December 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 ACTION Director
Dr. Daniel Brahier
Dr. Brahier meets with Sarah Spayd to discuss her Spring schedule

We are only two weeks from concluding the Fall Semester at BGSU.  This has been a very busy but productive semester as we have seen our scholars open and staff a new high school tutoring center, initiate a peer mentoring program for freshmen, and make presentations at local and state conferences.  Meanwhile, recruiting and accepting applications for next year's freshmen - Cohort 8 - continues through mid-January.
In mid-January, I fly to England to teach for the semester at Keele University (located about an hour northwest of London).  Nine ACTION scholars will accompany me from Cohorts 5 and 6, as well as six other BGSU students.  The College of Education and Human Development has been sending students to study abroad in England for more than a decade and a faculty member always accompanies the students and teaches in the program.
Common questions I have been hearing include, "What does this mean for ACTION?" and "Will you still be serving as Director?"  In short, the answer is that I will continue as Director through the Spring Semester (and beyond), and my semester abroad will not affect the day-to-day operation of the ACTION program.  Wendy and Cindy will still be in the office daily, as always, and I will be in communication with them often by using electronic means ranging from Canvas to Skype.  Likewise, I will be interviewing Cohort 8 candidates online from England and will be advising ACTION scholars by videoconference as they select classes for Fall Semester.  We are fortunate to have the technology that will allow me to meet with students and discuss scheduling and other issues while sitting in an office on the other side of the ocean!  Also, I have made arrangements to return to BGSU for graduation in May so that I can celebrate with our scholars from Cohorts 3 and 4 on their special day.  After graduation, I will return to England for about three more weeks before coming home to gear up for Summer Bridge 2016. 
More details will be provided about my availability, how to reach me, and so forth, after the first of the year.  Meanwhile, I want to wish our scholars, families, and supporters all the best during the holidays.  I hope you have time to relax, rejuvenate, and enjoy the gift of family and friends.  We look forward to serving all of you in another ACTION-packed year in 2016!

ACTION Student Profiles

Kimberly Lentz
Cohort 5 - Junior
AYA Integrated Mathematics

What are you involved with at BGSU?
I am in the Honors College, on the Mortar Board and am a Student Instructor for Pre-calculus. I also love being part of ACTION - it has made BGSU feel like home since I have people to go to and who help take care of me.
Many prospective students wonder if they can do both Honors and ACTION. Tell us about your experience.
It has not been difficult at all for me to balance both. I was initially concerned about whether I'd be able to get enough Honors credits, but some of my instructors have been willing to let me take their class as an Honors course by doing an extra paper or additional assignments. It has worked out great! And, since the Capstone project for ACTION counts as the Honors project, this has helped as well.  I'm a very organized person and have a detailed calendar planned out by 30 minutes.  Doing assignments ahead of time helps me not get stressed out since I work best by staying ahead of things.
What is the status of your Capstone Project for ACTION?
Dr. Filippova has agreed to be my Capstone advisor. I think she will be a good fit for me since I like how she runs class and appreciate that she makes herself readily available to her students.  I am leaning toward researching something related to test anxiety. Since I had a lot of anxiety when taking tests, this is a very interesting topic to me.
You are going to study abroad in Keele, England next semester. How do you feel about that? I am starting to get nervous now that it is getting closer and there is so much to do before I leave to finish out this semester. During Winter Break I plan to take the OAE (Ohio Assessment for Educators), so I need to prepare for that as well. I know traveling abroad will be a great experience for me and will open my eyes to different types of people.  I am excited that Dr. Brahier and my roommate are going to help with my adjustment to a new culture. 
What is something people might not know about you? I'm a certified scuba diver! My dad and I got certified so that when we go on vacation we could dive together.  It's been really fun!
Joe McGuinness
Cohort 7 - Freshman
Middle Childhood Education 
(science & mathematics)

