Sandra K. Abell Institute for Doctoral Students

Click on images above to view photo gallery

BSCS and faculty from Pennsylvania State University co-hosted the biannual 2011 Sanda K. Abell Institute for Doctora Students, held 23-28 July at BSCS in Colorado Springs. The institute is sponsored by NARST (National Association for Research in Science Teaching), a worldwide organization of professionals committed to the improvement of science teaching and learning through research.

This year’s institute brought together a group of 41 doctoral students and eight mentors from across the globe. The group focused on enriching the work of the doctoral students through challenging discussions and group work designed to broaden students’ doctoral studies by critiquing and strengthening  their research studies.

Dr. Janet Carlson, BSCS Executive Director, said “BSCS was honored to host this amazing group of graduate students. This is the future of science education research and these students are designing studies that will make a difference in our understanding of what is effective in the classroom.”

The focus of this year's institute was on designing and conducting classroom-based research. General sessions covered topics such as recognizing and designing high-quality research questions, creating a theoretical framework, research design & methods, and mapping data analysis to research questions.

The institute also featured a series of lunch/mentor meetings and panels, small-group discussions, a field trip to Garden of the Gods with BSCS Science Educator and geologist Steve Getty, and a Science Framework Webinar presented by NSTA.

Mentors for the Institute were

  • Heidi Carlone, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • Janet Carlson, BSCS
  • Barbara A. Crawford, Cornell University
  • Julie Luft, Arizona State University
  • Scott McDonald, Pennsylvania State University
  • Tali Tal, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology
  • Joseph Taylor, BSCS
  • Bhaskar Upadhyay, University of Minnesota

Sandra K. Abell, in whose memory the institute is named, was a University of Missouri professor of science education and was instrumental in conceptualizing, planning, and hosting the first Summer Research Institute. Sandra passed away in 2010.