New Student Organization in Town

January 28, 2015

By Aubrie Pfirman

The Clemson Society for STEM Education, or CSTEMEd, is the new student organization for Engineering and Science Education, a unique group for both graduate and undergraduate students. It is for any student who has been, currently is, or wishes to be involved with STEM education, STEM education research, and/or STEM outreach. Our goals are to:

  1. Provide opportunities for future STEM educators to develop teaching and research skills,
  2. Provide STEM undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to learn about and present STEM education research.

Our current co-chairs are Courtney Faber and Aubrie L. Pfirman, and our secretary is Rachel Anderson. Our former Treasurer, Tyler Scott, has accepted a position as a Physics Instructor in Iowa after successfully earning his Ph.D. last month!

We are in the process of creating a repository of materials and resources for outreach activities so that those with experience can contribute and those with present and future involvement can benefit. We had a successful outreach seminar with students from WISE and with the help of visiting professor Dr. Karen High last semester. We met to discuss outreach planning and implementation that WISE is currently involved with, and shared some great resources.

One of our goals is to create an environment and support system in which we can gather to critique; offer advice and insight; and encourage one another’s efforts. In order to begin doing this we started ‘Meeting of the Minds,’ where we meet on an as-needed basis to discuss research ideas, give practice talks, and review manuscripts or dissertations.

Any interested student that wishes to have a small audience of students can request to have a meeting by adding it to the calendar in the ESED graduate student office in Holtzendorff for scheduling a Meeting of the Minds. This gives students a place to receive advice or critique without judgment (or advisor’s!)

We first worked to gauge awareness and interests by participating in Tiger Prowl on Bowman Field in September 2014. We had a wide variety of majors of students in the College of Engineering and Sciences as well as the School of Education show interest. We are working to get approval for CSTEMEd to be a student chapter of the American Society of Engineering Education, though this does not exclude the others letters of STEM, we simply hope that it may open more opportunities for us in the future.