Created by XSci and the University of Colorado Boulder, the Colorado Experiential STEM learning network promotes ACTION based STEM networking and integration. It’s mission is to collaborate with schools, policy makers, and businesses in order to create extraordinary STEM experiences for students and teachers. Thus, increasing science literacy and promoting science identity construction. The network is designed to create an online and offline community of practice such that interactions lead to an action, whether it be schools reaching out to businesses for hands on activities, or community involvement in student projects and initiatives.
The CESLN/XSci Connection:
The Colorado Experiential STEM Learning Network (CESLN) was created by XSci, the Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative at the University of Colorado Denver. XSci uncovers the ways educators and students construct extraordinary science learning experiences for themselves and their peers. To do this, XSci designs, conducts, and researches the impacts of several types of teacher and/or student experiences. Their research shows that experiential science learning is all about personal close encounters with the content, processes, and emotions of science. It is a philosophy that emphasizes learning from direct first-person experience and a holistic perspective that includes the self-construction of knowledge as well as emotions, attitudes and beliefs that combine to form a learner’s “science identity.” Students and teachers co-constructing positive science identities through experiential learning is a critical pathway towards confident teacher practice and student science literacy.
The CESLN/STEMx Connection:
In 2012, The CESLN joined forces Battelle’s STEMx initiative, forming a 13 state STEM network. STEMx is designed to increase awareness, and provide more STEM opportunities and resources for teachers and students across the country.
STEMx connects states and their stakeholders from across K-12 and higher education, business, government, philanthropy and the community to impact STEM education and workforce development. The Network’s core work of education, engagement, and exchange will be propelled by an accessible technology platform enabling states to share, analyze, and disseminate quality STEM education ideas, tools and practices. Through this process, STEMx will amplify innovative and transformative work already underway in member states.
The CESLN 3 Initiatives Include:
STEMHarmony is an online matchmaking service designed to pair educators and students in schools with STEM industry partners and Higher Ed who are actively supporting improved STEM education by providing great STEM experiences for K12 students and teachers.
Xperience STEM Conference
Xperience STEM is a national conference on Experiential STEM Learning sponsored by the Merck Company Foundation right here in Denver. This conference will explore the many incarnations and benefits of experiential methods in STEM education, showcase the best experiential programs (many from Colorado), and provide attendees with a community of like-minded STEM advocates who are energized by the passion and potential only first-person experience can provide.
Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots
The Roots & Shoots service learning program introduces service projects in the context of a campaign, and the resources help you build awareness for, and communicate with your community about, your campaign.
The communication and community outreach aspects are important dimensions of service learning programs and incorporate different academic and life skills.