Posts tagged ‘IGERT.org’

July 10, 2013

Post-ISTE Musings: Small Fish, Huge Pond, But Lots of Bites…

Kacy Karlen for TERCtalks

Our recent trip to sunny San Antonio to exhibit at the ISTE 2013 Annual Conference and Exposition was somewhat of a ‘wild card’ venture—and not in the least bit because the mercurial summer weather. We hadn’t exhibited at the conference in several years. We had very little sense as to whether the tech-hungry ISTE audience—teethed on the numerous big name hardware, software, publishing, and product exhibitors—would react favorably to our research endeavors, thought leadership, and prototypes, many of which are available for free or at very nominal costs (we are a not-for-profit org, after all). At the cavernous Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, it wasn’t so hard for our team of two to start feeling like the smallest fish in the biggest pond…

A small fry culled from a big pond. By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A small fry culled from a big pond. By U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We shouldn’t have worried. We quickly lost count of the number of attendees who stopped by our humble in-line booth to say, “hey, I’m so glad TERC is here! What are you guys up to?” And excitingly, we had lots to share—because in the interim between our last ISTE appearance, we’ve engaged in robust assistive technology development; extensive online community building and designing for digital delivery models; and game research, design and development. We may have been the little guys in the big pond—but we still got lots of bites.

TERC's booth at ISTE 2013

TERC’s booth at ISTE 2013

Here’s what was luring ‘em in:

EdGE games1:  The EdGE team was demoing their addictive particle physics game, Impulse!, in tandem with their captivating laser light game, Quantum Spectre. Both games are in beta versions and currently being pilot tested among high school audiences for efficacy in developing students’ implicit understanding of Newtonian laws of motion and optics. We invited booth visitors to try the games on our laptops and iPad, but versions are also for the Kindle and Android.  On Tuesday of the conference, Impulse!  went live on Apple’s App Store (for free), and by Friday, was one of AppAdvice’s “Best Apps”.

Signing Math and Science2: Judy Vesel’s signing math and science apps for deaf and hard of hearing students were eye-catchers for booth visitors interested in assistive technologies, and for good reason—the portable dictionaries and pictionaries are uniquely interactive learning supports. The flagship Signing Science Dictionary (SSD) is an avatar-based dictionary of science terms and definitions in American Sign Language (ASL) or Signed English (SE) for deaf or hard-of-hearing students in grades 4-8.  A full selection of K-12 Signing Math and Science dictionaries and pictionaries is available for tablets, iPods, and iPhones from www.signingapp.com.

TERC’s Online Communities & Digital Delivery Models: From the successful third year of the IGERT Online Video and Poster Competition3 facilitated for NSF’s flagship Integrative Graduate Engineering and Research Traineeship to the expansion of the CLEAN Network4 of climate science and literacy stakeholders and resources, TERC’s reputation as a thought leader in online community development and facilitation precedes us—it even did at ISTE. Visitors to the booth also picked our brains about new digital delivery models for curricula and professional development—with The Inquiry Project ‘s grades 3-5 physical science curriculum5 and Talk Science PD available entirely online; new online coursework being served up from Investigations Workshops; and even more digital deliverables on deck; we felt—if not entirely MOOC-conversant—in-line with the times.

So here’s to taking the plunge and heading downstream to ISTE 2013. It was well worth the visit, and we should be seeing you as we come up for air next year!

TERC_web

Quantum Spectre and Impulse are part of EdGE’s Leveling Up project, funded by the National Science Foundation (DRK-1119144).

The Signing Science Dictionary (SSD) is funded in part by grants from NEC Foundation of America, the National Science Foundation (HRD-0533057), and the Department of Education (H327A060026)). The Signing Science Pictionary (SSP) was funded in part by  grants from the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Family Foundation, Disability Inclusion Initiative and the Department of Education (H327A080040). The Signing Math Dictionary (SMD is being funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (HRD-0833969). The Signing Math Pictionary (SMP)  is being funded in part by a grant from the Department of Education (H327A100074). The Signing Earth Science Dictionary (SESD)  is being funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (GEO-0913675).The Signing Life Science Dictionary (SLSD) and Signing Physical Science Dictionary (SPSD) are being funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation (DRL-1019542).

3   The IGERT Resource Center and the NSF IGERT Online Video and Poster Competition are funded by the National Science Foundation (DGE-0834992).

CLEAN is funded by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NA12OAR4310143, NA12OAR4310142), the National Science Foundation (DUE-0938051, DUE-0938020, DUE-0937941) and the Department of Energy.

The Inquiry Project and Talk Science are funded by the National Science Foundation (DRL-0918435A).

May 6, 2013

COMING SOON TO THE INTERNET NEAR YOU: The IGERT 2013 Video and Poster Competition!

Now in its third year, the IGERT.org 2013 Video and Poster Competition offers up a great case study in grad school scientists and engineers using social media to communicate science research to their colleagues and the public.

