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Tuesday, October 19 • 5:45pm - 5:55pm
We Belong in STEM: Student-Created Scientist Spotlights in Introductory Astronomy

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Scientist Spotlights are assignments which introduce diverse and counter-stereotypical STEM role models and “possible selves.” Traditionally, in an approach pioneered by Jeff Schinske, students review the biography and work of specific scientists, then write a critical reflection, including describing what they learned about who does science. Spotlights are shown to support students’ sense of belonging and science identity formation, which can improve persistence and success in STEM. While public materials are available for some STEM disciplines (at scientistspotlights.org), the available materials were limited for astronomy. Student-created Spotlights are one way to provide these missing materials. They are also a valuable pedagogical tool on their own, as they help students to sharpen their research skills and draw connections between scientists’ work and course themes. Finally, student-created Spotlights can provide the basis for a classroom conversation on diversity in STEM. I will describe my approach for curating student-created Spotlights, how to leverage the assignment to support student discussion on diversity, share the results of my implementation, and suggest further ideas to extend the assignment (including beyond STEM disciplines).

After participating in this session, attendees will be able to:
  • Articulate the core purpose of Scientist Spotlights
  • Describe how the open (student-created) approach differs from the traditional Spotlight approach, and how traditional Spotlight assignments can be supported by open Spotlight creators
  • Explain how student-created Spotlights can provide the basis for classroom conversations on diversity (in STEM, or in other fields)
Slides: https://tinyurl.com/open-spotlights

avatar for Andrea Goering

Andrea Goering

Instructor of Physics and Astronomy, Lane Community College
Hi! I'm a physicist, currently teaching astronomy at Lane Community College using OpenStax Astronomy. I'll be publishing my course materials (lecture slides, activities, and project prompts) on OER Commons this year! Drop me a line if you'd like to be notified when I post them: goeringa@lanecc.eduCome... Read More →

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Tuesday October 19, 2021 5:45pm - 5:55pm EDT
Room E