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Seed Beetle Abundance and Diversity in Urban and Rural Sites

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The spread of urbanization leads to habitat fragmentation and deterioration and changes the composition of ecosystems for species all over the world. Different groups of organisms are impacted differently, and insects have experienced loss in diversity and abundance due to

The spread of urbanization leads to habitat fragmentation and deterioration and changes the composition of ecosystems for species all over the world. Different groups of organisms are impacted differently, and insects have experienced loss in diversity and abundance due to changing environmental factors. Here, I collected seed beetles across 12 urban and rural sites in Phoenix, Arizona, to analyze the effects of urbanization and habitat variation on beetle diversity and abundance. I found that urbanization, host tree origin, and environmental factors such as tree diversity and density had no impact on overall beetle diversity and abundance. Beetles were found to have higher density on hosts with a higher density of pods. In assessing individual beetle species, some beetles exhibited higher density in rural sites with native trees, and some were found more commonly on nonnative tree species. The observed differences in beetle density demonstrate the range of effects urbanization and environmental features can have on insect species. By studying ecosystem interactions alongside changing environments, we can better predict the role urbanization and human development can have on different organisms.

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2018-05

What Makes A STEM School? Criteria and Evaluation

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STEM has increasingly become a buzz word in the world of education. According to Briener, et. al. (2012), the most common perspective of STEM education is teaching the integrated disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as "one cohesive entity"

STEM has increasingly become a buzz word in the world of education. According to Briener, et. al. (2012), the most common perspective of STEM education is teaching the integrated disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics as "one cohesive entity" instead of as separate subjects (p. 5). Prioritizing a STEM focus is a tactic many schools are beginning to adapt and one the United States government is financially backing, contributing significantly to the popularity of the movement (Briener, et.al., 2012). Across the nation, schools are making strides towards incorporating more STEM activities, and many school districts are designating entire schools as STEM schools. These STEM schools distinguish themselves with consistent commitment and attention to aspects of the STEM fields within instruction, including research opportunities for students, 21st Century skills, and a variety of learning environments. Bridges Elementary is one such identified STEM school that exemplifies these criteria, amongst others, setting a precedent for STEM schools to come.

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2018-05

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Classroom Integration of STEM Using Learning Centers

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This project examined the need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities within a specific modality (centers) and their potential influence on elementary students with a particular emphasis on gender. STEM is an interdisciplinary curriculum that seeks to seamlessly

This project examined the need for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities within a specific modality (centers) and their potential influence on elementary students with a particular emphasis on gender. STEM is an interdisciplinary curriculum that seeks to seamlessly incorporate science, technology, engineering, and math. Due to the increasing demand for STEM professions and proficiency within each aspect, the education system and individual educators require lessons and modalities that motivate learning in each of these areas. Administrators and teachers need creative ways to provide effective STEM implementation. Currently, the education system as a whole lacks creative and motivating material for these four domains. Not only this, but there has been a misunderstanding in regard to what effective STEM implementation entails, as well as a dearth of classroom ready lessons for educators. As a result, this thesis project developed a way to implement STEM through the use of learning centers. Learning centers are defined as designated areas within a classroom that allow easy access to a variety of learning materials. Within these centers are activities that reinforce concepts by using inquiry-based learning. Learning centers are effective in developing additional concepts or providing students with a greater breadth of knowledge on a concept. This thesis project developed three STEM learning center activity boxes and two STEM learning center outlines. Creating effective STEM learning centers and outlines was a multistep process. The first step was to develop a 3E lesson plan for each activity. Once the lesson plans were revised and complete, the creation of the three activity boxes was next. To create the activity boxes, all the required materials and worksheets were gathered and printed. From there, the next step was to implement the learning centers in a classroom to observe the results and propose any modifications. Afterwards, a reflection detailing the results and modifications was made. In the end, the goal of this project was to develop easily implemented STEM activities for my future classroom. Coming up with a creative way to get kids curious and excited about STEM is key in building STEM awareness. Not only did my project create STEM activities I can implement, but it also allowed me the opportunity to share my activities with other teachers. As a result, influencing the spread of STEM amongst future and current teachers.

