Projects

Current Projects

 

 

Next Generation Science Exemplar-Based Professional Learning System 

Through a generous and timely investment by The Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise at Clark University in June of 2012 a design meeting planned and carried out by PIs Sarah Michaels (Clark University and Tidemark Institute Associate), Jean Moon (Tidemark Institute), and Brian Reiser (Northwestern University and Tidemark Institute) took place in June 2012.  The meeting resulted in a promising conceptual model of a much-needed teacher learning resource for K-12 science education as well as preservice education, a Next Generation Science Exemplar (NGSX) System of professional learning.  This image-rich web-based system will make a unique contribution to the multi-faceted work so necessary to convey a new vision for teaching and learning in science.

The call for exemplars to be used in professional development (PD) settings is a direct result of a consequential report (A Framework for Science Education, K-12) released in July 2011 by this country’s pre-eminent scientific organization, the National Academy of Sciences and its operating arm, the National Research Council.  Reiser, Michaels, and Moon are now working on the initial design and pilot testing phase of this project thanks to an award from the National Science Foundation (NSF).  This NSF award supports the development of a prototype of a teacher study group learning pathway aligned to student performance expectations in physical science found in NGSS.  The particular performance expectation is the structure and properties of matter, specifically the question, how do particles combine to form the variety of matter one observes? A central feature of this web-based learning system will be its accessibility and its mutually reinforcing digital and print resources, including samples of classroom work.  Eventually the NGSX learning system will be available through a web-based platform for ongoing use in multiple types of professional development and preservice contexts.

Beginning in June seven states will pilot a “beta” version of the study group pathway. Data from this initial pilot will be use in the next stage of design phase and testing with states.  Moon, Reiser, and Michaels are committed to working with states to ensure that the new roadmap for science teaching and learning gets into classrooms throughout the United States and is a supportive tool for states who will adopt the Next Generation Science Standards.

Click here to download a Presentation used in Indianapolis as part of the NGSX project.
Commentary: Science Standards Require a Teacher - Learning Rethink
NGSX Frequently Asked Questions

Northwestern University Media Release on NGSX Project
Clark University Media Release on NGSX Project

What is STEM Education? Tidemark Institute

What is STEM Education?

Tidemark Institute

Susan Singer, Founding Associate for Tidemark Institute, and Tidemark Founder Jean Moon are collaborating on the development of several papers and commentaries addressing what remains a frequently asked question in education and policy circles: “What is STEM?” Consistently discussions about the STEM acronym are widespread as more and more “STEM” entities are created – STEM councils, STEM schools, and STEM networks. While these entities reflect the STEM “brand”, a shared understanding of what this particular acronym means or a helpful clarification in the context of K-16 schooling has not yet fully emerged. This is certainly the case from the perspective of how students learn and apply the core disciplinary ideas and scientific and engineering practices so much a part of the STEM subjects. The Moon and Singer collaboration will be addressing the “What is STEM? “ challenge and making a supportable case as to why a more mature and clearer understanding of what constitutes STEM is critical at this moment in time.

Education Week: Bringing STEM Into Focus

Groton School Groton, Massachusetts

Groton School

Groton, Massachusetts

Tidemark Institute continues to work with faculty and leadership of Groton School on the concept of a STEM Foundations course as a key component of their academic program. It is a multistage process involving identifying crosscutting concepts and themes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that will be integrated throughout the course. The Institute, through the work of Jean Moon, is collaborating with a subset of Groton faculty on the design and delivery of the Foundations course. Currently the STEM Foundations course has completed its initial term. Initial evidence suggests that Groton’s pilot STEM course was a resounding success: sign-ups are so robust for the 2012-13 year that the School will offer two sections of STEM 1. Moreover, most of this year’s STEM 1 students have elected to continue pioneering as members of the inaugural STEM 2 class for the fall, 2012 term. STEM 2’s significant engineering component will use materials produced as part of an engineering curriculum recently developed at the Museum of Science in Boston.

STEM Program Blossoms: Robust Sign-Ups for 2012-13

The Circle Widens—All the Way to Mt. Everest!

Tidemark Institute and the Council of State Science Supervisors

Building Capacity in State Science Education (BCSSE)

The Council of State Science Supervisors and Tidemark Institute have worked collaboratively to design and deliver a multi-year project: Building Capacity in State Science Education (BCSSE). This project is working with state-based education supervisors as well as state-based teams from a majority of the 50 states to develop their knowledge of and fluency with the National Research Council’s (NRC) Framework for K-12 Science Education to build strong networks and alliances throughout each state to disseminate major conceptual and content messages in the Framework and to focus on major areas of retooling such as professional development, preservice education and assessment in light of new teaching learning goals contained in the Framework report. This work is critical to states as they consider adopting and disseminating the Next Generation Science Standards when it is released late in 2012 or early in 2013. The first meeting of this project took place in September (2011) in Nashville, TN. The second meeting occurred in Raleigh, NC in February of 2012. Among the presenters in Raleigh, NC, were Jonathan Osborne, Bill Penuel, Rodger Bybee, Heidi Schweingruber, Phil Bell, Sarah Michaels, and Brian Reiser. Click here to download the agenda. A third national meeting for this project will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 12th and 13th, 2012.  Currently there are 44 states active in this project.

