1. Gwen Stovall
  2. HRI Director and Principal Investigator
  3. The High School Research Initiative
  4. https://cns.utexas.edu/hri
  5. University of Texas at Austin
  1. Jill Rhoden
  2. HRI Outreach Program Coordinator
  3. The High School Research Initiative
  4. https://cns.utexas.edu/hri
  5. University of Texas at Austin
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 4, 2020 | 03:54 p.m.

    Hello, and welcome to the High School Research Initiative page!  The University of Texas High School Research Initiative (HRI) is a scientific inquiry center that provides dual-enrollment research courses, trains teachers to successfully lead research/inquiry experiences, as well as provides supportive resources to introduce and lead scientific inquiry experiences in a high school environment.

    We are excited to share our program with you!

     
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    Kristin Flaming
    Matt LaDue
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 5, 2020 | 11:31 a.m.

    You can do inquiry or authentic research in a high school classroom! Please tell us how you're doing this!

  • Icon for: Deanna Buckley

    Deanna Buckley

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 5, 2020 | 11:38 a.m.

    The High School Research Initiative has online professional development training available this summer- if you are interested ask!

     
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    Deanna Buckley
    Matt LaDue
    Kristen Procko
    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 5, 2020 | 11:40 a.m.

    Yes, there's a teacher professional development coming up! Please check out this site for information, https://cns.utexas.edu/hri/teachers/professional-development. (Site is being actively updated as we speak.)

  • Icon for: Jill Rhoden

    Jill Rhoden

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 02:54 p.m.

    HRI Summer Professional Development info!

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Arthur Sikora

    Arthur Sikora

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 5, 2020 | 11:48 a.m.

    Engaging with high school teachers and students is very important. As a faculty member who is interested in learning more about the STEM needs of local high schools, Im not sure where to start. Id really like to learn more about the science students learn before they get to us in college and what faculty can do to make that transition smoother. Research programs like HRI seem perfect for this. Do you have any suggestions based on your work in Austin schools? Is there usually a point person at the district/school level? 

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
    Kristen Procko
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 5, 2020 | 03:17 p.m.

    Thank you for the question! The **teachers** are vital to this program and their buy-in from the very beginning is essential. Connecting with and recruiting teachers through UTeach, conferences, and personal networks has built a great community of HRI teachers.

    Early on, we built a relationship with the Austin ISD Science Administrative Supervisor, who became a champion of the HRI. He worked eagerly to personally connect us to teachers and schools, who he thought would be a good fit for the program.

    Once the course is integrated into schools, the schools have worked to continue the course and teacher training, even in times of teacher turnover.

    I'm happy to talk more, if you like about how to get started and connect with schools. My email address is gwenstovall@utexas.edu or we can continue the conversation here! :)

  • Icon for: Jason Aloisio

    Jason Aloisio

    Manger of Project TRUE
    May 5, 2020 | 02:02 p.m.

    What a great program, thanks for sharing! I'm curious to know more about the high school class. Is it an elective class that the students decide to take? Do they need to have taken other classes prior? Are the research projects on any topic? 

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Jill Rhoden

    Jill Rhoden

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 02:59 p.m.

    Great questions!  For most students, this is an elective science class, however, we have a few schools using the course as a capstone to fulfill CTE pathway requirements.  The prerequisite for the course is Algebra II due to the statistics introduced.  Most students are seniors who have completed their other required sciences.  The projects may be on any topic as long as proper approval is obtained.

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Alexandra Eusebi

    Alexandra Eusebi

    May 5, 2020 | 04:32 p.m.

    What a rich and valuable experience for teachers and students alike! It's fabulous that UT can provide outreach to students as well as professional development for local educators of this caliber. HRI is truly making headways by affording an authentic research experience with top notch investigators and cutting-edge science. The students and teachers involved really benefit from HRI fostering 21st century skills, such as, inquiry-based learning, agency, and collaboration - in a format that is accessible to all.

