November 2015
Outliers: Students in ACTION

Outliers: Students in ACTION is a monthly publication during the academic year highlighting students and events in the Science and Math Education in ACTION Choose Ohio First program at BGSU. 

Reflections from the Director 
Dr. Daniel Brahier

In the last week of October, an external evaluation team from the National Council of Accreditation for Teacher Education (NCATE) came to BGSU to conduct an on-site visit of our teacher education programs.  The process lasted four days and was intense, as team members attended presentations, visited classrooms on campus and in local schools, and interviewed students and faculty members.  The purpose for the visit was to validate our programs, as well as to serve as a basis for providing feedback on how to improve our offerings.
Taylor Ernthausen gets advice from Dr Brahier 
When I was called to recruit students to be involved in this NCATE visit, I was proud to be able to put forth the names of several ACTION scholars who could represent our programs in a number of ways.  Students from the ACTION program staffed a poster presentation and were interviewed as representatives of Middle Childhood and AYA (Secondary) mathematics and science programs. Along with the work our students are doing in the new High School Tutoring Hub, it has become very evident that ACTION has become a "go to" group of students the university will contact when seeking ambassadors for what we do best on our campus.
ACTION students can be seen volunteering in events from STEM in the Park to the NWO Symposium, Preview Days, and a variety of other activities.  They are engaged on campus as resident advisors (RAs), leaders of student organizations, and activities off campus, from soup kitchens to local churches.  I continue to be impressed with their collective ability to make a difference in the community.  At our Fall Seminar in October, one of our speakers was Mr. Jay Clark, the Principal of Van Buren Middle School.  He and two of our Cohort 1 graduates (Allison Bailey Williams and Jessica Stephens) addressed our ACTION students on the importance of developing a well-rounded resume.  As they talked about items that should be in a teacher's background, it struck me how many of our scholars are already doing the things they recommended.  ACTION not only prepares our students for the classroom but also provides a wealth of opportunities for undergraduates that most students never have a chance to experience in college.
As we move forward with recruitment of Cohort 8 who will enter BGSU as freshmen next year, I continue to be confident that we are doing the right things with our scholars.  Their performances in classrooms, involvement in the community, and track record for finding jobs are evidence of the strength of the program.  As always, I continue to enjoy interacting with all of our ACTION scholars as they develop through their years at BGSU. 

ACTION Student Profiles

Kali Irvin
Cohort 4 - Senior
AYA Life and Earth Sciences

As a senior looking back, what has been your favorite part of ACTION? I've had some amazing opportunities that have come about because of ACTION, but Summer Bridge was still my favorite part. It was terrifying to come to college all alone and yet extremely rewarding once I got to know people and realized how prepared I was for college because of the Bridge. I made great connections and love everyone in my cohort.
Tell us about some of the opportunities you've had through ACTION. Ever since my first-year research project for ACTION, I've continued working with Dr. Midden on water quality and treatment research. Each summer and school year, this has been a big focus of my time. The project started over 3 years ago with analyzing water samples to track sources of contaminants and find ways to limit run off. As the project has evolved, our research is now focused on ways to prevent use of harmful toxins by finding more natural alternatives for crop fertilization. I have helped train new ACTION students in the research methods and we are teaming up with an OSU affiliated research station to do simulations to perfect that process.  
What are you doing for your Capstone project for ACTION?
I worked with Dr. Sirum last year as a Learning Assistant and she is my Capstone advisor.  She does a lot of research within the education field related to scientific process and this sparked my interest.  I am doing my capstone research in my 8th grade placement on how scientific inquiry process helps students develop scientific methods that they can use in the classroom on a day-to-day basis. Students will have the opportunity to conduct hands-on experiments and draw conclusions before I explain concepts to them. Much research has been done at the college level about this process of scientific inquiry and I am excited to try this with my eighth-graders.
What is one thing that people might be surprised to know about you?  I like to write lyrics and put them to music.  I even have a little turntable and some music-producing software so that I can record as I sing. I like all kinds of music and it is something I do for fun.
What advice would you have for younger students?  Take advantage of all the opportunities at BGSU through ACTION and the University.  Get involved with things you enjoy and make connections with faculty and other students.  Take the lead and as you initiate you may be surprised, as I have been, at what comes from these things. 
Ashley King
Cohort 6 (transfer) - Sophomore
Middle Childhood Education 
(Science & Mathematics)

