Public Discussion

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    Dr. Wesley

    Higher Ed Faculty
    March 20, 2017 | 08:28 a.m.

    This is a great initiative, I would like to include cyber security in the discussion network.  I am the Department Chair at Forsyth Technical Community College.  I do I get involved in the discussion network?

  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 10:32 a.m.

    Hi Dr. Wesley,

    This is Gregory Goins at NCA&T, and PI of the DISCUSSION Network.  First of all thank you so much for your interest and watching the NSF INCLUDES videos.  We would cherish the opportunity to include cyber security team!  That would be awesome.  My direct email is gdgoins@ncat.edu.  Look forward to continuing our DISCUSSION.

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  • Icon for: Kevin Brown

    Kevin Brown

    Facilitator
    March 20, 2017 | 11:13 a.m.

    This sounds like a great way to build capacity in a region to support STEM interest and learning! I would like to learn more about whether DISCUSSION is designed primarily to connect stakeholders with STEM expertise in order to create better programs or if DISCUSSION is itself a program that targets potential STEM students by connecting them with experts who could act as mentors or match them to pre-existing programs in the area? Also, what kinds of ways are you enabling discussion, e.g. though social media, conference calls, regular in-person meetings? In terms of metrics, are you focusing more on documenting the networked improvement community or are you trying to track the number of students served (or both)? 

  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    March 20, 2017 | 08:43 p.m.

    Hi Kevin,

    Thank you so much for looking at our video and having keen interest in our project.  We are very open to suggestions and ideas you may have.  You asked very good questions and here i try to give you enough detail to cover all of the points you inquired about.

    Yes, we are documenting both the growth of the networked improvement community and tracking the number of students served. As large HBCUs, we leverage specific experience with existing successful STEM recruitment programs and have a clear, focused, and detailed plan to expand capacity earlier in the STEM continuum for those who are marginalized in local HBCU underserved communities and build scalable networks to integrate compatible STEM programs and create a seamless progression for students through the programs. We begin this Launch Pilot with a promising idea within the Piedmont Regions of North Carolina involving, 4 counties Alamance, Durham, Guilford, and Rockingham in close geographic proximity within a 50 mile radius.  We address this challenge by creating a DISCUSSION Network of 2 major HBCUs in geographical proximity so we can support one another as each moves to implement regional change. We have found a niche to capture ideas and assembling them so that the HBCU faculty and community at-large can move forward in implementing the science education goals of the network.  Our collective effort is built on personal relationships among faculty members, civic organizations, and public schools with like-minded passion and concerns for educating “at-risk” children in surrounding underserved neighborhoods. During the Design and Development Launch Pilot phase, the network completes the maturation process into a high performance DISCUSSION Network of core stakeholder partners, universities, and primary and secondary schools, collaborating to transform STEM education.  We actively leverage regional collective impact in surrounding neighborhood communities that bridge existing gaps between disciplinary foci. We are interested in reaching families and students who are geographically in proximity of excellent institutions of higher education but are yet marginalized by lack of exposure to early quantitative system thinking learning opportunities.  The DISCUSSION network provides families, local business owners, civic groups, neighborhood organizations, youth groups, churches and academic institutions the opportunity to become involved in a community-based network to protect natural resources in and out their neighborhoods    Socio-environmental resilience is a key concept of the DISCUSSION Network, and a powerful metaphor for how to engage students and teachers.  Here we build interdisciplinary collaborations that pursue data-driven solutions to pressing socio-environmental problems that are culturally relevant to ethnic minority populations in underserved areas in the Piedmont Region of NC. Our DISCUSSION Network builds on our existing partnerships already recognized for their strong record of previous success to in contributing to the diversity of the STEM workforce.  Project activities include informal and formal learning settings. Informal learning settings are out-of-class events through afterschool, YMCA and Boys and Girls Club summer camps, 6 academic year Saturday workshops, and 6-week summer academies, all inclusive of community organizations, faith-based and church organizations, and our library roundtables.  Formal learning settings are school-based academic delivery and support, new teacher professional development, curriculum development, and pedagogical innovations.  Project activities are food, energy, and water (FEW)-themed system thinking and informed engineering design challenges. Project activities have environmental conservation and sustainability foci. For example, students are challenged to design a “bubbler bucket” hydroponics system  that collects and processes its own water from rainwater. The challenge involves teams or groups competing to grow the largest fish, vegetable, or fruit for food from an aquaponics system (and delineate potential negative ecosystem tradeoffs).  Design challenges begin with teacher training, curriculum delivery to students, challenge activity with just-in-time STEM learning, and challenge competition. An annual culminating event entails a science fair, STEM Challenge Competition Showcase, STEM Festival and Symposia. The annual culminating event will be held during the first week in February 2018, Black History Month, on an HBCU campus.  The design challenge and annual culminating event engages the community where the students live including their families, churches, and civic organizations along with professional adults and college student as volunteers. Support for the event includes, sponsors from local government, businesses and business and community organizations.