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 6, 2020 | 10:25 a.m.

    Thank you, Dr. Eusebi! We're proud of this program and couldn't be where we are without the vision and contributions of UTeach!

  • Icon for: Ed Robeck

    Ed Robeck

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 07:07 p.m.

    Wonderful opportunity for the students! Do you have a sense that you're engaging some students who are not already motivated toward STEM? That is not to say that it would be a less valuable program if it were just engaging STEM-leaning kids (they need support, too--sometimes a lot), but I'm just curious about the profile of the population you're finding coming into the program.

     
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    Steven Greenstein
    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 6, 2020 | 10:42 a.m.

    Lovely question! As it seems, highly motivated students were the first the participate in the program (at least for the first 3 years). Upon observing this, we modified our recruiting approach, better messaging HRI teachers and school counselors with our vision to reach students that might not be motivated by a traditional science course and those willing to try another type of science class. Additionally, we're continuing to reach out to schools with our target audience. The early results seem to indicate that some schools might be better than others at reaching those students. We hope to dig into these results and use this information to reach more students!

    And, if you have any suggestions, then I'd love to hear it! Thanks again for your question!

     

  • Icon for: David Campbelll

    David Campbelll

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 12:04 p.m.

    This is a great program, but it relies on physical proximity to a research university.  Have you thought of ways that this project could be replicated in high schools that are far away from a research facility?

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Jill Rhoden

    Jill Rhoden

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 05:11 p.m.

    Thank you for the question, David!  Yes, the current iteration of the program relies on the proximity to The University of Texas for in-class visits by research collaborators and peer mentors, supply distribution, and summer teacher professional development.  A few ideas we are considering to replicate across Texas include partnering with other research facilities across the state, 'packaging' research curricula that could be conducted in a more remote manner, and offering a year-long inquiry experience where students continue to conduct their own experiments with our research faculty available for questions that may arise in their area of study.  This year-long course will be offered to several schools for the 2020-21 school year.

    Our undergraduate peer mentor program has been an unexpected highlight for both the high school and undergraduate students.  One or our goals this year was to begin testing the water for virtual mentoring to alleviate the challenges of proximity to campus and the current distance learning situation has launched us into this new path - ready or not! 

     
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    Kristen Procko
    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Bonnie Hall

    Bonnie Hall

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 7, 2020 | 04:19 p.m.

    A very nice program, and sounds like high school students can really have a great experience (as can the science teachers, with the professional development opportunities)!  

    Your undergraduate peer mentor program is intriguing to me.  I am part of the BASIL consortium (we have a video  in the showcase) and we have had a few high schools participate.  We are lucky in that our curriculum does not require being close the a specific research school.  We would like to expand to more high schools, but good support of those schools is an area where we are still working out details. I would love to hear more details--how do you identify undergraduates to serve as mentors, what is the the ratio of undergrad mentors to HS students, and how you train those mentors?  

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Jill Rhoden

    Jill Rhoden

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 06:33 p.m.

    Wonderful question!  Our peer mentor program has been an unexpected highlight for both our high school students and the undergraduate mentors!  Their connection goes beyond the lab work. 

    We work with two sets of mentors - FRI (Freshman Research Initiative) Peer Mentors and UTeach interns.  FRI peer mentors have completed required work in a research collaborator's lab and are then eligible to continue working in the lab as a mentor student for hourly pay or course credit.  The students go through and application process and those accepted complete a training through the FRI program.  Research collaborators then identify any students who are also interested in mentoring the high school students.  This year we added a monthly meeting specifically for the HRI/FRI mentors to a sense of connection and an opportunity to discuss topics on mentoring.  Our UTeach interns are training to become high school teachers through the UTeach program.  We invite students who have completed the UTeach Research Methods course (foundational course for our program) to apply for the HRI internship through an interview process.