You have been at BGSU for two years but transferred into ACTION this fall. Tell us about your transition into the ACTION "family"?  At first it was difficult since I didn't know anyone. It was also a bit intimidating with everyone being extremely smart and so many being AYA math majors.  I've been getting to know people and it's been much easier. Attending the spaghetti dinner and then participating in the High Ropes course with over 30 ACTION students was very helpful. Everyone has been really friendly.  
Have you always wanted to be a teacher? No, in fact up until eighth grade, I was passionate to be a chef.  The last thing on my mind was to be a teacher.  Over time, my interest in mental health for adolescent foster care grew and my initial major at BGSU was psychology.  I soon realized that while I would definitely like to adopt through the foster care system someday, my desire to have an impact on youth could be better served through an education degree. One of my high school teachers had an incredible impact on my life and I want to follow his example to influence youth in the school setting.
How did you choose Middle Childhood Education?  I really enjoy the middle age group and I'm glad that we get to choose two areas to teach. I have always done well in math and I like science because it is so interactive. I want to make both subjects very hands-on for my students and take them beyond the textbooks. I'm receiving a federal TEACH grant so I look forward to teaching in a low-income school district and making a difference in young lives.
What are you involved with on campus?  My first two years at BGSU, I was very involved in the Chapman Learning Community which focused on community service.  I'm also very passionate about Disciples on Campus that I helped to start last year, which is connected to my church in Toledo. We host Bible studies and hope to branch out into service projects soon. My time is also taken up with two tutoring jobs-one is with America Reads at a local elementary school and the other is at the brand new High School Math Hub on campus. These are giving me some great experience for the future.
Random facts? I was born on Friday the 13th. I have an obsession with Hallmark Christmas movies and embrace everything about the holiday including wearing Christmas sweaters often!
Cohort Updates

During methods, Cohort 4 seniors have to be organized and disciplined to balance course projects and assignments with requirements for school placements. Scholars have now been given the option to begin conducting their Capstone classroom research during Methods, although most will wait until next semester when they are in the classroom full-time for student teaching.
Emma, Cory and Davis discuss the process of action research 
Junior Cohort 5 scholars attended two class sessions during October as they continue to learn more about the educational research process.  Both sessions included instruction by Dr. Brahier and much table discussion as well.  The steps of action research and writing a literature review were covered in addition to choosing a topic.
Cohort 6 sophomores continue to gain valuable hands-on experience through the practicum required the second year of ACTION.  Local companies appreciate the benefits from having our talented scholars assist with science and/or mathematics projects. In fact, one company was so impressed by a student, that they have offered her a part-time job for the rest of the school year! 

Dr. Haney's Cohort 7 research group is working closely with NASA. Students are testing the soil moisture at 10 different locations around Bowling Green. They record data such as the surface 
Kim Wheatley works with Dr. Haney in the lab
temperate, ground temperature, and soil moisture in the ground. After gathering information from each location, soil
 samples are put in an oven in the lab to have them dry out to determine the moisture content. The data collected is sent to NASA to help calibrate their Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP). The SMAP is an environmental satellite launched earlier this year that scans the earth measuring soil moisture. This valuable research by Dr. Haney's group is helping to determine accuracy of the satellite readings.
Logan Bretz takes a sample of the soil
A second part of the project involves assisting the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program to determine whether alternate drying methods such as using a bucket and heat lamp would be comparable to using the oven. This cheaper method would enable high schools across the country to engage in similar research to provide additional calibration data to NASA. Three students working with Dr. Haney share reactions to the project:
Kim Wheatley:  I've learned the importance of soil moisture to multiple groups of people. Soil moisture affects farmers, landowners, and business owners because it allows them to see how productive they will be or how to better take care of their land. 
Beth Zeno: Even in a small town like Bowling Green, Ohio, it is exciting that we can do research that is important.
Bonnie Altstaetter:  I have learned how to calculate soil moisture and volume, as well as how to use GLOBE certified equipment and various apps on my phone. These technologies allow me to take surface temperature, soil moisture, and temperature of the soil in different ways. These may be things I use in my future classroom as a science teacher.

OCTM Student Presenters

Six ACTION scholars from Cohort 5 had the opportunity to present about their ACTION practicum experience at the Ohio Council Teacher of Mathematics (OCTM) conference in Cincinnati on October 15. Nearly 100 teachers attended their presentation and all scholars agreed it was a great opportunity! Several reflected on the experience:

 Justin Flory: We had quite a few teachers ask us questions about our practicum during our presentation, and we even had people come up and talk to us afterward to tell us that they plan to incorporate some of these ideas/activities in their classroom.  The reactions of the attendees made us realize that the different "projects" that we do as a part of ACTION truly are unique and can be incorporated to help impact student learning in the classroom.
Kim Lentz:  My experience at OCTM was great. I got to see how other teachers continue learning long after college graduation. It was also a great experience to get to present as an undergraduate to teachers in the field. Dr. Brahier gave us a great opportunity that without ACTION, I do not think I would be confident doing.
Student presenters posing with Dr. Braher from left to right:   Justin Flory, Kim Lentz, Sarah Miller, Devoney Miller, Courtney Wilcox and Cory Fischer

Volume 4, Issue 8
In This Issue
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 High Ropes Course

A cold, rainy day could not keep the ACTION students away! Over 30 scholars braved the elements in addition to the high ropes course in early October. Students from various cohorts got to know each other as they huddled around the fire, under the tarp, and encouraged each other through the activities. Two scholars share their perspective on the experience.