    My direct email is gdgoins@ncat.edu.  Look forward to continuing our DISCUSSION.

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  • Icon for: Kevin Brown

    Kevin Brown

    Facilitator
    March 21, 2017 | 09:06 a.m.

    Hi Gregory, thanks for the detailed description which leaves me even more impressed with how you're moving on so many different fronts! I imagine that the INCLUDES program has much to learn from your experiences creating and sustaining collaboration among such a diverse group of stakeholders. I remember one of the speakers at the INCLUDES PI meeting saying the geographic proxmimity is key to achieving collective impact, and it looks like DISCUSSION is a good example of that...Kevin

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  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    March 21, 2017 | 10:37 a.m.

    Hi Kevin, your comments and insight are very helpful. Thank you for your input in the INCLUDES project's success.

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  • Icon for: Rosann Tung

    Rosann Tung

    Facilitator
    March 21, 2017 | 08:17 p.m.

    There is a lot to grasp in this ambitious and comprehensive initiative. Thank you for your video and extensive written explanation. I'm wondering whether you have a graphic theory of action that describes how all the pieces/activities/layers work together to broaden participation and reduced disparities. I'm also wondering what data you are collecting to document "collective impact."

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  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    March 23, 2017 | 11:33 a.m.

    Hi Rosann, thank you for your excellent post.  Indeed we have a working theory of action (or perhaps for us "theory of change") graphic that helps us lead to action, connections, building lasting relationships, and ultimately BP and reduced disparities.  From this, the fromative feedback loops are helping us make evidence-based decisions for large-scale progress and collective impact. Our working theory of change model established a basis for the DISCUSSION Network to build a common agenda related to shared indicators (and/or measurments) for broadening participation in STEM. Collaborative modeling is a process in which team members collaborate to identify the essential elements of a system, their roles in the system, and the other contextual factors.
    We are particularly focused on data analysis that helps us elucidate the "nature of influence" within/across components with respect to "contextual factors" integral to the DISCUSSION Network's functioning.  As you stated pieces, pieces, activities and layers include (not exhaustive but a sample):
    -Culturally Relevant Learning
    -Simplifying Complexity through Structure-Behavior-Function Theory
    -Hands On Learning Activities
    -Partnerships With Community Organizations
    -Level of Parental Formal and Informal Education
    -Enhanced STEM Identity
    -Quantitative Skills
    -Involved Science-focused HBCUs
    -Commitment Of STEM Educated Stakeholders
    -Shared Community Goals
    -Mentoring And Training
    -Formative Feedback Loops
    -Motivation To Change
    -Enhanced Integration Of Higher Education Institute
    -Multiple Applications Of Technology
    -Role Models

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  • Icon for: Suzanne Barbour

    Suzanne Barbour

    Dean
    March 23, 2017 | 04:58 p.m.

