1. Nicole Freidenfelds
  2. https://nre.uconn.edu/nicole-freidenfelds/
  3. Visiting Assistant Extension Educator
  4. Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  5. https://nrca.uconn.edu/ctp
  6. University of Connecticut
  1. Todd Campbell
  2. http://www.linkedin.com/in/todd-campbell-b1375048
  3. Professor - Science Education
  4. Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  5. https://nrca.uconn.edu/ctp
  6. University of Connecticut
  1. Cary Chadwick
  2. Geospatial Educator
  3. Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  4. https://nrca.uconn.edu/ctp
  5. University of Connecticut
  1. Laura Cisneros
  2. http://www.lauramariecisneros.com/
  3. Assistant Extension Professor
  4. Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  5. https://nrca.uconn.edu/ctp
  6. University of Connecticut
  1. David Dickson
  2. Extension Educator
  3. Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  4. https://nrca.uconn.edu/ctp
  5. University of Connecticut
  1. Jonathan Simmons
  2. Gradate Student
  3. Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  4. https://nrca.uconn.edu/ctp
  5. University of Connecticut
  1. John Volin
  2. https://umaine.edu/president/people/john-volin/
  3. Provost and Professor
  4. Promoting Lifelong STEM Learning Through a Focus on Conservation, Geospatial Technology and Community Engagement
  5. https://nrca.uconn.edu/ctp
  6. University of Maine
Public Discussion

Continue the discussion of this presentation on the Multiplex. Go to Multiplex

  • Icon for: Nicole Freidenfelds

    Nicole Freidenfelds

    Lead Presenter
    Visiting Assistant Extension Educator
    May 9, 2022 | 01:52 p.m.

    Thank you so much for visiting our presentation on the Impacts of Intergenerational Community Conservation! We're excited to take part in this year’s Showcase and look forward to discussing the work that has come out of our Conservation Training Partnerships (CTP) informal education program.

    CTP promotes lifelong STEM learning through a focus on conservation, geospatial technology, and community engagement. Our goal is to engage youth and adults in intergenerational teams to apply conservation science and geospatial technologies in the design and implementation of authentic conservation projects that benefit their communities. Our educational research seeks to understand how these innovative partnerships can support STEM learning and the development and maintenance of STEM identities.

    As we wrap up our final year of this NSF project, we'd love to hear from other folks who have experience measuring impact of innovative informal STEM education programs.

    • How do you define impact?
    • In what way(s) have you measured impact? For example, individual-level impacts on program participants, impacts on the community, etc.
  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Facilitator
    Co-Director
    May 10, 2022 | 09:59 a.m.

    Community learning is a theme we're hearing across the Videohall this year!  I would love to know more about how the process worked for you -- who "brokered" the teams and collaborations that you describe?  What role did land managers or ecologists play, as part of the picture (if any)?  How were people recruited?  I hope you have reports or publications about the wide diversity of your projects?  

  • Icon for: Nicole Freidenfelds

    Nicole Freidenfelds

    Lead Presenter
    Visiting Assistant Extension Educator
    May 10, 2022 | 01:01 p.m.

    Thank you for your comments and questions, Brian!

    We brokered teams for participants who joined the program without a teammate already in mind. This was typically done by targeted recruitment to teachers or local conservation organizations in specific geographic areas, depending on whether we were looking teen or adult partners. Many, though certainly not all, of our adult partners were affiliated with land trusts or other environmental groups (town conservation commissions, non-profits such as Audubon, etc.). Because of their prior connections, they were often valuable in generating ideas for their team's community conservation projects. Our recruitment approach evolved over time as we developed relationships and built trust with educators and organizations who would help share information about the program to students, members, volunteers, and the like.

    While we don't yet have a publication that showcases the wide diversity of our participants' projects, our Frontiers in Education paper includes exemplar projects that illustrate the four design principles and communication pillars we found critical to facilitating collaborative intergenerational environmental efforts.

     
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    Billy Spitzer
    Meagen Pollock
  • Icon for: Meagen Pollock

    Meagen Pollock

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2022 | 12:04 p.m.

    Thanks for the video and for sharing your paper. This is helpful for us in developing our relationships with community partners.

  • Icon for: Billy Spitzer

    Billy Spitzer

    Facilitator
    Executive Director
    May 10, 2022 | 12:13 p.m.

