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Perry D.,University of Washington | Aragon C.,University of Washington | Cruz S.,University of Washington | Peters M.A.,Sage Bionetworks | And 2 more authors.
ACM International Conference Proceeding Series | Year: 2013

Engaging students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields is critical to ensure the success of the next generation of scientists and engineers. Given that 97% of American teens play video games, there is a tremendous opportunity to facilitate interest in STEM topics through the design of engaging learning games. While a growing number of serious games have been developed for biological science and computer science learning, few address the communication and technical challenges that arise in cyberinfrastructure intensive projects, where multiple domain scientists and computer scientists collaborate. This paper describes empirical data collected during a year-long human centered game design process, in which design ideas generated by high school students were bridged with cyberinfrastructure and bioinformatics learning concepts. Our research shows that "fun" and engaging game elements are well suited for addressing the sociotechnical aspects of cyberinfrastructure projects. In this research we provide a human centered game design methodology for science educators and science game designers, as well as design implications for integrating game-based experiences into the use of large-scale shared computing resources and services. © 2013 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.

Melvin A.J.,University of Washington | Edwards K.,University of Washington | Malone J.,University of Washington | Hassell L.,University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Clinical and Translational Science | Year: 2013

This paper is a case study of our regional Clinical Translational Science Award's (CTSA) development of a coordinated response to the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on Human Subjects Research Protections during the fall of 2011. Our CTSA was well positioned to quickly activate and coordinate a response to this important and time sensitive issue because we had established infrastructure and resources both within our CTSA and through our partnering institutions, existing relationships with key individuals in the institutions, and credibility as a trusted source of information. Three town hall meetings were organized and a Website was created to collect online comments. Ultimately, comments were collected, prioritized, and organized into a single, coordinated response. This case study demonstrates the value of a distributed research infrastructure and the role CTSAs like our Institute of Translational Health Sciences can play to engage the regional research community about important developments in the research landscape and to respond to requests for feedback to policy makers. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Chowning J.T.,Northwest Association for Biomedical Research | Griswold J.C.,Northwest Association for Biomedical Research | Kovarik D.N.,Northwest Association for Biomedical Research | Collins L.J.,Center for Research and Learning
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Developing a position on a socio-scientific issue and defending it using a well-reasoned justification involves complex cognitive skills that are challenging to both teach and assess. Our work centers on instructional strategies for fostering critical thinking skills in high school students using bioethical case studies, decision-making frameworks, and structured analysis tools to scaffold student argumentation. In this study, we examined the effects of our teacher professional development and curricular materials on the ability of high school students to analyze a bioethical case study and develop a strong position. We focused on student ability to identify an ethical question, consider stakeholders and their values, incorporate relevant scientific facts and content, address ethical principles, and consider the strengths and weaknesses of alternate solutions. 431 students and 12 teachers participated in a research study using teacher cohorts for comparison purposes. The first cohort received professional development and used the curriculum with their students; the second did not receive professional development until after their participation in the study and did not use the curriculum. In order to assess the acquisition of higher-order justification skills, students were asked to analyze a case study and develop a well-reasoned written position. We evaluated statements using a scoring rubric and found highly significant differences (p<0.001) between students exposed to the curriculum strategies and those who were not. Students also showed highly significant gains (p<0.001) in self-reported interest in science content, ability to analyze socio-scientific issues, awareness of ethical issues, ability to listen to and discuss viewpoints different from their own, and understanding of the relationship between science and society. Our results demonstrate that incorporating ethical dilemmas into the classroom is one strategy for increasing student motivation and engagement with science content, while promoting reasoning and justification skills that help prepare an informed citizenry. © 2012 Chowning et al.

Kovarik D.N.,Northwest Association for Biomedical Research | Patterson D.G.,University of Washington | Cohen C.,Cohen Research and Evaluation | Sanders E.A.,University of Washington | And 4 more authors.
CBE Life Sciences Education | Year: 2013

We investigated the effects of our Bio-ITEST teacher professional development model and bioinformatics curricula on cognitive traits (awareness, engagement, self-efficacy, and relevance) in high school teachers and students that are known to accompany a developing interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. The program included best practices in adult education and diverse resources to empower teachers to integrate STEM career information into their classrooms. The introductory unit, Using Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing, uses bioinformatics to teach basic concepts in genetics and molecular biology, and the advanced unit, Using Bioinformatics: Genetic Research, utilizes bioinformatics to study evolution and support student research with DNA barcoding. Pre-post surveys demonstrated significant growth (n = 24) among teachers in their preparation to teach the curricula and infuse career awareness into their classes, and these gains were sustained through the end of the academic year. Introductory unit students (n = 289) showed significant gains in awareness, relevance, and self-efficacy. While these students did not show significant gains in engagement, advanced unit students (n = 41) showed gains in all four cognitive areas. Lessons learned during Bio-ITEST are explored in the context of recommendations for other programs that wish to increase student interest in STEM careers. © 2013 D. N. Kovarik et al.

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