Outliers: Students in ACTION Newsletter
October 2017

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 grant program at BGSU. 
Reflections from the ACTION Director
by Dr. Daniel Brahier
In mid-September, the application for admission to ACTION for next year's Cohort 10 was launched at the website (bgsu.edu/action).  This is an exciting time in the history of the program, as we will soon be approaching our tenth anniversary year.  Currently, ACTION includes a record number of 115 scholars across six different cohorts, with students not only majoring in Middle Childhood Education (MCE) and AYA/Secondary fields but also minoring in areas from Special Education to Spanish, Coaching, Psychology, Astronomy, and more.  Our students continue to come to BGSU with increasing numbers of previously earned college credits - from college courses they took while in high school to Advanced Placement credits.  In turn, these credits enable them to pick up academic minors, while others are able to complete their college degree in 
Zay Hyman interacts with Dr. B after the freshman meeting
3 or 3.5 years.  While the MCE program is technically intended to require 4.5 years, ACTION has never had a student take more than 4 years unless also completing an additional m inor area of study.

As I noted last month, the cumulative GPA of all ACTION students is 3.81, so not only are these scholars earning minors and completing their university studies early, but they are also excelling in their academic pursuits.  One of the primary contributors to their success is the building of community that is part of the design of the program.  Students begin with Summer Bridge before their freshman year, and deliberate efforts to maintain these connections are made throughout their years of college.  ACTION features service opportunities, social events, a state-of-the-art student center, a residence hall learning community, "Common Time" meetings and sessions, and tutoring services to keep students in touch with one another and working together toward common goals.  This year, we initiated Freshman Meetings for Cohort 9 - one in September and one planned for February.  The purpose is to pull all of our first-year students together in one place to discuss issues from scheduling classes to organizing calendars and generally keeping them abreast of what we offer in the ACTION program.
Communication among our students is a priority for the staff, and we use texts, email, the website, and social media to ensure that our students are in the loop.  Are you following us on Facebook?Have you liked us on Twitter?  If not, please make it a point to do so and you will not miss a thing either!  We look forward to reading the applications of high school seniors who are interested in being part of our tenth ACTION cohort.  Please help us spread the word!

Toledo Zoo Excursion
What better way to spend a Saturday than to take in the scenery of Africa while crossing a 30-foot high bridge, zip lining 763 feet or taking an 80-foot plunge?  The ACTION program was one of the BGSU Klein Grant recipients; this enabled scholars to have 
Scholars on the Aerial Adventure Course
the amazing opportunity to experience the Aerial Adventure Course that is above the Africa! exhibit at the Toledo Zoo on September 16. Students also attended an educational session to learn more about what happens "behind the scenes" at the zoo and to discuss resources available through the zoo that will benefit these future science and mathematics teachers. It was a great day all around.
Sarah, Jenna & Allie are all smiles on the course
"We had to use a lot of communication skills while on  t he high ropes course. We offered advice to others following  us once we had accomplished a task. I also got to know ACTION members from different cohorts," explains Christine Painter, Cohort 9 scholar. She also found it interesting to learn  that animals can actually be brought to schools for kids to interact with and to discover that the Toledo Zoo serves schools all the way to the northern end of Greater Columbus.

ACTION Tailgate
The weather could not have been more perfect as approximately 200 students, family members and graduates joined us for the annual ACTION tailgate during BGSU Family Weekend.  Repeated comments were made about the delicious food prepared by Cindy and we are thankful her husband was willing, once again, to be our grill master. 
The ACTION tent was hopping throughout the afternoon
Even those sitting in the overflow seating in the grass outside the full tent seemed to be enjoying themselves.  We love our "extended" ACTION family members and we enjoyed connecting with all who came.

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STEM in the Park
Families who live near and far look forward to STEM in the Park at BGSU each year. And, the event just keeps getting bigger and better with hands-on activity stations and demonstrations both inside and out.  Many volunteers are needed to pull this off and numerous ACTION students helped in various ways. 

Beth, Kyle and Natalie help with a science activity

Additionally, AC TION once again hosted  a hands-on activity for kids to engage in. The "Bears in a Boat" activity involved forming a "boat" out of a 6x6 inch piece of tin foil and then seeing how many plastic bears can fit in the boat before sinking.  Young participants counted bears while older children could learn about buoyancy, mass, density, volume and more. 

Angi and Kenzi work with kids at the ACTION table

Liz has a child's full attention as she explains the boat activity

Katelyn Kun dtz enjoyed seeing the kids get so involved and appreciated the parents' enthusiasm as well. She adds, "STEM in the Park made me even more excited to think about my future classroom. I want to inspire my students in a similar way as a math teacher some day."

Megan drops parachutes  from the top of a ladder

A group of tired (but satisfied) volunteers at the end of the day