    Nicole,

    Thank you for sharing some of the results of your project. It sounds like you were able to engage multiple generations, and also incorporate a wide variety of technology. I am curious to learn more about how the technology integration worked, in terms of both the challenges and opportunities that came up.

    I also appreciate your questions about measuring impacts, and was wondering if you had thoughts about impact when you were designing the program. Given the nature of the program, you would probably want to look at both impacts of the program on participants, and impacts of the projects on the community in terms of advancing both conservation and social connections. You might learn a lot from semi-structured interviews with participants and community members, similar to what you have included in the video, and then analyze them for common themes.

    Thanks,
    Billy

  • Icon for: Nicole Freidenfelds

    Nicole Freidenfelds

    Lead Presenter
    Visiting Assistant Extension Educator
    May 10, 2022 | 01:17 p.m.

    Thank you for joining the discussion, Billy!

    I'll let my colleagues who developed the program before I joined the team add their responses, but would like to say that we're currently analyzing data from participant surveys and structured interviews to understand the different impacts the program has had, on both the individual and community level, in addition to the environment. For me, it's interesting to think about the role mentoring has on not only the mentee, but also the mentor.

    As far as technology integration, I think one of our biggest challenges was running the program virtually during the pandemic, when we were separated physically and couldn't easily troubleshoot technology problems that our participants experienced. In that same situation, though, we were given an opportunity to incorporate new technologies (or tech in a new way) that fostered, for example, a deeper connection to place.

     
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    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: David Dickson

    David Dickson

    Co-Presenter
    Extension Educator
    May 10, 2022 | 02:25 p.m.

    I'll just add on the technology integration side, some of the obstacles we faced and how we tried to solve them in later iterations of our workshops.

    We were relying on free mobile apps geared toward data collection to help remove any potential barriers to participation (and provided mobile devices if participants did not have them).  The challenge is that free apps are not always well-supported and thus we had to change some of the apps we used as we went along. On the positive side, we were always on the hunt for newer, better apps, which allowed us to integrate new technologies as we became aware of them.

    Another issue we had was deciding which technologies to expose participants to and train how to use without overwhelming them. We wanted to give participants a sense of the range of projects they could pursue and the range of technologies available to help them, but If we tried to pack too many options into the workshop we would have lost them. What we evolved to was training folks in the use of two primary apps, a "breadcrumb" trail app & a customizable data collection app. We would supplement that with a tech showcase session that was a bit like speed-dating.  We would spread out with different technology stations and give quick overviews of what they could do as teams rotated through.  This way we were able to expose participants to more "possibilities" and if they were interested we would follow-up with more in-depth training on how to use them either through videos, online materials or one-on-one sessions. That seemed to lead to more diverse project ideas.

     
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    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: Lisa Phelps

    Lisa Phelps

    Informal Educator
    May 11, 2022 | 03:36 p.m.

    David I see that you work for Extension. Just wondering is there a UCONN 4-H connection with this project?

  • Icon for: Beatriz Canas

    Beatriz Canas

    Facilitator
    Director of equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility
    May 10, 2022 | 12:16 p.m.

    Nicole, 

    Thank you for sharing information about your program. It was great to hear about the reciprocal learning that took place between adult volunteers and high school students. I'm curious to learn more about any challenges that participants experienced in navigating the intergenerational partnerships.

    Thanks!

    Beatriz

  • Icon for: Nicole Freidenfelds

    Nicole Freidenfelds

    Lead Presenter
    Visiting Assistant Extension Educator
    May 10, 2022 | 01:51 p.m.

    Hi Beatriz!

    I appreciate your feedback and curiosity.

    Some participants did experience challenges navigating intergenerational partnerships, often related to communication and social/hierarchical norms. My colleagues in the Neag School of Education found that successful teen-adult collaborations that could lead to promotion of STEM identification were dependent on: (1) effective communication for establishing and strengthening relationships between the intergenerational partners, (2) adult promotion of student voice and corresponding student agency – active participation in decision making, and (3) alignment of program expectations and the participants’ lifelong learning goals.

    Our group identified four communication pillars that facilitate collaborative team partnership norms that resist traditional hierarchical teen-adult relationships. We incorporated these communication pillars into program materials and activities to better support productive interactions among intergenerational teammates.