    Each high school is paired with a research collaborator who then identifies mentors interested and available to work with the high schools.  We try to pair at least one mentor with each section of our high school classes in their research lab with a 1:15 ratio of mentor to student.  Our UTeach interns assist at various schools depending on their schedule.

    Hope that helps!  And thank you for mentioning your program!  We are in the early stages of working on something similar that could be used at schools that are not in close proximity to Austin.

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Steven Greenstein

    Steven Greenstein

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 05:39 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this work. What a vital and formative experience you're providing for students. I understand this is a research opportunity for students. Is it a research opportunity for project staff, as well? What are you learning about the development of teachers' inquiry pedagogy and what experiences would you recommend to be included in science teacher preparation?

     
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    Michael I. Swart
    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 7, 2020 | 10:38 a.m.

    Thanks for reaching out, Steven!

    High School Research Initiative teachers participate in a summer professional development to primarily train and work together in preparation for the yearlong open inquiry/collaborative research course. During this time, there's an opportunity for teachers to work directly with University of Texas faculty to conduct research, much in the same way the students conduct research for the second semester of the course (although for a shorter time period).

    This course creates, in my mind, a beautiful, feedback loop of student and teacher empowerment! Students develop an idea or curiosity into a full science project. This implies a teacher has a level of knowledge and confidence to facilitate the formation of that idea into a testable question, design an experiment, etc. Often, the teachers, in similar ways as the students, are challenged to grow in a new area. With practice, teachers build confidence in their teaching agility, learning abilities, and display of vulnerability (or area ripe for growth; "I don't know this, but I will try to find the answer by ...").

    Because of this experience, I encourage opportunities for teachers to build ideas/curiosities (perhaps from other teachers) into testable science projects, even imaging what the data might look like and how to analyze it. Numerous thought experiments (as opposed to actually performing the benchwork) of this type will identify what we know, don't know, and how vocalize that it's OK not to have all the answers.

    @Deanna Buckley, as a UTeach Master Teacher and the HRI Faculty leading the teacher PD, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this stimulating question! :)

     
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    Steven Greenstein
  • Icon for: Deanna Buckley

    Deanna Buckley

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 7, 2020 | 01:14 p.m.

    Hi Steven,

     

    It has been a while since we have chatted!  I am glad to see you have such a robust program at Montclair State!

     

    As you know learners have to construct their own knowledge and we facilitate this with the 3 week intensive training in the summer and the additional support during the school year.  Some of the most valuable lessons emerge when meeting each month and teachers bring examples from their own classrooms where they were challenged with actual events, sharing with the teacher team for collective brainstorming and discussion.  High school teachers using tools like statistical tests once in the summertime rarely provides the fluency needed to confidently direct high school students use for a variety of projects during the school year. The additional support and multiple year experience has been invaluable for cementing the knowledge and skills needed for successful implementation in high schools.  We are ongoing with data analysis and assessment that continuously informs our practices.  To answer your question succinctly: fieldwork and reflection, developing a community of practice that openly shares difficulties in order to grow.  Everyone has a valuable voice in the collective learning space and we weave activities in the professional development to support social and emotional learning as well as trust and value for the work they do.

     

    Teaching is a challenging profession.  Asking teachers to let students control some of the direction of their learning is unsettling when high stakes testing drives so much in many schools.  We are seeing that student agency and growing competence to ask and answer some of their own questions contributes to student motivation, as well as belonging to something bigger than just their own high school classroom as high school seniors.  This in turn contributes to teacher motivation to engage in new practices, growing their skills as they participate in the program.  We have seen teachers in this program take and implement successful aspects of this course in other science courses as well. 

     
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    Steven Greenstein
    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Kristin Flaming

    Kristin Flaming

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 7, 2020 | 01:20 p.m.

    This is a great program for high school students. Our high school version of https://passiondrivenstatistics.com has found similar results with students finding interest and wanting to continue to engage in research. The students either go through a 1 week boot camp or throughout a semester spend 15 hours on their project. We use archival data sets but I really like that your program is giving these young researchers hands on experience with collecting data. The engagement with UT faculty I can imagine is extremely powerful in shaping their future career paths. Are you tracking students to see the degree's the complete?

