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Activation Grantee Update: CISE

Posted September 17, 2019 by The CSU Dominguez Hills Team

Next Generation Science Standards: Empowering Teachers to Empower Students for the Future of STEM

This is an update on the winning proposal from the LEARN category in the 2018 activation challenge. See the original proposal here.

Exceeding expectations

As part of the LA2050 Activation Challenge, the Center for Innovation in STEM Education (CISE) at CSU Dominguez Hills proposed to empower teachers and provide dynamic training and mentoring on the state adopted, industry recognized Next Generation Science Standards. We proposed training two cohorts of 50 teachers (100 total) over two years.

We are pleased to report that a second cohort of 57 teachers were trained in spring 2019, thus exceeding our target number of teachers per cohort and 100 teachers overall.

Snapshot of the teachers served

  • 70.2% of participants were teachers from LAUSD.
  • 3.5% of participants were teachers from Compton USD.
  • 19.3% of participants were teachers from Inglewood USD.
  • 7% participants were teachers from Lynwood USD.
  • 87.5% of participants indicated that they had been teaching for three or more years.
  • 63.2% of participants taught multiple subjects.
  • 29.8% of participants taught science.
  • 3.5% of participants taught Special Education classes.
  • 3.5% of participants taught STEM/Computer Science
    • Cohort 1:
    Fall 2018
    Cohort 2:Spring 2019Cohort 1 & 2Combined
    Total Participants5557 112
    Participants-Compton USD19%3.5%11.25 %
    Participants-Inglewood USD17%19.3%18.15%
    Participants from other districts8%7%7.5%
    Participants teaching 3 or more years83%87.5%85.3%
    Multiple Subject Teachers51%63.2%57.1%
    Single Subject -Science Teachers40%29.8%34.9%
    Single Subject-Mathematics Teachers9%4.5%
    Special Education Teachers3.5%1.75%
    STEM/Computer Science Teachers3.5%1.75%

Activities between January 2019 and May 2019

The CISE team has met all project goals through the grant implementation. The team recruited teachers, held a Kick Off events, completed the first and second cohort of NGSS Super Training, and conducted classroom observations and Lesson Study Cycles. One of the primary focuses of the training was establishing the foundation for the Next Generation Science standards. Participants learned about the organization of NGSS, identifying what Performance Expectations (PE), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), and Cross-Cutting Concepts (CCCS) are, and how they compare to the previous set of standards. Teachers then explored how teaching with an emphasis on DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs, referred to as 3 Dimensional learning, better prepares students for college and career readiness.

NGSS Super Training participants were also offered the opportunity to obtain the Beginner Level Certification in Fabrication Technology which certifies teachers as basic, proficient, and advanced in the use of fabrication laboratory equipment for curriculum design and delivery. Every participant was successful at meeting the requirements for the Beginner Fabrication Technology Certification.

Prior to the classroom observations, an NGSS expert and teachers met in advance to agree on the observation focus and review the lesson plan; the NGSS expert reviewed and documented evidence of good teaching practices, and provided formal feedback. During the Lesson Study Cycles, teams of teacher trainees engaged in collaborative planning-teaching-observation of learning, followed by lesson evaluation and refinement.

Value delivered to teachers

Based on the data collected throughout the training, participants found the training to be a valuable experience. Each teacher had an opportunity to demonstrate mastery and an ability to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards and the Fabrication Technology into a unit of instruction which was submitted into a shared google drive folder, for free accessibility. We are excited to report:

Perfect attendance for each day of the training: 100% of participants attended every session.

  • 98.2% of participants were very satisfied or satisfied with all workshops.
  • 100% of participants indicated they would recommend this training series to other teachers.
  • 88% of participants indicated that they would be interested in receiving additional certification if provided the opportunity.
  • 72% increase in the comfort level of participants who felt comfortable or very comfortable operating the 3D printer from the first to the final day.
  • 74%% increase in the comfort level of participants who felt comfortable or very comfortable operating the vinyl cutters from the first to the final day·71% increase in the comfort level of participants that indicated they were either comfortable or very comfortable with teaching how to use a 3D printer.
  • 69% increase in the comfort level of participants who felt comfortable or very comfortable teaching others to use the vinyl cutters from the first to the final day.

Overall, program completers acquired the required knowledge about NGSS, thus contributing to the national effort as well as our local effort to implement the new standards one school at a time. Over 80 teachers expressed an interest in participating and 57 were selected and completed the entire training, thus exceeding the target number set for Cohort 2 by 7 teachers.

While we are still a few years away from being able to measure and evaluate the impact on college and community college completion and matriculation rates, we feel confident about the impact our program has had on increasing students' immersion in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content. In context, each one of the 57 teachers who completed our program teaches about 150 students each year, hence impacting over 8,550 students in one year who will benefit from their teachers' new knowledge and enthusiasm. Over five years, these 57 teachers will reach 42,750 students! That means 42,750 more students excited and inspired about STEM and fabrication technology. That's 42,750 more individuals who will contribute to making Los Angeles not just a better place, but the best place to learn, create, play, connect, and live by the year 2050!