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and designed and facilitated by TERC, the IGERT 2013 Video and Poster Competition re-imagines the academic poster conference as an integrated, multimedia experience to introduce faculty, students, and members of the public to the latest interdisciplinary research changing our world—and the awesome young scientists and engineers behind that work. Last year’s presenters from over 125 IGERT programs nationwide submitted 113 videos (each tallying 3 minutes or less), highlighting research across topics including biologically-inspired robotic engineering; smart textile design; nano-plasmonic engineering for energy efficiency, and more.

On May 21-24, 2013, this year’s competition will open for voting online—attracting thousands of IGERT faculty, trainees, alumni, past participants, and members of the public to view, vote, share, and ‘like’ favorite videos and posters across social networks. 50 volunteer faculty judges will choose 20 winners; 4 will be chosen by IGERT Community members; and 1 by ‘public choice’—determined by ‘Likes’ on Facebook.

META BONUS: In a classic example of students-becoming-teachers—this year’s competitors have the social media/communicating science tips of 2012 Competition Awardees to draw from, summarized in a series of 9 videos. Be sure to check them out for insight into last year’s Awardees’ best social media practices, and be sure to head to http://posterhall.org/igert2013 on May 21st to ‘Like’ and share your favorite presentation. For more information on IGERT.org or the Video and Poster Competition, visit: http://posterhall.org/igert2013/pages/about.

June 1, 2012

Drumroll, Please…

63,085 page views.

13,761 unique visitors from 103 countries.

13,237 video views.

3,955 public choice votes cast.

542 unique discussion posts.

The analytics have been studied.

The votes have been tallied.

And as of today, the  RESULTS ARE IN for the IGERT 2012 Online Video and Poster Competition!!!!!!!

In case you went off-grid on May 22nd-25th and missed the excitement—okay, we’re still really excited—check out all 113 videos and posters from this year’s talented batch of interdisciplinary science and engineering grad students in IGERT programs nationwide.

THEN filter and sort your way to the 25 awardees’ videos and posters. To whet your appetite, here is ‘Energy Textiles’—the triple-threat video and poster from Kristy Jost and Carlos Perez that netted the Judges’ Choice vote, the Community Choice vote, AND the Public Choice vote. Assuredly, Kristy’s and Carlos’ research significantly ups the possible applications of that tee-shirt you’re wearing…

Speaking of energy, the other awardee in the Public Choice category, Jesse Kohl, is researching how nano-engineering of photons (conventional light) into compressed volumes can result in greater energy efficiency for LEDs, solar cells, and lasers. Eureka!

While energizing fabric or harvesting light might sound like science of the future, these kinds of cross-disciplinary research applications are being investigated now in labs and classrooms across the country—and on the IGERT.org hub. So don’t be left in the dark and cold without an energy-storing tee—get a glimpse of these innovations of today before they’re the inventions of tomorrow!

May 9, 2012

IGERT=Innovation

Innovation. It’s the post-millennium buzzword—the hot marketing catchall with the same notoriety and futuristic bent as Apple’s ‘Think Different” campaign of the late 90s. It’s 2012, and we have an Innovation Charter Academy, The Tech Museum of Innovation, the notion of an ‘Innovation Economy’, and even locally—the Cambridge Innovation Center. But where does innovation start? How does it happen? And where are all these innovators hanging out and getting their coffee?

I think you might find some of these innovators with their cup of coffee in one hand and a smartphone in the other—logging on to IGERT.org to check in with their research mentors 1000 miles away.

Q:What is IGERT? A: It is the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, which has funded 280 interdisciplinary innovative graduate programs.

Every day, IGERT trainees are engaging in the science of innovation and engineering solutions—if you can imagine it or merely ask a question about it, IGERT students are likely working on it. Think Matrix-style, movement-triggered security systems are cool? There’s an IGERT team researching unique-to-user, motion-activated security systems. Wonder if our ecosystem can support sustainable agriculture in the future? There is an IGERT team studying the molecular machinery involved in botanical stress responses—and how plants can be engineered to be environmentally stress-resistant. Need a viable justification for getting a full night’s sleep? There’s even an IGERT team researching how uninterrupted circadian rhythms stave off neuro-degenerative diseases.

On May 22nd-25th, we will all get a glimpse into the world of innovation (and perhaps a prescient look at tomorrow’s discoveries) with the 2012 IGERT Online Video and Poster Competition. In keeping with IGERT.org’s pioneering developments in online collaboration, the IGERT community will open up to invite members of the public (that’s us!) to check out 114 cool video with poster submissions, interact with the students themselves, and cast votes for the new Public Choice Award.

So where does innovation start? How does it happen? It starts with a graduate student with a desire to apply science for the common good. And it’s happening now—across the country—and across the web—on IGERT.org.

On May 22nd, head to: IGERT.org/competition2012

For last year’s Archive, check out: IGERT.org/posters2011/