    Greg,

    Thanks for sharing your exciting project. I would like to know more about the real world problems that your students are addressing to help their communities. Who are your partners? What are the problems and what kinds of skills sets do they build in your students?

    Thanks,

    Suzanne

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  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    March 23, 2017 | 08:45 p.m.

    Hi Suzanne. Thank you for posting your excellent questions.  First of all, the DISCUSSION Network communicates the words and needs for families who seek avenues for their children to be included on the competitive trajectory for STEM careers. As 2 major HBCUs, we are uniquely positioned to help a key population overcome social and economic barriers that limit access to the STEM enterprise.  The DISCUSSION network provides families, local business owners, civic groups, neighborhood organizations, youth groups, churches and academic institutions the opportunity to become involved in a community-based network to protect natural resources in and out their neighborhoods  The partnerships thus include churches/faith-based organizations; community organizations (YMCA, Big Brother/Sister, Boys/Girls Club); and Greek Organizations. 

    More and more societal importance and emphasis are being placed on exploration and development of sustainable technologies because the underlying principles speak to deeply held beliefs in personal and societal responsibility and inherent ethical positions. Socio-environmental resilience is a key concept of the DISCUSSION Network, and a powerful metaphor for how to engage students and teachers. We have prototypical curricula built on systems thinking and Informed Engineering Design Pedagogy at the FEW (Food, Energy, Water) nexus to support scientific inquiry. We have launched specific educational and engagement strategies to engage middle school students, teacher professional development, curriculum development, and pedagogical innovations.  We are using Structure, Behavior, Function (SBF) framework to break down the complexity within STEM concepts to cross critical junctures, analyze data, and reason/argue/reflect from evidence.

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  1. Gregory Goins
  2. Associate Professor
  3. NSF INCLUDES Building Diverse and Integrative STEM Continua Using Socio-environmental Systems In and Out of Neighborhoods (DISCUSSION)
  4. https://qubeshub.org/groups/discussion
  5. North Carolina A&T State University
  1. Tonya Gerald-Goins
  2. Associate Professor
  3. NSF INCLUDES Building Diverse and Integrative STEM Continua Using Socio-environmental Systems In and Out of Neighborhoods (DISCUSSION)
  4. https://qubeshub.org/groups/discussion
  5. North Carolina Central University, NC-LSAMP
  1. Caesar Jackson
  2. Professor
  3. NSF INCLUDES Building Diverse and Integrative STEM Continua Using Socio-environmental Systems In and Out of Neighborhoods (DISCUSSION)
  4. https://qubeshub.org/groups/discussion
  5. North Carolina Central University

NSF INCLUDES DISCUSSION Network Envisioning Impact
1649255 and 1649263

The NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) Design and Development Launch Pilot is an innovative social network connecting people with similar interests and values across organizational boundaries.  NSF INCLUDES Building Diverse and Integrative STEM Continua Using Socio-environmental Systems In and Out of Neighborhoods (DISCUSSION) is a collaboration between two top ten HBCUs in the nation, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University (NCAT) and North Carolina Central University (NCCU); it forms a networked improvement community (NIC), called the DISCUSSION Network, with the purpose of increasing the participation of underrepresented ethnic minorities and women in the STEM enterprise.

The DISCUSSION Network overall shared goal of is to catalyze and support growth aimed at increasing numbers of disadvantaged “at-risk” students who are academically successful in STEM by actively leveraging regional collective impact in surrounding neighborhood communities that bridges existing gaps between disciplinary foci.   The DISCUSSION Network will benefit students in grades 5-8 across three (3) Piedmont, North Carolina counties involving ten (10) established community organizations.  The vision for our DISCUSSION Network is to build and sustain a scalable, inquiry-base.  We believe our DISCUSSION Network will reduce disparities in underserved neighborhoods and increase access all along the educational continuum from primary to secondary to post-secondary levels.