STEM ACT Conference

Friday - Sunday, May 5th-7th, 2006





The STEM-ACT conference will produce three types of products. The first type consists of those that are direct products of the conference -- white papers and conference proceedings. The second are presentations at professional and research conferences. The third type consists of new activities; such are research proposals that build upon the conference products.


White papers

Three “white papers” on alternative certification for science teachers will be produced, each for a different audience: the science education and teacher education research communities; the education policy community; and the community of education practice including school districts, colleges of education, and other teacher education providers. Although the third white paper is directed at practice, it will not be a collection of “best practices.” Rather, it will focus on the implications of the conference findings on practice. Each white paper will be produced by a committee of conference attendees co-chaired by one of the PIs. The committees will be constituted before the conference begins. We expect that the research paper will be co-chaired by PI Feldman, the policy paper by PI Berger, and the practice paper by PI Sternheim. The morning session of the last day of the conference will be a working session. Participants will be divided into three large groups based on their interest in research, policy and practice. Each large group will be divided into groups of five or so facilitated by a member of the writing committee. The small groups will review through analysis and synthesis of what was discussed and presented during the conference. The results from these groups will be given to the writing committees. Knowledge generated during the conference will also be collected by “scribes” who will have the responsibility of note taking during each of the sessions. The scribes will receive training before the conference to make sure that they have the skills to capture the knowledge generated and shared in each session. All sessions will also be audio taped for archival purposes. During the afternoon of the last day the three committees will meet to plan out the writing process. They will draw upon the results from the morning meeting, the notes from the scribes, and the papers and responses written for the conference.



Conference papers and responses will be collected and published electronically (web and CD). Participants can also add papers to the proceedings after the conference.


Articles and papers

We expect that numerous papers and articles will be written as a result of this conference. The PIs expect to present papers at appropriate venues, such as annual meetings of AERA, NARST, ASTE, NSTA, and AACTE. Participants will present papers at professional and research conferences for their fields. The PIs and participants will also prepare papers for publication in research and professional journals.


New activities

The PIs have the expectation that each of the white papers will be used as a catalyst for additional activities, such as research proposals to NSF and other funding agencies; policy studies that seek answers to questions raised at the conference; and the development of methods, materials, and curricula to best prepare new science teachers in alternative settings.