Sera Kim

Project Overview 

Providence Alliance of Clinical Educators (PACE) is a non-profit organization started by Brown students to provide high school science teachers with free tools to teach science through the unique method of storytelling. We aim to increase high school science educational outcomes by making science memorable and easy to understand. We want students to know why they need to learn basic science principles. We combine basic science with plot themes from action movies, romantic comedies, video games, and remarkable stories to give textbooks a chance at not causing Dull Fact Induced Coma Syndrome.

Since July of 2011, Pace has expanded to 50 states, reaching 240 classrooms for almost no cost to the students. Going further, we plan to incorporate interactive videos, video games, and flash apps. With various interactive, exciting methods of science education, we hope to improve students’ understanding of complex science concepts. 

Personal Statement 

In 2010, I read an inspiring book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which mainly explores the ethics of science research. Reading the book, I realized the effectiveness of narration in science education. As a biology concentrator, I want to share scientific knowledge in engaging ways.  I want students and the general public to be able to relate to science. PACE has been a wonderful opportunity to deliver my aspiration into action. Through PACE, I have had opportunities to write stories that teach science in novel ways, becoming a step closer to developing a more creative education methods. 

Expectations

 I hope to assesses the utilization, acceptance, and demand of PACE products to strengthen the content of the PACE production team’s stories. In order to best accomplish this, I will develop surveys and use the BVLF Explore grant to provide incentives for PACE users to complete the survey. First, I will talk with Math Hoops and various other organizations to optimize survey strategy. I will also reach out to local teachers in Providence and Brown professors in the Education department, and other professionals related to alternative learning. After developing the best strategy to obtain most helpful data, I will analyze last year’s performance and target schools for the survey. I will then start sending the surveys with materials at the start of the school year. All of the surveys will have been sent to the test schools along with the newly produced PACE materials. 

Reflection

Quantifying the effectiveness of learning has always been a challenge for educators. As such, measuring the effectiveness of PACE has also challenged me because PACE stories have only been a recent incorporation to science education. evaluations of our products should therefore be longterm and ongoing.  

Obtaining a vast contact list was highly successful. We have been able to contact high school science teachers in all fifty states. I am very excited about this accomplishment because direct interactions will allow us to share our PACE products and receive more feedback that will improve the quality of our stories. 

Review from Teachers 

All of these are great!!!!!!! I hate teaching Cellular Respiration because the students seem tortured to learn the information. The stories will go a long way to making this unit more interesting.
- Central Bucks West High School, Pennsylvania

I believe that students will become more engaged with these stories and I plan to integrate them into my curriculum for my multiple science courses.  I would love to see the rest.
- Freeman High School, South Dakota

These are great!  I’d love to see more.  I’m forwarding them on to a couple of newsletters for science educators in the state and I’ll post them on the Alaska Science Teachers website too.  Do you have a website where teachers can go and download the lessons directly?  I’m sure many teachers would welcome these as resources. Cheers!
- Alaska Department of Education & Early Development

Thank you so much for sharing these!  I love incorporating reading/writing in different genres into the science curriculum.  I am a chemistry and anatomy/physiology teacher and will use these.  If you have more, I am interested!
- Burke High School, Nebraska

I would enjoy seeing the rest of your stories.  I enjoyed the ones that were sent and will use them in my classes.  They are perfect for developing problem solving skills. 
- Omaha Central High School Science, Nebraska