Campus Group Energizes STEM Educators

By Sarah Schaier, Production Editor

On December 19, 23 members of the STEM Educators Learning Community (SELC) met at UNH’s Memorial Union Building for a “Lightning Talk,” the second in a three-part series. Four educators—Jennifer Bourgeault, Shane Bradt, Sameer Honwad and Laura Nickerson—gave five-minute presentations aimed at enhancing their colleagues’ understanding of their work in STEM education, sparking new ideas and promoting collaborations.

Presentations ranged from Bourgeault’s innovative strategy for promoting collaborative projects across the SELC to Bradt’s work with teachers in the area of GIS and mapping. Honwad’s research focused on community involvement in formal and non-formal STEM education and Nickerson discussed physical computing outreach ideas for K-12 students. Following the presentations, attendees joined one of the four discussion groups for a more in-depth conversation with the speaker of their choice.

The SELC is the brainchild of Lara Gengarelly, Cooperative Extension associate professor of science literacy, and Ruth Varner, professor of earth sciences at UNH’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, and director of the Leitzel Center for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Education. The group, which includes 75 STEM stakeholders from the UNH community, meets regularly to share updates on their work and explore opportunities to combine efforts.  

“This series really fits the mission of SELC well—a platform to further build our communication and collaboration with one another,” observes Gengarelly.