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Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century (2020)

Chapter: 3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning

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Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
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Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
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Page 60
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
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Page 61
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 62
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 63
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 64
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 65
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 66
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 67
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 68
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 69
Suggested Citation:"3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25592.
×
Page 70

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3 Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning Biological collections are powerful educational assets for learners of all ages, backgrounds, skills, and perspectives. They provide a tangible platform that can draw people into lifelong learning—ongoing efforts to foster, develop, and expand one’s knowledge and skills—whether through formal education, employment in science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM), or by pursuing personal interests throughout life. Biological collections are intrinsically multidisciplinary in nature so they can help individuals learn integrative thinking. The use of specimens and their associated data, in educational curricula and informal experiences, can help students and members of the public explore not only biology and biodiversity but also central concepts in science. Such ideas range from the basic principles of the scientific method (e.g., hypothesis testing, verification, replication, and data extrapolation), to methods that help scientists make sense of complexity to the promise and challenges of data-driven discovery. By facilitating learning across a wide range of disciplines in formal and informal environments, biological collections can deepen subject-matter expertise and stimulate integrative and generative thinking which can link disciplines from the sciences to humanities and the arts (Balengee, 2010; Ho and Cook, 2013; Powers et al., 2014). Educators also leverage biological collections to drive inquiry-based learning 1 in order to improve skills necessary throughout life such as critical thinking, management, data interpretation, and problem-solving (NRC, 1996). Finally, biological collections empower people from all walks of life, to connect to and learn about nature (Mujtaba et al., 2018; Soul et al., 2018), building wonder and providing a source of inspiration and appreciation for the natural world. This chapter outlines some of the historical and contemporary uses of biological collections in STEM education and lifelong learning. It also touches on basic approaches to evaluating and consistently measuring the impact of biological collections on education and learning. INCREASING STUDENT KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING IN FORMAL EDUCATION SETTINGS Biological collections offer a wide range of opportunities to enhance evidence-based approaches in formal STEM teaching and learning. Because biological collections are tangible, they can provide a natural entry point to biology and biodiversity for kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12), undergraduate, and graduate students who may have limited experiences in nature, through the use of high-quality and developmentally appropriate inquiry-based curricula. Students are attracted to these authentic and tangible resources as they engage in the process of scientific discovery and prepare to design and conduct their own research (NASEM, 2019; NRC, 2012, 2015). There are many examples of how biological collections can be incorporated into classroom curricula or as a means to provide research experience: educational kits, classroom visits, field trips, summer camps, online courses, tutorials, blogs, and teacher workshops are a few of the educational tools 1 Inquiry-based learning is a student-centered learning and teaching approach in which students’ questions (inquiries) and ideas are prioritized—they “pose questions about the natural world and investigate phenomena; in doing so, students acquire knowledge and develop a rich understanding of concepts, principles, models, and theories” (NRC, 1996, p. 214). Prepublication Copy 59

Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century and programs created by biological collections staff. 2,3 For example, the Arabidopsis Biological Research Center (ABRC) at The Ohio State University develops and distributes kits to be used in K–12 and undergraduate classroom settings for students to learn about plant biology and topics such as genetics and gene expression, development, inheritance, hormone physiology, biological responses to the environment, and bioinformatics (see Box 3-1). The University of Texas Culture Collection of Algae and the Chlamydomonas Resource Center are examples of living stock collections that offer educational kits. However, developing and distributing living organisms for education tends to be the domain of for-profit biological supply companies, and not an activity of many living stock collections. Many of the universities housing biological collections incorporate the specimens and their associated data into a wide variety of science courses, from introductory classes to advanced directed studies, to enhance lessons about topics such as genetics, physiology, anatomy, adaptation, evolution, biodiversity, and environmental change. Such courses also afford students the opportunity to learn about organisms and organismal interactions (e.g., symbioses, community structure). BOX 3-1 Arabidopsis in the Classroom (top left, top right, and bottom left) images courtesy of James Mann; Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center. (bottom left) image courtesy of Marcelo Pomeranz; Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center In addition to distributing genetic resources for the research community, the mission of the Arabidopsis Biological Research Center (ABRC) at The Ohio State University is to “bridge the gap between Arabidopsis research and its utilization in kindergarten through college classrooms.” With funding from the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) and NSF, ABRC’s outreach program released 20 education kits designed for use in K–12 and college-level instruction, along with a variety of other educational tools and programs. Six of the kits, known collectively as Translating Research on Arabidopsis Into a Network of Educational Resources (TRAINED), were developed and tested by ABRC staff. These kits are provided free of charge; most seed stocks are also provided free of charge to K–12 schools. Kits include downloadable materials—specifically, in-depth, ready-to-teach lab protocols and supporting materials, such as instructional videos and datasheets for conducting the outlined experiments. A subset of the available kits has been further developed by ABRC as part of its Greening the Classroom program. 2 See http://www.usccn.org/methods/Pages/default.aspx. 3 See http://nscalliance.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/nsceducate.pdf. 60 Prepublication Copy

Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning Published in 2013, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) 4 are a new set of science and learning standards through which students make sense of data, engage in scientific and engineering practices, and solve problems in context, enabling students to learn science by doing science (NGSS Executive Summary, 2013). Biological collections can be ideal for NGSS teaching, providing authentic, object-based science experiences that actively engage students in science. iDigBio, 5 the National Science Foundation’s (NSF’s) national resource for digitization of biodiversity collections, oversees standards and best practices for digitization and includes an active education and outreach working group. The working group develops and aggregates online resources for K–12 students and educators; many of the educators provide authentic, inquiry-based science experiences that actively engage students in the evidence-based teaching and learning standards of the NGSS. iDigBio also promotes informal science learning through camps for school-aged children and develops biodiversity and digitization-related educational resources for undergraduate students. In this way, efforts to digitize biological collections data through ADBC have catalyzed nationwide opportunities for multiple biological collections to engage students in collections practice and research activities. Preparing Students for a Data-Driven World Biological collections are also being used to introduce and develop data science, computer science, and engineering skills (see also Chapter 5). Aligned with one of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas, “Harnessing the Data Revolution,” 6 data science is an emerging field important in all subjects and disciplines. A 2018 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine states that all “undergraduates will benefit from a fundamental awareness of and competence in data science” (NASEM, 2018, p. 1). Biological collections are an exceptional resource for building data literacy at all levels of the data life cycle—finding, generating, curating, evaluating, and using data (NASEM, 2018). Efforts to digitize biological collections are increasing their accessibility to scientific researchers, educators, and learners. A recent report of the Biodiversity Collections Network notes that “specimen-based data make science accessible through the specimen itself, which is tangible, place-based, and interesting, as well as through aggregated specimen data that are verifiable, relevant, and a logical gateway to data literacy” (Thiers et al., 2019, p. 16). Two notable endeavors in the biological collections community that have promoted the use of specimen-based data for teaching data literacy are Advancing the Integration of Museums into Undergraduate Programs (AIM-UP!) 7 and the Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE) 8 initiative. AIM-UP! (funded by NSF’s Research Coordination Networks in Undergraduate Biology Education, RCN-UBE, 9 from 2010 to 2016) established a network of curators, collection managers, database managers, educators, researchers, and students focused on integrating national history collections into undergraduate biology education. The network spanned 50 institutions in 32 states. Through workshops, professional conferences, webinars, and various social media venues, AIM-UP! built a biological collections data science community that exchanged ideas and generated new approaches to incorporating natural history collections and their associated databases into formal course work and mentored research experiences (Cook et al., 2014). For example, Lacey et al. (2017) introduced an online, open-access educational module that uses the power of collections-based data to introduce students to 4 Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; https://www.nextgenscience.org), are based on 2012 National Research Council report A Framework for K–12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (NRC, 2012). 5 See https://www.idigbio.org. 6 See https://www.nsf.gov/cise/harnessingdata. 7 See http://aimup.unm.edu. 8 See https://www.biodiversityliteracy.com. 9 RCN-UBE is a collaborative program of NSF’s Directorate of Biological Sciences and the Directorate for Education and Human Resources. It aligns with an NSF-wide undergraduate STEM education initiative, Improving Undergraduate STEM Education. Prepublication Copy 61

Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century multiple conceptual and analytical elements of climate change, as well as evolutionary and ecological biology research. Demonstration education modules, videos, and other examples of ways to incorporate collections into undergraduate education are available online. Building from the success of AIM-UP!, NSF funded BLUE to continue to foster a community of biodiversity, data science, and undergraduate education experts and meet increasing need and workforce demands for biodiversity data literacy and integrative analysis skills (Ellwood et al., 2019). BLUE’s mission is to define and build consensus around core biodiversity data literacy competencies and also to develop strategies to integrate those data literacy skills and knowledge into introductory undergraduate biology curricula. To that end, BLUE develops exemplar educational materials (see Box 3-2) and actively cultivates a diverse community of practice 10 for undergraduate data-centered biodiversity education through workshops, virtual faculty mentoring networks, webinars, sessions at annual meetings, and invited talks. In its first two years, BLUE engaged more than 300 individuals, from undergraduate students to late-career professionals, representing 167 different high schools, community colleges, and universities; 37 different natural history collections; and 22 different collections-associated networks (e.g., iDigBio, the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, and the NEON Biorepository). BOX 3-2 Select Educational Materials Developed by the Biodiversity Literacy in Undergraduate Education (BLUE) Initiative Top row row left to right: “Black-eyed Susan” by milesizz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Owl image courtesy of by Adam M. Sparkes, Central MIchigan University Communications, Early Spider Orchid, photo by H. Krisp. Bottom row left to right: Bull frog on lily pad by Jill Wellington, chipmumk by pixabay, Rosaceae, Agrimonia gryposepala by Kathy M. Davis, courtesy of the University of Florida Herbarium, Florida Museum of Natural History. Led by Dr. Anna Monfils of the Central Michigan University Herbarium, BLUE develops exemplar educational modules using data derived from natural history specimens and biodiversity research. For example, “Nature’s Flying Machines” enables students to learn about the evolution of flight and the forces that influence flight using digital data from birds and insects. Other modules focus on data science competencies such as best practices to collect, clean, analyze, and present data. As of May 2020, BLUE has published more than 20 open- access modules, six of which are shown in the image above. 10 First coined by cognitive anthropologists Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger (Lave and Wenger, 1991), then significantly expanded by Wenger (1998), a community of practice is a group of people who share a concern, a passion about a topic, or a set of problems, and learn how to do their work effectively through regular, ongoing interactions (Wenger et al., 2000, 2002). Although the initiation of a community of practice may require funding, effective communities of practice are generative through the value they offer members. As a result, strong communities of practice typically last longer than a project team or task force, continuing as long as they are useful to their members. 62 Prepublication Copy

Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning Enhancing Student Research Experiences Biological collections also can be used to facilitate synergies between scientific research and education. Education research demonstrates that undergraduate research experiences facilitate active learning and improve biological literacy (AAAS, 2011, 2015, 2018; NRC, 2015, 2017). The NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program has supported several programs focused on natural history collections including the Academy of Natural Sciences (NSF Award #0353930), University of Iowa Museum of Natural History (NSF Award #15248700), and Field Museum of Natural History (NSF Award #1156594), among others. Now with digital data from collections, students at universities without a biological collection also have direct access to specimen-based research opportunities (Cook et al., 2014; Monfils et al., 2017; Powers et al., 2014). For example, the RCN-UBE Incubator: Network for the Integration of Natural History Collections in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience focuses on research opportunities afforded by the digitization of collections. The Yeast Orphan Gene Project 11 is a RCN-UBE program which uses the Saccharomyces genome database to integrate researchers (faculty and students) into an effort to assign molecular functions to genes of unknown function in baker’s yeast (S. cerevisiae), adapting bioinformatic and wet-lab modules for use in classes. Although the needs of research and education are not always the same, student research experiences use the synergies, maximizing investments in collections-based research and education efforts. Digitized biological collections also make it easier to rapidly respond to an unanticipated disruption to undergraduate biology education. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is driving an unprecedented need for remote learning resources. Of particular concern is the loss of student access to laboratories and field sites that are used for course-based undergraduate research. In response, scientists from Widener University, the Delaware Museum of Natural History, The George Washington University, and collaborators nationwide, with the support of an NSF grant for Rapid Response Research, are developing online course-based undergraduate research experiences using digitized natural history collections. 12 INSPIRING A LIFELONG APPRECIATION FOR SCIENCE IN INFORMAL EDUCATION SETTINGS There is abundant evidence across all venues that people learn science in a variety of non-school settings (NRC, 2009). Biological collections are one such important venue and have a history of contributing to lifelong learning and appreciation for science, including sometimes offering opportunities for lifelong learners to participate in science (Prôa and Donini, 2019). This is the case, no matter how a biological collection is experienced—through traditional and immersive exhibitions, dioramas, or visual storage methods; through open collection programs for public universities; or during in-depth out-of- school research internships for middle and high school students (Dawes, 2016; Falk and Dierking, 2013, 2018; George, 2015; Habig et al., 2018; Reiss and Tunnicliffe, 2011; Suarez and Tsutsui, 2004; Tunnicliffe and Scheersoi, 2015). As more specimens become digitized, some natural history collections, such as the Idaho Museum of Natural History, are beginning to offer virtual tours of their biological collections. 13 Virtual tours and online video broadcasts are some of the ways to enable a greater number and diversity of lifelong learners to engage with biological collections. Biological collections can also inspire awe and stimulate curiosity, thus triggering questions, not just about biology of individual organisms and species diversity, but also about agriculture, energy, medicine, public health, and many other issues of critical importance to humanity (Cook et al., 2014). As the foundation for what is known about how life on Earth changes over time and space, biological 11 See http://www.yeastorfanproject.com. 12 See https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2032158&HistoricalAwards=false. 13 See https://virtual.imnh.iri.isu.edu. Prepublication Copy 63

Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century collections provide windows into the past, providing evidence for how species have evolved and how biological communities have changed through time. During the late 1970s and the 1980s, museums began presenting “glitzy” exhibitions that visitors did not like because there were fewer specimens on display (Hooper-Greenhill, 1994). Today, many universities and natural history museums use public exhibitions demonstrating how their biological collections are unique spaces for interdisciplinary research and educational innovation, providing a place-based window in which to focus on integrating science and discovery (Bakker et al., 2020). Engaging Lifelong Learners in Citizen Science 14 Citizen science is another area in which biological collections encourage an interaction between research and education. Citizen science has grown as a way to engage individuals and communities in authentic scientific and inquiry-based activities, increasing public appreciation and support for science and serving as a valuable contributor to advancing scientific research (NASEM, 2018). Many biological collections, particularly natural history collections, actively pursue projects to include people, many of them without professional training in science, in a wide array of collections-related endeavors. These activities can range from supporting digitization efforts, to participating actively in the science as data collectors or lab assistants identifying critical taxonomic features of particular specimens. For example, in 2012, natural history collections professionals partnered with experts in citizen science and data visualization to create Notes from Nature, a “prototype citizen science application” that enabled volunteer members of the public to help digitize specimen labels and field notes (Hill et al., 2012). Notes from Nature is one of many scientific projects on Zooniverse, a popular internet platform for volunteer-based scientific research. Since 2012, more than 8,200 volunteers have completed more than 1.1 million transcriptions. 15 Similarly, Worldwide Engagement for Digitization Biocollections (WeDigBio), 16 which launched in 2014, is an international citizen science project to create digital data from specimens (Ellwood et al., 2018). Each year WeDigBio hosts a 4-day event during which volunteer members of the public can visit local museums, universities, field stations, marine laboratories, and other organizations to help scientists create specimen data using online platforms such as Notes from Nature (see Figure 3-1). Some natural history collections also host or participate in programs such as Bumble Bee Watch, 17 a citizen science project to track and conserve bumblebees in North America. Bumble Bee Watch engages collections professionals at the Natural History Museum, London, the Montreal Insectarium, and several other scientific institutions to help verify the identities of bumblebees in community-submitted photographs. Funders, collaborators, and experts come from all over the world, and several regional efforts, such as the Maine Bumble Bee Atlas, 18 add further support for this endeavor as well. BROADENING PARTICIPATION IN STEM Multiple reports emphasize the value and importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM disciplines and underscore the need to broaden participation of underrepresented groups, including women and racial and ethnic groups (NAS et al., 2011; NASEM, 2011, 2018, 2019; NRC, 2011, 2016). “Encouraging greater diversity is not only the right thing to do: it allows scientific organizations to derive an “innovation dividend” that leads to smarter, more creative teams, hence opening the door to new discoveries” (Nielsen et al., 2017, p. 1740). Citizen science refers to “people who are not professionally trained in disciplines relevant to a specific project 14 participating in the processes of scientific research, with the intended goal of advancing and using scientific knowledge” (NASEM 2018, p. 1). 15 Help digitize specimen labels and field notes, see https://www.zooniverse.org/organizations/md68135/notes- from-nature. 16 See https://wedigbio.org. 17 See https://www.bumblebeewatch.org. 18 See http://mainebumblebeeatlas.umf.maine.edu. 64 Prepublication Copy

Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning A C B D FIGURE 3-1 WeDigBio Total Transcription Activity during the 2019 Annual Event (by transcription center). The 2019 WeDigBio annual event leveraged seven online platforms. This figure shows the total number of digitization activities (e.g., transcriptions) that took place over a 120-hour period. Figure A: Fossil Atmospheres and Nature’s Library. Figure B: Castaway, Les Herbonautes (supported by the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France), and the Smithsonian Institution’s Transcription Center (SITC). Figure C: DigiVol (supported by the Australian Museum and Notes from Nature (part of Zooniverse).Volunteers at DigiVol and Notes from Nature contributed to the greatest number of digitization activities (>35,000 each). Volunteers contributed up to 4,000 activities at each of the other platforms. Figure D: The cumulative number of digitization activities across all seven platform in the 4-day period was 77,154. SOURCE: WeDigBio 2019 Dashboard, image courtesy of Austin Mast. STEM education research demonstrates that inquiry-based learning and undergraduate research experiences, such as those provided by some biological collections, improve student understanding of STEM concepts (NRC, 2017) and may be important mechanisms to encourage diverse communities to pursue careers or avocations in STEM (Hernandez et al., 2018). For example, the Girls at the Museum Exploring Science project (GAMES) is a collaborative effort between the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History (CU Museum), and the Boulder Valley School District (14 elementary schools). It is an ongoing 7-week afterschool program, designed exclusively for girls in the fourth and fifth grades from diverse and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Creating safe spaces in informal contexts is effective in changing the girls’ interests in, and attitudes toward, science, influencing future education, careers, leisure pursuits, and ways of thinking about what science is and who does it, as well as shaping their personal identities, life trajectories, and social, cultural, and science capital (Archer et al., 2015; McCreedy and Dierking, 2015). Another example in which natural history collections have been used to broaden participation in STEM is through a Columbia University-based project, Early Engagement in Research: Key to STEM Retention, supported through an NSF INCLUDES Planning Grant. 19 This project enables high school students from communities historically underrepresented in STEM to work on specific Earth and environmental science challenges with college students, science teachers, and researcher experts. Public land and resource management agencies (New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Department of Agriculture Forest Service) provide access to field and research sites, along with research dissemination opportunities. Research projects involve biological collections and study the consequences of reforestation in the New York City ecosystem, providing scientific support for 19 See https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1359194&HistoricalAwards=false. Prepublication Copy 65

Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century management of invasive and rare species in the region. In addition, iDigBio holds workshops to address broadening participation in the biological sciences with the goal of introducing students, especially those in underserved populations, to museum and biodiversity science careers. 20 EVALUATING IMPACTS ON FORMAL EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING Though biological collections have a rich and long history of being used in educational activities, there is very little documentation about collections’ specific impact on student learning in schools or on lifelong learners. For example, it is known that museum experiences, both for school children and lifelong learners, can result in learning (Falk and Dierking, 2018; Mujtaba et al., 2018). However, the role of biological collections in these museum experiences is implicit, rather than explicit. Many classroom lessons, public exhibitions, and citizen science programs are evaluated, and some, particularly NSF- funded efforts, are even researched, but the value-added to such programs by the specific and intentional use of biological collections has yet to be robustly documented 21 or aggregated across projects. Evaluating the impacts of biological collections-based education and lifelong learning endeavors could enable a greater sense of whether and how engaging with biological collections results in better understanding and helps to meet the known learning needs of K–12 students, university students, and members of the public. Evaluation and research could also help to identify the types of learning programs that may be effectively scaled up and used more extensively across the nation for biological collections– based STEM educational activities and other learning endeavors. Although the focus in this section is impact evaluation, there are also evidence-based tools to determine what learners know about the topic or scientific process being proposed for the activity, and strategies to test programmatic goals during a pilot phase, in order to adjust the idea and maximize its impact, once it is implemented (see Box 3-3). Ideally, collaborations will develop among evaluators, education researchers, and biological collections experts, particularly among those employed by the same institution, to select appropriate evaluation tools and develop metrics that provide evidence for the impacts of using biological collections in learning. Designing, implementing, and expanding the use of collections-based educational programs requires comprehensive planning and dedicated stewardship in order to meet the needs of schools, museums, and other institutions of formal and informal learning. The STEM education research community has many resources to develop and evaluate educational activities and assess learning outcomes (Friedman, 2007; Patton, 2017; see also Box 3-3). Chapter 2 provides a more in-depth step-by- step description of best practices for evaluation in the context of documenting the impacts of biological collections on research; many of those principles also apply to education. In brief, the first step is to develop a clear program plan that identifies for whom the learning experience is designed, the goals and objectives for the learning activity or lesson, and why the activity or lesson is important for the intended learners. Being clear about the intended value-added benefits from the start can help biological collections be used in the most effective and strategic manner. Because the primary focus of most biological collections is research, experts in STEM education research, professional evaluators, and educators are essential collaborators and partners as strategic educational goals and program plans are developed. Such partnerships can be more feasible when the potential collaborators work in the same institution. Before the program plan is implemented, a strategy to “measure” its impact through some form of evaluation is needed. It is important to note that evaluation is a set of processes and tools to document the outcomes and accomplishments. Metrics will vary depending on the goals of an educational effort and on whether impacts are being measured with K–12 students, undergraduate and graduate students, lifelong learners, volunteers, or citizen scientists who interact with collections-based programs or exhibitions. See https://www.idigbio.org/content/broadening-participation-biology. 20 Most educators define “evaluation” and “assessment” differently. Evaluation typically refers to whether and, if 21 so, the degree to which intended goals for a specific education program are achieved and, consequently, whether the program is effective. Assessment refers to measuring changes in an individual’s understanding, skills, attitudes, perceptions, beliefs, or other learning-related outcomes. 66 Prepublication Copy

