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Stony Brook New Home to NSF STEM Civic-Centered Learning Program

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The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) offers programs, services, and assets to colleges, universities, schools, and community organizations designed to make STEM education real, relevant, rigorous, and responsible, and support student success and achievement. In addition to SENCER, programs include SENCER-ISE (Informal Science Education), Engaging Mathematics, and Coupling Civic Engagement with Academic Support Programs to Retain Minority Students in STEM.
The National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE) offers programs, services, and assets to colleges, universities, schools, and community organizations designed to make STEM education real, relevant, rigorous, and responsible, and support student success and achievement. In addition to SENCER, programs include SENCER-ISE (Informal Science Education), Engaging Mathematics, and Coupling Civic Engagement with Academic Support Programs to Retain Minority Students in STEM. From left: Christine DeCarlo, SENCER Engaging Mathematics Coordinator; Danielle Kraus-Tarka, SENCER Deputy Director for Operations, Community Outreach, and Engagement; Eliza J. Reilly, SENCER Deputy Executive Director for Programs; David Ferguson, Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Technology and Society at Stony Brook, and the University’s Liaison for SENCER; Lauren Donavan of Stony Brook’s Department of Technology and Society; Wm. David Burns is Executive Director of NCSCE, and the Principal Investigator of SENCER; Hailey Chenevert, SENCER Manager of Informal Science Education Partnership Program; and Kyle Simmons, SENCER Faculty Development Events Manager.

March 31, 2016Stony Brook University is the new home to SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities). Formerly located at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, SENCER is a national initiative connecting “the science of learning to the learning of science,” with the goal to expand civic capacity and connect science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) content to real world problems.

Established in 2001 by the National Science Foundation’s Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement national dissemination track, SENCER is the signature program of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE). It is geared toward strengthening undergraduate student learning and interest in the STEM disciplines by connecting course topics to critical issues of local, national and global importance. The move to Stony Brook comes after NCSCE, with support from the NSF’s ICORPS-L program, explored new strategies for achieving larger scale and sustainability for those activities in which NSF has made substantial investments.

“I am thrilled to welcome SENCER to Stony Brook University,” said Fotis Sotiropoulos, Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the college in which SENCER is housed. “SENCER’s commitment to STEM education and visionary leadership in developing multidisciplinary courses focused on complex societal challenges mirror our own educational philosophy. I can’t imagine a better home for SENCER than Stony Brook.”

SENCER, with Research Professor Wm. David Burns as founder and Executive Director, offers resources to assist educators in creating or modifying courses and programs in a range of disciplines. Its approach to curricular enhancement and faculty development uses the urgency and significance of complex and pressing civic challenges.

David Ferguson, Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Technology and Society, and facilitator for the SBU SENCER activities, says that SENCER is a major addition to Stony Brook University’s initiatives that foster the development of comprehensive advances in STEM education.

“NCSCE has been a major contributor to our nation’s efforts to enhance STEM education,” said Dr. Ferguson, “and we are excited that Stony Brook will play an even greater role in the future.”

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