“Engaging Students as Partners in an Interdisciplinary Lesson Study”

November 16, 2023

Margaret Ann Bolick
Ph.D. Student
Engineering and Science Education
Clemson University

There is a growing need to support interdisciplinary STEM knowledge and skills to address 21st-century challenges, yet STEM disciplines are often taught in isolation and removed from real-world applications.
This seminar will discuss my experiences as an instructor for a newly developed course that is being run in coordination with an international exchange program between Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina and the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway.

As part of this program, ESED 3100: Applied Integrated STEM Research and Outreach was created to engage undergraduate and graduate STEM students in a mathematics and environmental science-based lesson study. The course was composed of current Norwegian exchange students and Clemson students who will study abroad in Spring 2024. The students in ESED 3100 initiated and directed the creation of an interactive curricular lesson that utilized
various data sources on algal bloom growth (in the localized contexts of in-class grown algae, the Savannah River Watershed in South Carolina, and the international context of the coastline of Trøndelag, Norway). The students then implemented the curricular lesson in a water sustainability course where they observed different groups of students participating in the lesson to analyze student engagement and student question-asking. During this presentation, I will discuss the course, the exchange program, how students successfully engaged in creating a lesson, and my own personal reflection as the instructor of record.

Margaret Ann Bolick is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Engineering and Science Education program at Clemson University. She earned her MAT in Mathematics Education and BS in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University. After completing both degrees, she worked as a high school mathematics and science teacher in the Boston Public School System, where she taught Integrated Math III, Physics, Calculus, and 12th Grade Mathematics. She hopes to focus her research on economically marginalized first year mathematics students across international institutions.