Contributions to Science Education and Lifelong Learning BOX 3-3 Tools for Developing and Evaluating STEM Education Programs and Learning K–12 The Next Generation Science Assessment portal describes an evidence-centered design process, tools, and strategies to develop classroom-based science assessments.a Undergraduate and Graduate Education Community colleges are a critical component of the undergraduate education system as they are widely dispersed around the United States, can quickly adapt to the changing STEM workforce needs, and reach a broadly diverse group of students (NAS, 2012). The 2018 National Academies report Indicators for Monitoring Undergraduate STEM Education published a conceptual model that outlines three primary goals for undergraduate STEM education: (1) Increase Students’ Mastery of STEM Concepts and Skills; (2) Strive for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and (3) Ensure Adequate Numbers of STEM Professionals. NASEM (2018) lays out ideal indicators and data sources for measuring these goals, many of which are also relevant for graduate education. Informal Education The 2009 NRC report Learning Science in Informal Environments (LSIE) outlines the opportunities to be realized with a broader definition of science learning, and ideas for documenting evidence in these areas, including a set of outcomes. The report also outlines six strands of learning that can guide the development of effective educational programs and assessment: Strand 1: Experience excitement, interest, and motivation to learn about phenomena in the natural and physical world. Strand 2: Come to generate, understand, remember, and use concepts, explanations, arguments, models, and facts related to science. Strand 3: Manipulate, test, explore, predict, question, observe, and make sense of the natural and physical world. Strand 4: Reflect on science as a way of knowing; on processes, concepts, and institutions of science; and on their own process of learning about phenomena. Strand 5: Participate in scientific activities and learning practices with others, using scientific language and tools. Strand 6: Think about themselves as science learners, and develop an identity, as someone who knows about, uses, and sometimes contributes to science. Citizen Science The 2018 National Academies report Learning Through Citizen Science describes how citizen science projects can support a variety of learning outcomes. Some of these outcomes, such as developing motivation and learning new scientific skills, are relatively common within the activities and practices used across all citizen science projects. Others, such as encouraging the development of scientific reasoning, come only with significant supports and scaffolding. However, there are few investigations into the unique learning opportunities associated with citizen science, though the work around identity development in citizen science heads in this direction (Ballard et al., 2018). Because citizen science invites nonscientists into science, it provides an opportunity to welcome and explore differing cultural perspectives, and how they may enrich science learning, and science overall. This has the potential to shed light on the persistent historical underrepresentation and under-participation of many communities and their members in science, insights that are likely to be useful well beyond citizen science. a See http://nextgenscienceassessment.org. Prepublication Copy 67

Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century CONCLUSIONS There is a long-standing tradition of biological collections contributing to educational endeavors. Many of those endeavors in formal and informal education align with evidence-based principles known to stimulate interest and excitement in learning, increase scientific knowledge, and improve the understanding and use of scientific practices and tools. These educational endeavors are rich in diversity and depth, and constitute a unique and important contribution to the nation’s efforts to promote lifelong learning in STEM. As the volume and diversity of digital biological collections data expand, the educational opportunities in data science will also expand to complement disciplinary and transdisciplinary learning. Collaboration with experts in educational research, evaluation, and assessment will help to refine biological collections-based educational objectives and programs, determine the impact of those programs on learning, and perhaps help to identify a set of approaches or programs to implement at a national scale. REFERENCES AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). 2015. Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: Chronicling change, inspiring the future. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Washington, DC. Allen, S., P. Campbell, L. D. Dierking, B. Flagg, C. Garibay, R. Korn, G. Silverstein, and D. Ucko. 2008. Framework for evaluating impacts of informal science education projects. Online: National Science Foundation. Archer, L., E. Dawson, J. DeWitt, A. Seakins, and B. Wong. 2015. “Science capital”: A conceptual, methodological, and empirical argument for extending bourdieusian notions of capital beyond the arts. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 52(7):922–948. Austin, A. E. 2018. Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: Unpacking a movement and sharing lessons learned. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Washington, DC. Bakker, F. T., A. Antonelli, J. A. Clarke, J. A. Cook, S. V. Edwards, P. G. P. Ericson, S. Faurby, N. Ferrand, M. Gelang, R. G. Gillespie, M. Irestedt, K. Lundin, E. Larsson, P. Matos-Maraví, J. Müller, T. von Proschwitz, G. K. Roderick, A. Schliep, N. Wahlberg, J. Wiedenhoeft, and M. Källersjö. 2020. The global museum: Natural history collections and the future of evolutionary science and public education. Peerj 8:e8225. Balengée, B. 2010. Malamp: The occurrence of deformities in amphibians. Edited by N. Triscott and M. Pope. Arts Catalyst and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield. Ballard, H. L., E. M. Harris, and C. G. H. Dixon. 2018. Science identity and agency in community and citizen science: Evidence & potential. Paper commissioned for the Committee on Designing Citizen Science to Support Science Learning. Bauerle, C., A. DePass, D. Lynn, C. O’Connor, S. Singer, M. Withers, C. W. Anderson, S. Donovan, S. Drew, D. Ebert-May, L. Gross, S. G. Hoskins, J. Labov, D. Lopatto, W. McClatchey, P. Varma- Nelson, N. Pelaez, M. Poston, K. Tanner, D. Wessner, H. White, W. Wood, and D. Wubah. 2011. Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: A call to action. American Association for the Advancement of Science. Washington, DC. Cook, J. A., S. V. Edwards, E. A. Lacey, R. P. Guralnick, P. S. Soltis, D. E. Soltis, C. K. Welch, K. C. Bell, K. E. Galbreath, C. Himes, J. M. Allen, T. A. Heath, A. C. Carnaval, K. L. Cooper, M. Liu, J. Hanken, and S. Ickert-Bond. 2014. Natural history collections as emerging resources for innovative education. BioScience 64(8):725–734. Dawes, L. 2016. Talk box: Speaking and listening activities for learning at key stage 1. 1st ed. New York: Routledge. Diamond, J. 1999. Practical evaluation guide: Tools for museums and other informal educational settings. American Association for State and Local History Book series. 68 Prepublication Copy

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Biological collections are a critical part of the nation's science and innovation infrastructure and a fundamental resource for understanding the natural world. Biological collections underpin basic science discoveries as well as deepen our understanding of many challenges such as global change, biodiversity loss, sustainable food production, ecosystem conservation, and improving human health and security. They are important resources for education, both in formal training for the science and technology workforce, and in informal learning through schools, citizen science programs, and adult learning. However, the sustainability of biological collections is under threat. Without enhanced strategic leadership and investments in their infrastructure and growth many biological collections could be lost.

Biological Collections: Ensuring Critical Research and Education for the 21st Century recommends approaches for biological collections to develop long-term financial sustainability, advance digitization, recruit and support a diverse workforce, and upgrade and maintain a robust physical infrastructure in order to continue serving science and society. The aim of the report is to stimulate a national discussion regarding the goals and strategies needed to ensure that U.S. biological collections not only thrive but continue to grow throughout the 21st century and beyond.

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