     
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    Beatriz Canas
    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: Connie Flanagan

    Connie Flanagan

    Researcher
    May 12, 2022 | 11:05 a.m.

    I love the emphasis on intergenerational partnerships and the legacies teams can leave for communities by working across generations. Elder conservationists have so much experience and wisdom to share and young people can integrate that knowledge with the environmental challenges their and future generations face. the fact that you have brought them together speaks volumes about what is possible by providing structured opportunities to connect. CTP is a great model. I have looked up your Frontiers article and am eager to learn more - specifically your advice on best ways to identify boards and commissions locally that are involved in conservation decisions and how to connect youth to those decision making bodies. also I took lots of notes from the video about apps used in projects. any advice on apps you'd recommend?

    thanks so much for this project. hope to continue following your work.

     

     
    1
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    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: Nicole Freidenfelds

    Nicole Freidenfelds

    Lead Presenter
    Visiting Assistant Extension Educator
    May 12, 2022 | 01:59 p.m.

    Hi Connie,

    Thank you for your comments and questions!

    As program manager for CTP, one of my responsibilities was helping identify and connect our participants to conservation groups/organizations in their community, including local boards and commissions. It takes time and energy to establish those connections. My colleagues and I have spent years building relationships with decision-makers in both municipalities and non-profits. I would say that we're fortunate to live and work in a small state; however, there are over 150 towns in Connecticut, each with their own local government, which means a LOT of boards and commissions. We're grateful to have developed strong partnerships with land trusts throughout the state, many of which are eager to work with and support youth involvement in conservation.

    Regarding apps used in projects, I absolutely recommend Epicollect! It has so many different applications and is free (for both iOS and Android) and very user-friendly (they have a fantastic user guide). For geospatial tech, we encourage ArcGIS Online (many free services available), especially StoryMaps - a super engaging way to create and share stories through text, interactive maps, and other multimedia content.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Billy Spitzer
  • Icon for: Connie Flanagan

    Connie Flanagan

    Researcher
    May 17, 2022 | 04:05 p.m.

    Nicole - Thanks so much for your guidance on apps. I plan to check into them for a project we are launching. also thanks for your thoughts on identifying local conservation groups. we work closely with a few but want to be able to guide other schools (located in different watersheds from the one we work in) to know how to identify relevant local conservation groups. you're right that it takes time to nurture relationships. for people who haven't yet ventured into conservation work, I mainly want to provide some help in how to get started to identify relevant CBOs to work with. your project and response were both very helpful.  thanks.

  • Icon for: Marijke Visser

    Marijke Visser

    Section Supervisor
    May 13, 2022 | 03:29 p.m.

     In addition to conservation learning that happened did you also see other ways the adult-teen connected on a social-emotional level or building empathy for one another outside of the project specific interactions, maybe? In libraries we see a lot of opportunity for building those kinds of relationships but I have recently been thinking about how to do it around climate change/science. For example, if you have an older adult who has been a birder for 40+ years, what would their experience have been as a teen as compared to a current teen in terms of when and where certain birds might have been see and when and where they are seen today? 

  • Icon for: Nicole Freidenfelds

    Nicole Freidenfelds

    Lead Presenter
    Visiting Assistant Extension Educator
    May 16, 2022 | 01:46 p.m.

    Thank you for adding to the discussion, Marijke!

    That's an interesting question. We're in the process of analyzing participant survey and interview data and I think we have evidence of social-emotional connectedness of participants beyond the project-specific interactions. For example, one past participant said, "I learned a lot of things. I mean, I have many identities and responsibilities. I'm a person, I have a job, I have a husband, I have children. And it helped me in all those, in all those ways. I loved the interaction with the kids and I think it helped me. It was a valuable tool to help me as a person, and then also, I think I helped them as well. We had great relationships that were of equal sharing. It wasn't the adult, the kid. That's the thing that I really came away with."

    Your comment made me think that working to intentionally build empathy between intergenerational partners could have real value/impact on both a personal and community level.

  • Icon for: Jamie Bell

    Jamie Bell

    Project Director
    May 17, 2022 | 02:40 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing the descriptive video of this project, that provides an inspiring example of intergenerational learning. It's great to see how the DBR process resulted in design and communication pillars that can be useful to others wanting to develop similar projects. 

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