ASHEVILLE NC – Hundreds of educators from many disciplines will come to UNC Asheville for the 2014 SENCER Summer Institute, sharing best practices for connecting teaching of STEM topics (science, technology, engineering and math) with critical local, national and global issues. SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) will hold its summer institute July 31-August 4, bringing together university faculty, K-12 teachers and educators from museums and science centers across the country.
“The SENCER project is perhaps one of the most important, if not the most important, curriculum reform effort currently underway, particularly in the area of science education,” says Edward Katz, UNC Asheville associate provost and dean of university programs. “SENCER’s aim is to open our students’ minds to the interconnections between fundamental science concepts and the complex social questions they powerfully address. These engaged and interdisciplinary learning approaches have enabled us to reach students who otherwise may not have been open to or interested in science, which is critical if we are to help shape a generation of citizens who are science literate.”
Keith Krumpe, UNC Asheville’s dean of natural sciences, will present at the SENCER Summer Institute, as will Rebecca Hale, Angeldeep Kaur, Caroline Kennedy and Jennifer Rhode Ward of the university’s biology faculty.
UNC Asheville also hosted the SENCER Summer Institute in 2010. “We are pleased that our annual SENCER Summer Institute is returning to UNC Asheville this year,” said David Burns, SENCER principal investigator and executive director of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. “A great faculty team from Asheville won our William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science last year.”
SENCER, initiated in 2001 under the National Science Foundation’s course, curriculum and laboratory improvement national dissemination track, is the signature program of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. “Our National Science Foundation program brings the science of learning to the learning of science, specifically by connecting course content to issues of local and global impact,” said Burns.
The 285 participants invited to take part in the 2014 SENCER Summer Institute include 39 teams from 118 higher education, museum and science center institutions, and 15 Asheville-area K-12 teachers. Educators will be coming from as far away as South Africa, New Zealand and the Republic of Georgia.
To join in the social media conversation that will be part of the 2014 SENCER Summer Institute, use #SSI2014.