November & December in Review

Paris Conference Organized by La Main a La Pate
The diffusion of inquiry-based science teaching practices begs the question of how to properly evaluate this approach. To address this question, Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC), presented via video technology the results of the 5-year clustered randomized control trial (RCT) study of the SSEC’s Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) at the conference "Evaluation of Inquiry-based Teaching, Scientific Reasoning and Critical Thinking:  State of Play and Prospects for the Future" held at the Simone and Cino Del Duca Foundation on December 7th, 2017 in Paris. Organized jointly by the Académie des Sciences - Institut de France and the Fondation La main à la pâte in partnership with the Department of Evaluation, Foresight and Performance (DEPP) of the Ministry of National Education and the network of Homes for science, this symposium brought together leading players in the field of research on the scientific reasoning of students, inquiry-based science education, evaluation of educational devices. It focused on identifying, disseminating and exploring tools and modalities for evaluating different aspects of inquiry-based science education, both at the classroom level and at the system level. For additional information, please visit:  http://www.fondation-lamap.org/fr/page/63242/colloque-du-7-decembre-2017


International Conference on Inquiry-Based Science Education in Elementary Schools

On December 4th – 5th O’Donnell traveled to Mexico to participate in the 9th International Conference on Inquiry-Based Science Education in Elementary Schools. The conference objective was analyze the contribution of Science Education for the formation of global citizenship, for the development of scientific competences in individuals, a harmonious coexistence, economic growth and environmental sustainability in the 21st Century. O’Donnell was a panelist titled “How to Assess Progress in the Development of Scientific Skills and Competences in Students?”


Big Beacon Radio

O’Donnell was a featured guest on Big Beacon Radio on Monday, December 18th. The episode titled “Transforming Science Education: An Interview with Carol O’Donnell” explored SSEC’s work and discuss how higher education can implement the same principles for student success in STEM.





Image courtesy of Big Beacon Radio 

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About the Author

Kate Echevarria
Executive Office Coordinator



Kate Echevarria is the Executive Office Coordinator and is responsible for handling all projects, contracts, events, etc., associated with the Executive Office. Prior to SSEC, Kate was in Human Resource Management having worked for an international hotel chain, the U.S. Government, and a science non-profit.