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
    Matt LaDue
  • Icon for: Jill Rhoden

    Jill Rhoden

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 08:55 a.m.

    Thank you for the question!  We currently do not have a mechanism to track the students through college though we have discussed many times that this would be an important piece of information.  We do have students complete a pre- and post survey to evaluate the their attitude toward science and interest in a science career.

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: John Weisenfeld

    John Weisenfeld

    K-12 Teacher
    May 7, 2020 | 03:54 p.m.

    Curious if there has been any crossover of HSRI with researchers at National Labs, or Industry?

    Also curious if you have statistics on participation in HSRI of under-represented populations in STEM?

    Finally, I teach CTE and Science (Physics) courses, can I get a little more information on how you market/implement HSRI as a CTE Capstone course?

    Thanks!

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 8, 2020 | 12:39 p.m.

    Hello, John!
    The high school research collaborations are with the University of Texas and haven't extended into National Labs or industry, but can certainly see the value in such.

    In general, our HRI student demographics approach those of the schools (including three title I school partners). My statistics are broken down by schools, but I'll reach out to the program evaluator to see if I can quickly obtain the overall demographics. Thanks for asking!

    Your final question on implementing a CTE Capstone course is great and the subject of many conversations! I can't say we have that process fully developed. Early on, we provided schools options for the high school course (SPR, PBR, etc.) and then schools ran with it, some seeing the capstone potential in the course. Now, however, I see we could provide a great service by giving the schools additional endorsement/pathway/credentialing options. This will certainly be an adaptation of the future program. I would be happy to share some of our rough notes, if this would be of help -- gwenstovall@utexas.edu.

     

  • Icon for: Ed Robeck

    Ed Robeck

    Facilitator
    May 8, 2020 | 08:48 a.m.

     

    Gwendolyn, this is really impressive work. I keep going back to thoughts about "what every learner should get to experience" as I think about your work. If only...

    I'm picking up on your comments yesterday (a couple posts above, on the 7th) regarding the "feedback loop". I work with various teams to design teacher professional development. The model is often that professional development is seen as something that is done outside the classroom, and then the teacher brings that new learning and deploys it into the classroom (lots of supply chain politics come to mind, but I won't digress). The model you described, where the development for the teacher comes out of the nature of the interaction with the student and the challenges of the task at hand seems much closer to an ideal. I wonder how explicit the development of the teachers becomes. Do the teachers realize that they are undergoing development in terms of their practice? Is that discussion of the teachers' development a part of the project?

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 11, 2020 | 01:27 p.m.

    Thank you for the encouragement and comments, Ed! The teachers meet regularly (monthly, at least) to, among other things, reflect, discuss their experiences and best practices.

    @Jill Rhoden, as the HRI Outreach Coordinator and link to the teachers, would you be willing to comment on how explicit you feel this experience is for the teacher development? How are the teachers regularly considering how their experiences as a teacher and learner in the HRI environment? (Jill, your first hand knowledge of this gets to the guts of this discuss. :) )

     

  • Icon for: Jill Rhoden

    Jill Rhoden

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 06:57 p.m.

    Wow!  Great questions!  In general, we ask the teachers to be reflective regularly through monthly video conferences and during professional development.  We offer the 3 week PD where teachers learn through the lens of the student and reflect on the activities through the lens of the teacher.  Two subsequent professional development days are designed around areas that teachers have identified as being topics for which they would like additional assistance or depth. We also have invited them to reflect at the end of the year through a survey and/or interview.  The questions are geared toward implementation of the course as well as their confidence in teaching the course.  