What led to your decision to be a middle school teacher? The turning point for me came when I was called in to talk to my middle school teacher. I was in danger of failing her class and she cared enough about me to get in my face to motivate me to change. She pushed me to try harder and I began to do better. She inspired me and I want to be just like her to make a difference with middle school kids.  I have always been good at math and science so these subjects made the most sense for me to teach. My desire is to impact students both academically and outside the classroom as well. I want them to be better people because of my influence.
What are some of the benefits you have experienced from ACTION so far? The Summer Bridge was awesome! It was great to get a feel for the campus and get to know professors.  I got various perspectives on math and science and it was not nerd camp at all!  It was good preparation for college and helpful to get 3-hours of course credit.  ACTION has been a like family for me at BGSU and I feel very well taken care of with having the staff to turn to for advising and other help. Through ACTION, I also had the opportunity to present at a conference and it's only my first semester at BGSU!
As a BGSU baseball player, how have you balanced your time as a first year student? Baseball has kept me very busy with conditioning, practice and other requirements. We also have study tables to keep us on track academically.  It has not been easy, but everyone has been supportive and helpful. I miss my ACTION friends in Offenhauer, but it's good to be living with the other players in Kreischer near the baseball field.
One thing that people would be surprised to know about is that... I am not just a jock! I have a love for classical music and played the cello for several years in the high school orchestra.
What advice do you have for someone considering the ACTION program? During my senior year of high school our class had a quote: "Nobody ever regretted giving 100%."  So, my advice is, "Why not try it?"  The ACTION program is so rewarding, don't hold back.  I know a lot of students at different universities and BGSU separates itself from the rest because of ACTION and the College of Education and Human Development.
Cohort Updates

Senior Cohort 4 scholars attended a session in early November.  Along with being reminded of the components to include in their research project and final paper, they also shared updates on their projects. Dr. Brahier challenged them to continually ask themselves what they can do to be a better teacher.  Even after this Capstone project is finished, the goal is that in the years to come they would maintain this mindset to use the research process to consider ways to improve.

Devoney Miller & Allyson Grilliot discuss  research methods
The most recent class session for Cohort 5 focused on research methodology, including information on t-tests.  In addition to researching what others have discovered about their topic and writing a literature review, scholars are required to consider possible research methods that might be used to gather information in the classroom on their topic during their senior year.  They are also beginning to select faculty to work with them next semester as they do research. 
Second-year Cohort 6 students are putting finishing touches on their practicum projects and reflecting on their experiences.  Two groups who have been working with the Wood County Parks District had the opportunity to give presentations. Harrison Brunner and Megan Gillen gave details about raising monarch butterflies to a group of WCPD volunteers, while Madi Pittman and Anthony Boddy discussed building a solar panel as part of the "Green Living: The Home Edition" program.

Cohort 7 is nearly halfway through with research projects. Dr. Albert's first-year research group is combining their love of sports with statistics to explore PitchFX data. In the PitchFX system, detailed measurements are collected on each pitch in baseball, including the speed, pitch type, location, and outcome. They focus on the pitches where the batter swings in order to understand the variables that influence the tendency of the batter to miss the pitch.  Possible variables are the pitch type, the pitch's location, and the specific batter and pitcher.

Sarah Spayd sums up her experience so far, "I've been able to learn a lot about the software 'R' and how it can be used to make sense of large data sets, specifically in baseball. I have always loved baseball and it is interesting to look at the game more in-depth. I have seen how real life data can be used to learn more about mathematics. I will be able to use this as a future teacher, especially if I teach a statistics course."