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2018-05

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Implementing Kinetic Activities into a Children's Summer Program to Encourage STEM Engagement in Children Ages 5-11

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This creative project created and implemented a seven-day STEM curriculum that ultimately encouraged engagement in STEM subjects in students ages 5 through 11. The activities were incorporated into Arizona State University's Kids' Camp over the summer of 2017, every Tuesday

This creative project created and implemented a seven-day STEM curriculum that ultimately encouraged engagement in STEM subjects in students ages 5 through 11. The activities were incorporated into Arizona State University's Kids' Camp over the summer of 2017, every Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. with each activity running for roughly 40 minutes. The lesson plans were created to cover a myriad of scientific topics to account for varied student interest. The topics covered were plant biology, aerodynamics, zoology, geology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy. Each lesson was scaffolded to match the learning needs of the three age groups (5-6 year olds, 7-8 year olds, 9-11 year olds) and to encourage engagement. "Engagement" was measured by pre- and post-activity surveys approved by IRB. The surveys were in the form of statements where the children would totally agree, agree, be undecided, disagree, or totally disagree with it. To more accurately test engagement, the smiley face Likert scale was incorporated with the answer choices. After implementation of the intervention, two-tailed paired t-tests showed that student engagement significantly increased for the two lesson plans of Aerodynamics and Chemistry.

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2017-12

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The Importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in our Classrooms

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As a Country, the United States is continually falling behind academically when compared to other Nations. Therefore, the purpose of my Honors Thesis is to enlighten others on the importance of incorporating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) into our

As a Country, the United States is continually falling behind academically when compared to other Nations. Therefore, the purpose of my Honors Thesis is to enlighten others on the importance of incorporating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) into our classrooms. When students have the chance to partake in hands on, inquiry based lessons, their new knowledge for the subject increases drastically. However, completing STEM lessons in the classroom is a challenging task. For this reason, I have designed a unit's worth of lesson plans, where the unit encompasses science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These STEM lessons are inquiry-based so that students get an understanding that science is a learning process, not just a group of facts to be memorized. The lessons are written in the 5E format, as this format is based on the way human beings learn. I wanted to make this as easy as possible for teachers to bring inquiry-based STEM learning into the classroom. When students are allowed to take control of their own learning and make discoveries for themselves, they are going to realize the excitement that comes with STEM. This will lead more students to pursue STEM careers, thus helping bring the United States back to a competitive level academically.

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2016-12

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Learning Physics Through Dance: An 8th Grade STEAM Curriculum

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In recent education trends, an emphasis has been placed on teaching students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. Many researchers have advocated for integrating Arts education as well, changing STEM education to STEAM (STEM + Arts) education. This

In recent education trends, an emphasis has been placed on teaching students in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. Many researchers have advocated for integrating Arts education as well, changing STEM education to STEAM (STEM + Arts) education. This paper describes an original 8th Grade physics curriculum integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). The curriculum was designed to teach core science concepts through inquiry and dance activities. The curriculum uses the 5E inquiry format, specifically using dance and movement activities to elaborate on the learned science content. The unit curriculum is designed to be implemented in an 8th Grade science classroom based on best practices in Science Instruction and Dance Education. The curriculum was not implemented as a research study this year, but is designed to support research in the future. The curriculum was however presented to Term 6 Pre-service Teachers in Mary Lou Fulton Teacher's College at ASU, whom evaluated the effectiveness of the lessons and offered feedback. This paper includes a review of current literature on STEAM education and dance integration, rationale for the curriculum's 5E Format and dance integration, the entire physics unit curriculum in 5E format, Pre-service Teacher feedback, and implications for a future research study with the unit curriculum.

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2016-12

Educating Students on Water Resources, the Importance of Drinking Water, and the Use of Biomimicry

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Clean and accessible drinking water is a crucial and limited resource. As the world's population grows and demand increases, water resources will become more limited. This project aims to educate students on water resources, drinking water, and how biomimicry can

Clean and accessible drinking water is a crucial and limited resource. As the world's population grows and demand increases, water resources will become more limited. This project aims to educate students on water resources, drinking water, and how biomimicry can allow society to improve its water usage. The project consists of a ten day unit plan which addresses several water topics such as: the various uses of water, water distribution, where drinking water comes from, the water treatment process, and more. After establishing background knowledge on water and surrounding issues, the students will be challenged to design a water bottle using biomimicry. Biomimicry is looking at nature to draw and inspire solutions to human problems. This unit has been optimized for use by elementary teachers. The ten day unit consists of a lesson summary, objectives, standards, and recommended activities for each day. Of the ten days, three lesson plans were fully developed using the 5E format. The research supporting this project is compiled in the following report.

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2016-12