Spring 2019 HSTEM Course
The sixth iteration of the HSTEM course in the Spring of 2019 has 9 students and 4 faculty/staff facilitators. The students are currently working on 3 different projects that follow the themes of past courses' projects. They will present their results in a summit at Brown on April 25th, in conjunction with students from Yale University and Brown University. Explore more about their projects below.
Outreach to Local Elementary School Students
Following the project theme, "Supporting Engagement of Elementary School Aged Children in STEM," 3 of this semester's students developed an interactive activity for Science Night with local elementary school children. There were many stations at the event that attendees cycled through, and it's safe to say that our group's activity station was definitely a favorite! The children were invited to extract DNA from strawberries to make a necklace and then dress up in a lab coat and goggles for an instant photo.
Consolidating STEM Resources at Amherst College
Following the project theme of "Expanding/Deepening HSTEM Interventions at Amherst College," a group of 3 students from the Spring 2019 HSTEM course saw a need for making the various resources available for STEM students more accessible. They found that academic resources including tutoring, mentoring, and research opportunities were plentiful, but these resources were neither easy to find nor consolidated across departments. They gathered a list of resources and formatted them into a timeline to assist students as they navigate STEM at Amherst.
Examining Mental Health in STEM at Amherst College
The final group of 3 students also followed the project theme of "Expanding/Deepening HSTEM Interventions at Amherst College." This group worked to increase awareness of and decrease the stigma around mental health issues and accommodations, with a particular focus on the STEM community at Amherst College. They aimed to contextualize university policies toward mental health and accommodations.
Amherst Humans in STEM Panelist Profiles
Early in the semester, the HSTEM class worked hard to plan a salon in Amherst's Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI) entitled "Amherst Humans in STEM." The salon marked the intersection of the Humanities and STEM as the students introduced and led a discussion among Amherst faculty and staff in STEM. All of the four panelists are all participants in the faculty learning community on inclusive pedagogy in STEM. Working in pairs or small groups, the students interviewed one of the panelists, prepared an introduction for the salon, and wrote a brief profile about why their panelist practices STEM in a liberal arts setting and how they incorporate the human into their STEM classes, labs and research. Read those profiles below.
Prof. Stephen Cartier, Visiting Professor of Chemistry
Professor Stephen Cartier’s journey in STEM began when he thought it was just ending. After graduating as a chemistry major from Boston College, he swore he would never do chemistry again. Post-graduation, Professor Cartier joined the Peace Corps, where he taught high schoolers physics and chemistry in Togo for three years. This transformative experience forced Professor Cartier to relearn physics and chemistry and develop engaging lessons to teach to his French-speaking students. It was this experience that motivated Professor Cartier to attend graduate school for physical chemistry at Penn State.
Dr. Sarah Bunnell, Associate Director for the Center for Teaching & Learning, STEM Specialist
Dr. Sarah Bunnell is the Associate Director & STEM specialist for the Center for Teaching
and Learning. Prior to joining Amherst, she was a tenured Associate Professor of Psychology and
Great Lakes Colleges Association Pedagogy Fellow at Ohio Wesleyan University. She received her
Ph.D. in Developmental and Cognitive Psychology from the University of Kansas. She grew up in
Kansas City, in a family where education was very important. She had attended Middlebury after
applying Early Action. She has always been very data-oriented and very math-oriented. So much
so, that she was a "Math-lete" in middle school, and in fact was the only girl on the team.
Prof. Dianne Pater, Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology and Consortium for Faculty Diversity Scholar
Professor Dianne Pater is a visiting professor at Amherst College, currently on her last semester here. She is a first-generation American and first-generation student who has experienced a non-traditional path in academia. Her family’s migration from the Philippines was difficult and after attending undergrad at Boston University, she dropped out due to personal difficulties and lack of support. After starting a family, she returned to community college and later transferred to the lab technician program at the University of New Mexico. At UNM, she switched to a biology major and fondly remembers conversations with plant physiology professor during office hours.
Prof. Katharine Correia, Assistant Professor of Statistics
Katharine Correia is an Assistant Professor of Statistics at Amherst College whose second semester is underway. She is currently teaching Intermediate Statistics and Introduction to Statistics via Modeling for the Spring of 2019. She is a member of the Faculty Learning Community on Inclusive Pedagogy. Professor Correia received her B.A. at Mount Holyoke College in 2007, her M.A. at Boston University in 2009, and her Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2018. At Mount Holyoke, she did not go in with the intention to pursue STEM but had to take some courses due to the general requirements. Math had been easy for her in high school, so she took a statistics course, believing that it would not be difficult. It was, in fact, difficult, but she ended up loving the professor and the subject.
HSTEM Summit @ Brown, April 25th, 2019
Check back here later for photos and updates about the event!