Byrant Kuhlman, Joe McGuinness, Scott Knapke and Shawna Russell are all smiles after their presentation with Dr. Albert 
(Sarah Spayd was unable to present)
These young scholars had an opportunity to present at the recent Midstates Conference for Undergraduate Research in Computer Science and Mathematics (MCURCSM 2015) hosted at BGSU. Their session was titled "Exploring Swing and Miss Data in Baseball" and was well attended. The group admitted that at first they were a bit intimidated due to the vast amount of experience that some of the other presenters had. However, once they got to the front of the classroom and started to present, they immediately saw a high level of intrigue that helped calm nerves and provide a smooth transition into the presentation. It was a great opportunity to present as a BGSU student, while also reflecting on their work as a whole.

Volume 4, Issue 9
In This Issue
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Student Interactions

The ACTION staff considers student input a crucial aspect of making a program successful. This past month we had multiple opportunities to interact and gather feedback from various students through Dining with the Director (DWTD), the Student Advisory Board meeting, Dr. B's one-on-ones with Cohort 6, and through an informal "focus group" luncheon with the transfer students to discuss ways to improve the STARS orientation for the upcoming the summer.  Changes have already been implemented based on feedback from these recent conversations. 
SAB members listen as Dr. B gives updates and asks for input
Courtney and Chantal offered valuable feedback about the summer STARS program
Students from various cohorts interact during DWTD

NWO Symposium on STEM Teaching

On Saturday, November 21, BGSU hosted a Professional Development Conference for preK-12 in-service and pre-service teachers, informal educators, and college faculty. Over 40 ACTION scholars attended the Northwest Ohio Symposium on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Teaching which offered a valuable opportunity for educators to share and learn from one another in an effort to advance STEM education.

Along with 59 informative and engaging sessions, the keynote speaker was our very own Dr. Daniel Brahier! His presentation titled "Science and Mathematics for a New Generation" focused on the use of research-based teaching practices  by exploring the role that critical thinking plays in the STEM classroom.
Dr. Brahier engages the audience during the Symposium
Several ACTION attendees commented on their experience.

Alyssa Lustgarten: The keynote address by Dr. Brahier was a highlight!  He made every attendee excited to learn something new in order to make his or her classrooms better.  By attending the conference, I learned how to prioritize different types of standards in order to not become overwhelmed and how to determine which standards to spend the most time on. 

Miranda Fox: The Symposium very helpful and I learned a new way of viewing certain math problems and answers. I took away many new things that I will be able to use in my classroom such as how to communicate with my students, how to mold lessons in order to accommodate multiple students, ways to incorporate technology, and much more.

Jenna Larick: One of the highlights was Dr. Brahier's keynote presentation and getting to hear his opinions on teaching math and all the experiences he has had. I also got some great websites for the future and learned some new ways to keep students engaged in the classroom.  It was a great learning experience!

ACTION scholars pose with Dr. Brahier at the Symposium
Justin, Cory, Taylor and Alyssa participate in a workshop
Sarah, Kimberly, Courtney and Megan pose as they prepare to hear Dr. B present
 Prospective Students

Throughout November, connections were made with prospective students through STEMS day, phone calls, a College Fair at Toledo Public Schools, and one-on-one personal visits on campus.  The BGSU School Counselor Day also provided an opportunity to ensure counselors know about the program so they can inform students.  Many prospective scholars we talk to have heard of ACTION, but there are other good candidates we meet who are still unaware of the program. Please join us in spreading the word.
Applications for Fall 2016 are beginning to come in as the January 15, 2016 deadline gets closer. There is still plenty of time to apply, but with the holidays quickly approaching, encourage anyone you know who is interested to submit an application soon. We don't want any potential scholars to miss this opportunity!

Upcoming ACTION Events:
Practicum Presentations:  Tuesday,  Dec. 1 ...4:30-5:50pm
BGSU Preview Day:  Saturday, December 5
ACTION Holiday Event:  Friday, December 11...5:30-7:30pm
BGSU Winter Break:  December 21 - January 8, 2016

December 2015

Emma Constance 

BGSU Preview Day
Krotzer B-day

Holiday Event 
Russell B-day

Finals Week 



Winter Break starts


Courtney Stanton 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