    We have not formally focused on discussions of the development of practices with the teachers specifically but we have seen evidence through our evaluator's observations that the teachers are implementing inquiry practices that we model in the professional development both in the HRI course and in other courses that they teach and have improved from one year to the next.  We have also seen teachers become more comfortable branching out to incorporate their own twists to the curriculum provided.  And I have actually had a teacher ask for feedback on their implementation so formalizing this discussion may be a good next step!

     

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Josh Beckham

    Josh Beckham

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2020 | 09:45 p.m.

    As a research collaborator in this program - one of the benefits to me as a university faculty has been the ability to extend our research beyond what we would normally do.  With our high school collaboration, we can have students explore techniques or research questions that are higher risk. If they don't pan out - the students still receive a valuable experience tied to the undergraduate lab. If it does work, then we can bring that pilot research project back into the main lab to pursue it further. In addition to the research benefits, the interactions with the high school instructors has helped me refine my own pedagogy.  this is a great program with substantial benefits for all involved. Thanks for sharing! 

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Jill Rhoden

    Jill Rhoden

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 08:07 a.m.

    Josh, thank you for being a part of our program and providing insight into the benefits of your role as a research collaborator! 

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • May 11, 2020 | 08:09 a.m.

    This is such a cool program!  What an opportunity for students.  Giving them a collaborative research experience is the key to unlocking their own potential and showing them that STEM could be for them!

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 11, 2020 | 01:42 p.m.

    Thank you, Henry! The collaborative research experience has been a wealth of positive outcomes for all those involved: students, undergraduate peer mentors, teachers, and UT faculty. It has been a joy to see the collaborative network develop and grow.Thank you for taking the time to view our video! (And, congrats to you and your team on your fine program!)

  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Associate Clinical Professor
    May 12, 2020 | 09:35 a.m.

    Great job bringing high-quality inquiry to schools. Your hard work and dedication really shine through.

     
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    Gwendolyn Stovall
  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 12, 2020 | 12:48 p.m.

    Thank you, Shelly! This wouldn't be possible without the guidance and support of UTeach. UTeach has left their mark on the teacher training, pedagogy, course content, and more! Plus, the amazing UTeach interns continue to contribute and build this program into what it is today! Thank you for taking the time to drop us a note!

  • May 12, 2020 | 11:24 a.m.

    A contextualized, hands-on approach to Teacher PD that extends to the classroom and beyond for students - great work.  Can you expound more on the types of data that you are collecting (from the PD, from classrooms, of students)?  And highlight for us how this data is answering research questions/hypotheses? Any published resources you can point us to?  Thanks for sharing. 

  • Icon for: Gwendolyn Stovall

    Gwendolyn Stovall

    Lead Presenter
    HRI Director and Principal Investigator
    May 12, 2020 | 01:15 p.m.


    Many thanks, Michael! The High School Research Initiative is trying to determine the extent program participation affects:


    1.Students’ knowledge and skills, including their scientific literacy skills (Gormally et al., 2012), knowledge about experimental design, complexity of scientific reasoning, and scientific communication skills (program developed rubric for examining student knowledge and skills);


    2.Students’ attitudes, including their science motivation and as well as their scientific self-efficacy, science identity, and scientific values orientation (Estrada et al., 2011; Brussard and Carlson, 2014);


    3.Students’ educational pursuits, including their enrollment in higher education immediately after high school and their persistence in science majors; 


    4.Teachers’, research collaborators’, and near-peer mentors’ abilities to mentor students in scientific inquiry (focus groups and interviews); and


    5.Teachers’ self-efficacy in using active learning and facilitate pedagogical techniques (Watson and Calligham, 2014).

    And, most recently, we began to determine how the undergraduate peer mentors are contributing to the course activities, as well as the HRI high school student attitudes towards the mentors.

    I just published our 2019 NIH SciEd poster on our website, https://cns.utexas.edu/hri/results. (It might take a few hours before the new page is live.) Thanks for asking about this information!

    And, thank you, too, for asking about published resources. We're preparing a manuscript now for publication in Journal of Stem Outreach.


  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.