The Council of State Science Supervisors and Tidemark Institute are working collaboratively to design and deliver a multi-year project: Building Capacity in State Science Education (BCSSE). This project is working with state-based education supervisors as well as state-based teams from a majority of the 50 states to develop their knowledge of and fluency with the National Research Council’s (NRC) Framework for K-12 Science Education to build strong networks and alliances throughout each state to disseminate major conceptual and content messages in the Framework. This work is critical to advancing across the states the process of commenting, possibly adopting, and disseminating the Next Generation Science Standards now under development. The first meeting of this project took place in September (2011) in Nashville, TN. The second meeting occurred in Raleigh, NC in February of 2012. Among the presenters in Raleigh, NC, were Jonathan Osborne, Bill Penuel, Rodger Bybee, Heidi Schweingruber, Phil Bell, Sarah Michaels, and Brian Reiser. Click here to download the agenda.

Supporters of this work are

The third national meeting of the BCSSE project was held in Indianapolis, Indiana on October 12 and 13, 2012.  45 states plus the District of Columbia attended this national gathering.  Download the PDF of the schedule here.

STEM, Sustainability, and Science Policy

Jean Moon is a state team member for Maine and liaison to a national project focused on reconnecting and mobilizing STEM education and state policy on sustainability issues. The four other states participating in this project are California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Maryland.  National leadership roles for this project are held by Mel George, President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Mathematics University of Missouri; Catherine MIddlecamp, Associate Professor Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Howe Bascom Professor Integrated Liberal Studies Program University of Wisconsin-Madison; Judith Ramaley, Professor, Portland State University and former President of Winona University, and Jay Labov, Senior Advisor for Education and Communication at the National Academy of Sciences.

Separately and together these five states are identifying specific strategies to address two urgent problems: (1) designing and delivering undergraduate STEM courses that better engage students and increase their learning on sustainability science and sustainability issues; (2) preparing citizens to address global challenges (e.g., energy, environment, infrastructure, knowledge, research, innovation, jobs, health, food) that are coupled with strong economic development.

In July 2012 all five state teams attended a national meeting in Annapolis, MD, at the SESYNC (http://www.sesync.org) project headquarters.  A grant from SESYNC made this meeting possible. Joining Moon as members of the Maine project team are Bill Behrens, Co-Founder of ReVision Energy, Ronald Cantor, President of Southern Maine Community College, Stephen Mulkey, President of Unity College, Mary Nelson, State Representative to the Maine Legislature, Vicki Nemeth, Director of Maine’s EPSCoR project, Linda Silka, Director of the Margaret Chase Smith Center, University of Maine at Orono, and Susan Hunter, Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Maine at Orono.

   

Genetics & the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education Tidemark Institute Project Team

Genetics & the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education

Tidemark Institute Project Team

While the NRC’s recently published Framework for K-12 Science Education is providing a new and expansive vision for science education – standards, assessments, teacher education, curriculum, and professional development –specific examples of how this vision might look in the context of classroom teaching and learning are needed. Tidemark Institute is taking up this challenge. A team of experts has been assembled who will design a worked example that brings together curricular content, practices and crosscutting ideas to make explicit the major ideas contained in the Framework.

The Institute is in the beginning stages of this project, with intentions of publishing examples and field test results by the close of 2012. Project team members are Debbie Landry, Yarmouth School District, Yarmouth, Maine; Jonathan Shemwell, University of Maine at Orono; Michelle Smith, University of Maine at Orono; and Susan Rundell Singer, Carleton College. This team brings deep expertise in the content of genetics, the learning sciences, and broad issues in science education, teacher professional development, and assessment practices.

Southern Maine Community College Portland, Maine

Southern Maine Community College

Portland, Maine
Journal of Innovation and Transformation article by Jean Moon

The leadership of the college is exploring the challenges and opportunities awaiting community colleges during this time of economic transformation. To foster both thought and action around such opportunities and challenges SMCC has created the Journal of Innovation and Transformation with Jean Moon as a contributing author in the initial issue.

Journal of Innovation and Transformation

Read the article written by founder and principal of Tidemark Institute, Jean Moon, for this publication from Southern Maine Community College.

Community-Based Health Literacy Midcoast Maine

Community-Based Health Literacy

Midcoast Maine

Tidemark Institute is one of five partner organizations in Midcoast Maine now building a model of community education focused on increasing health literacy. The model includes attention to education across the lifespan, from seniors to infants. The Health Literacy Partnership (HLP) is a grassroots effort that seeks to address local health and quality of life issues from a community perspective. Some of the work of the Partnership receives outside funding, while other components are supported by community volunteers.