two goals: 1. Show students how science applies to their daily life and 2. Raise
science understanding among non-science majors. The innovative new textbook will be part of a series of journalistic-based science
textbooks beginning with ―Biology for a Changing World‖. The textbook includes an instant assessment tool that students use to test
their understanding of each chapter. The new textbook is available now for used in Fall 2011 classes. Future science disciplines the
non-science textbook series have planned include psychology and chemistry.
―‗Biology in a Changing World‘ is written for the uninterested non-majors biology student,‖ said Marc Mazzoni, senior editor at
W.H. Freeman and former high school biology teacher. ―The goal of the authors and editorial team has been to engage students, to
show them why basic science knowledge is so important. We want to show that science is not a bunch of facts — science is knowledge that will impact their decisions as everyday citizens.‖
To help professors better engage students, W.H. Freeman partnered with sister publication Scientific American, renowned for providing high-quality, infographics and authoritative editorial to science-interested consumers, to develop this innovative series.
―Scientific American is known for its ability to make complex science, medicine and technology accessible and engaging in its articles and visuals,‖ said Jeremy Abbate, Director of Global Media Solutions at Scientific American. ―It is an honor for us to work with
W.H. Freeman to help create this series. We hope that these textbooks will make science more approachable and exciting both in and
outside of the classroom.‖
―Biology for a Changing World‖ Plus Instant Assessment Tool
―Biology for a Changing World‖ features four biology units — chemistry, genetics, evolution and ecology — and combines relevant
news stories to convey basic science concepts plus bold Scientific American-styled infographics to further explain the concept. Biology is the first topic in the series of textbooks, written and developed by two professors and two science journalists. Environmental
Studies and Psychology are the next topics in the series. A complete list of the topics covered in the textbook is available at: http://
Traditional academic supplements are included, but are organized around learning objectives. Learning objectives allow instructors
to tie the textbook and supplements directly to their state and school standards, making it easier for them to assess how well their
students understand the material. The supplements program will also include a new electronic assessment resource tool called LearningCurve. The tool is designed as an adaptive quizzing system geared at helping students to instantly understand the misconceptions
they may have about a particular topic.
Pricing and Availability
The biology textbook is available now and can be ordered as a bound, loose leaf or e-book form. Pricing listed does not include the
traditional college bookstore mark up which is approximately 38 percent: $71 for the bound copy, $53 for the loose leaf, and approximately $60 for the e-book version.
Page 12
Continued on next page
Summer 2011
Continued from previous page
―Biology for a Changing World‖ Authors
Michèle Shuster, Ph.D. New Mexico State University, is an assistant professor in the biology department. At NMSU in Las Cruces,
New Mexico, Shuster focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning, studying intro
Biology for a Changing World‖ Authors
Michèle Shuster, Ph.D. New Mexico State University, is an assistant professor in the biology department. At NMSU in Las Cruces,
New Mexico, Shuster focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning, studying introductory biology, microbiology, and cancer
biology classes at the undergraduate level, as well as working on several K-12 science education programs.
Janet Vigna, Ph.D. Grand Valley State University, is an associate professor in the biology department at GVSU in Allendale, Michigan, and is a member of the Integrated Science Program. She has been teaching university-level biology for 14 years, with a special
interest in effectively teaching biology to non-majors.
Gunjan Sinha, science journalist, writes regularly for Scientific American, Popular Science, Science, and Nature Medicine. She holds
a graduate degree in molecular genetics from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.
Matthew Tontonoz, science journalist, has been a development editor for textbooks in introductory biology, cell biology, evolution,
and environmental science. He received his B.A. in biology from Wesleyan University, where he did research on the neurobiology of
birdsong, and his M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. His writing has appeared in Science as Culture.
Scientific American is at the heart of Nature Publishing Group's consumer media division, meeting the needs of the general public.
Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. Together with and 14 local language editions around the world it reaches
more than 5 million consumers and scientists. Over 140 Nobel laureates have contributed to the magazine, helping drive Scientific
American's power to inspire, spark new ideas, shift paradigms and expand visions for the future. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany. For more information, please visit
W. H. Freeman collaborates closely with top researchers and educators to develop superior teaching and learning materials for the
sciences. Our motto is: We know that a dedicated instructor and the right textbook have the power to change the world—one student
at a time. We are committed to superior quality, discerning editorial vision and long standing commitment to education. For more
information, visit:
Contributed by Karen Lippe
Page 13
SCST Quarterly
Summer 2011
Member Contributions and Announcements
Editor’s Note:
Howdy! We are winding up another spring semester. I hope everybody
will get a chance to enjoy the summer. I will be back in the classroom for
the summer terms. I am looking for any items for the “Upcoming
Events” and pictures of the National Conference.
P.S. I must apologize to Linda Tichenor. In the Spring Newsletter, I left out part of her “Teaching Tip”. I am
sorry for my oversight. The full “Teaching Tip” is in this edition.
Please send contributions to Best Teaching Tip and Member Contribution and Announcements to me at [email protected]
Upcoming Events:
OUSTA application due June 1
Fall Newsletter contribution deadline is August 31
Page 14

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