October 04, 2022

Working Together to Create a Better Science Curriculum

L&C students interested in STEM teaching careers will soon have a new opportunity to collaborate with undergraduate and graduate school faculty as well as Portland-area science teachers. Together, they will create conservation-centered data science teaching methods and materials to benefit 6th through 12th graders. The project is funded by a $105,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

[left] Greta Binford, professor of biology, L&C College of Arts and Sciences[right] Liza Fink... [left] Greta Binford, professor of biology, L&C College of Arts and Sciences
[right] Liza Finkel, professor of education, L&C Graduate School of Education and Counseling

Lewis & Clark undergraduates with an interest in becoming STEM teachers will soon have a new opportunity to work alongside L&C faculty and Portland-area science educators. Together, they will develop teaching methods and materials based on conservation-centered data science for middle school and high school students. In support of the project, Lewis & Clark received a $105,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The project is built on a unique cross-school collaboration between Lewis & Clark’s College of Arts and Sciences and its Graduate School of Education and Counseling. Greta Binford, professor of biology in the undergraduate college, and Liza Finkel, professor of education in the graduate school, colead the professional development project.

Planned activities include:

  • A summer 2023 workshop—This weeklong workshop will help 6th- to 12th-grade teachers and undergraduates build data science teaching methods and materials appropriate for middle and high school students.
  • Classroom application in 2023–24—Participating teachers and their undergraduate partners will deploy these teaching methods and materials in Portland-area classrooms.
  • A summer 2024 workshop—All participants will reconvene to share experiences, revise and update curriculum, and publicly share their curricular materials.

The funding for this project is designed to supplement Binford’s current NSF-funded project, “Collaborative Research: HDR DSC: Building Capacity in Data Science through Biodiversity, Conservation, and General Education,” which will continue in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Arizona.

“This supplemental grant leverages our combined strengths in the undergraduate and the graduate school in ways that will impact our L&C undergraduates, Portland STEM teachers, and their 6th- through 12th-grade students,” says Binford. “I love working with the community at the graduate school, and this is an opportunity to support new channels of connection around our momentum in data science.”

Lewis & Clark undergraduates are eligible to pursue a 4+1 program with the graduate school called Teacher Pathways, which enables them to earn their bachelor of arts (BA) and master of arts in teaching (MAT)—plus professional licensure—in just five years.

Teacher Pathways Data Science