Sarah Miller walks on a wire high above the ground

Nicole Winhover (Cohort 4):
loved participating in the high ropes course! It was something that I had wanted to do for a long time, and it also gave me the opportunity to get to know some of the transfer and Cohort 7 students. It was a great bonding activity even though we were all freezing!  At least we got to do it together! 
Jordan Truitt (Cohort 5)
We each faced different challenges during the high ropes course whether it was fear of heights or fighting the cold rain. It was great to see how supportive everyone was even if we just met. It was a wonderful reflection of our growing ACTION family, showing that we'll always cheer each other on no matter what. 

Fall Seminar     

As always, it was a joy to have the entire ACTION family together during the Fall Seminar on October 20.  Since Dr. Brahier's birthday happened to be that day, the students took the opportunity to sing to him and present him with a very large card signed by most.  Not many can say they had over 100 people celebrate their birthday!
Jess Wright from Cohort 4 presents the card to Dr. B
The first half of the seminar focused on resume building.  This topic is applicable for everyone from freshmen through seniors and many were taking notes as a local principal and two ACTION graduates offered practical tips and guidelines to follow.
All 106 scholars in the same room hearing from our guest speakers

The remainder of the time allowed each individual cohort to gather together.  Scholars have often mentioned the limited interaction they have with the entire cohort, so this gave them all a chance to reconnect.
Jessie Wiandt and Alex Garthrite do a fun activity with Cohort 4
Pumpkin Patch
by Courtney Wilcox    

The Social Committee had a successful first event! On October 17, about 20 ACTION members went to the Pumpkin Peddler Pumpkin Patch.  We had a fun hayride out to the pumpkin patch where everyone found perfect pumpkins both big and small.  Warm apple cider was served and a group picture was taken.  

Bryant, Melody, Erin and Jenna enjoy the hayride

Afterwards we went back to the ACTION lounge and had fun painting our pumpkins. Pumpkin creations included Harry Potter, some minions, an Avengers ACTION pumpkin, a lizard and many more creative pumpkins including one with the symbol for Pi since we all love math. 
Sarah Adams and Catherine Hildebrand show off their pumpkin design

All Hands on Deck

Our staff works hard to ensure prospective students considering teaching science and/or math know about ACTION. We also rely heavily on our current scholars to get the word out.  During BGSU's Fall Break, many scholars went back to their high schools to pass along information to students. And, at the large events hosted by the University such as Preview Day and Education Day, our students enthusiastically volunteer to help at our ACTION table and give tours of our community in the Offenhauer residence hall.
Letters have been sent to high schools across Ohio and phone calls are being made to those who are admitted and eligible to apply.  Meetings with interested students visiting campus are set up whenever possible in order to show them about ACTION firsthand. Our website is in the process of being updated and applications are being submitted for Cohort 8, so word is getting out. 

Upcoming ACTION Events:
EDHD 4160 Session #2:  Tuesday,  Nov. 3 ...4:30-5:50pm
Dining with the Director:  Monday, Nov. 9 ...12:30-1:30pm
EDHD 3160 Session #5:  Tuesday,  Nov, 17 ...4:30-5:50pm
ACTION Holiday Event: Friday, December 11...5:30-7:30pm

November 2015
Linda Li B-day
Beth Zeno 

4160 Session 2

Taylor Nicholson & Justin Flory

SAB Meeting

Liz Baker B-day

Brunner B-day
EDHD 3160 Session 5

NWO Symposium
Jessica Huot B-day
Megan Simon

Allison Linn 





Melody Freeland B-day


As a Choose Ohio First grant program sponsored by the Ohio Board of Regents, our goal is to produce exceptional science and mathematics teachers who will impact the next generation across the state to improve STEM areas. The need is great for good teachers in these areas.
Science and Math Education in ACTION 
308 Math Sciences Building, BGSU, Bowling Green, OH 43403 
Phone: 419-372-6562 
Fax: 419-372-6092 
Director: Dr. Daniel Brahier 
Program Manager: Wendy Standinger 
Program Secretary: Cindy Fuller