Dr. Lauren Birney receives Exemplary Grantsmanship Award at Pace Faculty Recognition Ceremony

School of Education professor, Dr. Lauren Birney was the recipient of the Exemplary Grantmanship Award at the Pace University Faculty Recognition Ceremony. Dr. Birney serves as principal investigator securing $10 million in National Science Foundation grants to develop an environmental science curriculum for underserved NYC Middle Schools, in collaboration with the New York Harbor School and the Billion Oyster Project (DRL 1430869, DRL 1759006, DRL 1839656).

In total over the past three years, the Billion Oyster Project Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science student curriculum and teacher training have been implemented in approximately 23% of NYC public middle schools, reaching more than 156 educators and 7,900 students directly. BOP-CCERS is a fully scalable and transferable model, adaptable to all American school districts. In all settings of the proposed phase four initiative, the primary beneficiary group will be NYC public school students who live in high-poverty neighborhoods and are traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields, including African Americans, Latinos, English language learners, and children from economically disadvantaged households.

Implementation of the BOP-CCERS Model over the past six years affirms previous research findings demonstrating that STEM teaching and learning is enhanced when students practice authentic science inquiry and field research with direct social-environmental outcomes. When learning takes place exclusively in the classroom without real-world problem solving, physical engagement, and authentic datasets, students report less confidence and demonstrate fewer technical capacities deemed essential for success in STEM careers. This effort is also linked to research studies showing that students who have the opportunity to apply networked computing principles in everyday STEM curriculum tend to increase critical thinking and logical analysis skills throughout the course of the school year. This exposure further increases students’ motivation levels toward STEM careers and results in measurable improvements in readiness for a wide range of technical positions within the digital economy. BOP-CCERS also validates that with the appropriate application of technical infrastructure, intensive teacher training, and curricular scaffolding, socially connected science learning can be mainstreamed in the nation’s largest urban school system. Total funding for these projects is $10 million/Pi Lauren Birney (NSF 1440869, NSF 1759006, NSF 1839656).

Congratulations to Dr. Lauren Birney on this outstanding recognition and for all of your work!

Photos:

Top - Dr. Lauren Birney pictured with Pace University Provost, Vanya Quiñones and Pace University President, Marvin Krislov.

Below - Dr. Lauren Birney pictured with fellow faculty award recipients.