Outliers: Students in ACTION Newsletter
October 2018
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.
Table of Contents
Reflections from the ACTION Director
ACTION Tailgate
STEM in the Park
First-Year Research Projects
10 th Anniversary Section - That was Then/This is Now, Grad Spotlights
Upcoming Events
Reflections from the ACTION Director
by Dr. Daniel Brahier

Ten years ago, Science and Math Education in ACTION was the newest scholarship program on BGSU’s campus. The program was funded in Fall 2008, and recruitment and selection of 25 scholars was a rapid process in order to get everyone selected in time for Summer Bridge. At that time, the program was referred to by an acronym consisting of the initials – SMEA. Later, that name would prove to be too confusing to people, and the nickname of “ACTION” was proposed and remains to this day. The first Director, Dr. Barbara Moses, referred to this first group of scholars – Cohort 1 – as the “guinea pigs” because she was well aware that each stage of the program would be developed as a pilot with these students being the first to experience it. A year later, Cohort 2 was recruited and named the “piglets” as ACTION grew to about 50 students.
 
Today, a decade later, ACTION has graduated 125 scholars, most of whom are teaching science and mathematics in schools throughout the State of Ohio. We currently have 109 scholars in the program at BGSU and are in the process of recruiting Cohort 11 who will join us next summer. Despite the changes, the core values of the program have remained the same since the beginning: ACTION exists to prepare the best science and math teachers at the middle and high school levels in the State of Ohio. We accomplish this through a dynamic interplay of administration, faculty, community members, and staff who work with our scholars. Community building is at the center of the program, as students collaborate on projects and also interact in social and service activities, with the option to live as part of a theme community in Offenhaur West residence hall.
 
As part of our 10 th Anniversary, we are collecting data from alumni, administrators, faculty, and parents to not only measure our success but also to chart a course for the future. As a reader of this newsletter, you may receive a survey in the near future and, if so, we encourage you to take a few minutes to provide us with your feedback. All input is important as we continue to develop the program.
 
Meanwhile, please help spread the word about ACTION. The application for Cohort 11 is available online at bgsu.edu/action with a deadline of January 15, 2019. We look forward to carrying the program into the next decade and want to thank the entire ACTION family for your continued support!
ACTION Tailgate

In spite of the very warm weather on Saturday, September 15, the ACTION tailgate tent was filled to capacity during BGSU Family Weekend. Scholars and parents alike enjoyed the good food and appreciated connecting with others before the football game - even BGSU President Rogers could not resist joining us!
STEM in the Park

STEM in the Park continues to be an amazing opportunity for all involved. Thousands of youth come from all over northwest Ohio to participate in the hands-on STEM activities hosted by numerous companies, organizations and agencies. 
 
On September 29, the ACTION scholars were again involved by assisting as general volunteers and/or helping at the ACTION table with our activity to “Build a Bridge for Bears” where participants were tasked with building a bridge out of toothpicks and candy Dots. The goal was to see how many plastic bears could be placed on the bridge before it collapsed with the concepts of gravity, shapes, weight distribution, and more, woven throughout the activity. It’s always rewarding to see kids’ faces light up with a new discovery and this was a common occurrence throughout the day.
First-Year Research Projects

Each first-year ACTION scholar engages in a hands-on science and/or mathematics research project throughout the academic year. Students work closely with a faculty research team leader to help guide them in the process. Scholars are presented with the six varied research options and asked to select the one in which they would be most interested to participate. Three of the research groups are featured this month (the remaining three will be included in a later newsletter).
Dr. Jim Albert’s research group is getting a taste of big data exploration as they  learn basic methods for summarizing and graphing data using the R language  using data of all home runs in the 2017 season.
 
Teaming up with NASA, the scholars working with  Dr. Jodi Haney  are analyzing moisture from soil samples to compare the data to both NASA satellites and infrared drone images. Soil moisture data will also be compared to other sources of atmospheric data including cloud cover and type, humidity, pressure, soil temperature, precipitation, surface, air, and soil temperatures.
 
Using mathematical modeling and GeoGebra, Dr. David Meel and his scholars are focused on the mathematics of auto crash investigations as they investigate the geometry of driver position to A-pillar vision obstruction, reconstructing paths and speeds, etc.
In honor of ACTION's 10 th Anniversary, each newsletter this year will contain a special Anniversary section with highlights from the past, spotlights on graduates, and more.
That was THEN, this is NOW...

Then: When ACTION started, applications were filled out as PDF forms and emailed to ACTION as an attachment. There were no interviews as part of the application process.
Now: Applications are submitted electronically through the ACTION website. The ACTION Director conducts short online interviews with top candidates via Skype or FaceTime. 
Spotlight on ACTION Graduates
Kim (Verhoff) Buday
Cohort 1
AYA Life Sciences & Chemistry
Tri-Valley High School teaching:
Chemistry, Botany, Zoology

The real world experience gained through ACTION has allowed me to connect with my students in the classroom by showing them why science is so important. I do several labs that encompass activities we completed in Summer Bridge and also incorporate aspects of my practicum experience. I would have never had the chance to do so many amazing things with my degree without the ACTION program. Summer Bridge was an awesome opportunity to meet lifelong friends and prepare me for college and now I encourage my students that are interested in teaching math and science to apply to ACTION.
Emily Knollman
Cohort 6
Middle Childhood Education-Science & Math
West Clermont Middle School teaching:
6 th Grade Math

ACTION helped me get my job! Multiple times during the interview process, the interviewers were blown away by my experiences in the ACTION program. Having the ACTION program on my resume allowed me to stick out from the other 100 people applying for the same job. Also, when I started at my new school, I was the only one who knew research, data and other information that most first-year teachers had not yet encountered. ACTION gave me knowledge and helped me feel a little bit of comfort in knowing I was not completely clueless as a new teacher.
Upcoming ACTION Events
Homecoming Celebration for Grads - Saturday, October 13
ACTION Fall Seminar - Tuesday, October 16
BGSU Preview Day - Saturday, October 27

To find out more specific details about what is happening in October, click on the image of the calendar.
As a Choose Ohio First grant program sponsored by the Ohio Department of Higher Education, our goal is to produce exceptional science and mathematics teachers who will impact the next generation across the state to improve STEM areas.
Science and Math Education in ACTION
Director: Dr. Daniel Brahier
Program Manager: Wendy Standinger
Program Secretary: Cindy Fuller
Phone 419.372.6561