Upcoming Presentations and Workshops:

National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference

Date: Thursday, November 21, 2013
Location: Hyatt, Regency, Atlanta, Georgia
Conference Title: NABT Global Perspectives Committee 2013 Inaugural Poster Session: "Connecting Students to Plant Earth through the Study of Global Biological Knowledge"
Poster Session Schedule: 1:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Summit Moderated By: Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin, The Pennsylvania State University, Global Perspectives Committee Chair
This interactive poster session highlights innovative learning environments to enhance biology education internationally.
Presenters: McLaughlin, J. S, Chen, X. and Liu, H..

CHANCE: Promoting Environmental Education in China Through Research
Jacqueline McLaughlin1, Xiaoying Cheng2, and He Liu3
1Associate Professor of Biology, CHANCE Founding Director, The Pennsylvania State University—Lehigh Valley, Center Valley, Pennsylvania, USA, jshea@psu.edu
2Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China
3Professor of Environmental Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu, China

The Penn State CHANCE program (Connecting Humans And Nature through Conservation Experiences) is making its mark by empowering global environmental education through scientific research (www.chance.psu.edu). Through physical (field-based) or virtual (online) learning environments undergraduate students and teachers travel the world to carry out real-world research on some of the world's most troubling environmental issues and problems. China's biggest environmental challenge to date is stemming the tide of negative impacts of its burgeoning economy upon one of its most life-sustaining natural resources, water. CHANCE's work in China showcases how field work and online innovation can bring real-world realities, scientists, and research data into Chinese traditional brick and mortar classrooms (and classrooms throughout the world) to mobilize students to not only learn environmental science, but to address the societal and environmental challenges China and our world now face. Through field courses, American and Chinese students and faculty collaborate to research the effects of nitrogen overload (from urbanization and industrialization) on eutrophication in China's third largest freshwater lake, Tai, bordering Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, and to analyze the hydrologic cycles and water sustainability realities that confront the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) of the United States. Through CHANCE "research modules," – freely available, web-based multimedia tools designed to virtually engage both students and teachers (those who can't physically participate in a field course) in a real-world research project with actual scientists – Chinese undergraduate students are gaining exposure to international environmental issues and problems by going beyond the core content found in textbooks to consider the implications of the real research data from factual ecosystems they are analyzing. A scientifically literate global society fueled by a heterogeneous population of environmentally educated individuals who work towards environmentally sustainable life-styles and answers, and who can rethink the word human, in more than human terms, is being realized through CHANCE.


National Association of Biology Teachers Professional Development Conference

Date: Thursday, November 22, 2013
Location: Hyatt, Regency, Atlanta, Georgia
Time: 2:00 - 2:30 p.m.
Conference Title: 2013 Professional Development Symposium "Implementing Vision and Change in the Biology Classroom"
Poster Session Schedule: 1:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Summit Moderated By: Dr. Jacqueline McLaughlin, The Pennsylvania State University and Dr. Anneke Metz, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
The symposium showcases innovative teaching practices and new curricula that promote the ideals of the AAAS "Vision and Change" report.
Presenters: Coyle, M.S. and McLaughlin, J. S.

Inquiry-based Research Strategies, Student Independence, and Time Help Transform an Undergraduate Biology Laboratory Experience into a Research Environment
Melissa Coyle1 and Jacqueline McLaughlin2
1Laboratory and Research Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University—Lehigh Valley, Center Valley, Pennsylvania, USA, msg110@psu.edu
2Associate Professor of Biology, CHANCE Founding Director, The Pennsylvania State University—Lehigh Valley, Center Valley, Pennsylvania, USA, jshea@psu.edu

Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action" (AAAS, 2011) has been published and distributed nationwide in effort to prepare a new generation of biologists and citizens, who can create, and/or negotiate the implications of, new discoveries. Biology instructors and administrators nationwide are implementing transformative evidence-based teaching and learning strategies. A biology major undergraduate laboratory was transformed into a "guided" environment to design and carry out a four-week independent and collaborative research project using state-of-the art cell culture techniques and research strategies in an attempt to answer a scientific question. Students were exposed to: hypothesis generation based on primary literature review and course lecture content; the practice of scientific research itself, and scientific writing. Formative evaluation through a case study assessed (a) how student comfort levels would change after performing the independent, technical, and unstructured research, (b) the beneficial aspects of guided inquiry-based research activities, (c) students' perceived realism of the research experiences, and (d) students' interest level of completing additional inquiry-based research. Key findings indicate benefits and effects on communication, content knowledge, new techniques, technology experience, critical thinking, time management, organization, data collection, interpreting data, scientific writing, experimental design, and future interest in undergraduate research.