Impacts of role models in biology instruction.

The majority of scientists featured in undergraduate educational resources do not reflect the diversity within the scientific community, nor do they match the identities of students reached by these resources. In collaboration with researchers at Michigan State University and Project Biodiversify, we work to assess the impact of scientist role models in data literacy instruction on student attitudes and learning in biology. Read more about our 5-year NSF grant here! More information about this study can be found here:

We create data literacy activities for biology students featuring non-stereotypical scientists and test how they impact students.
From: Wood, S., Henning, J. A., Chen, L., McKibben, T., Smith, M. L., Weber, M., Zemenick, A., & Ballen, C. J. (2020). A scientist like me: demographic analysis of biology textbooks reveals both progress and long-term lags. Proceedings of the Royal Society B287(1929), 20200877.

Headlines for this topic:

Thanks to the University of Texas-Austin’s Marine Science Institute for the invitation to share ideas and deliver a seminar!

The NSF DataVersify team in DC! We’ve been meeting fortnightly since 2018 over zoom, and are together for the first time to discuss next steps and big ideas.

Robin Costello presents a poster showing the impacts of diversified and humanized role models on student attitudes and interest in science careers.

We are at the NSF Summit for the Improvement of Undergraduate STEM Education in Washington DC this week – connecting with colleagues (IRL!) and presenting progress on our DataVersify project!

^Several years ago in a massive lecture hall at UMN that seats 700 students!

Cissy visited the Department of Biology Teaching & Learning last week at the University of Minnesota to discuss recent research from the lab. It was so wonderful sharing ideas and catching up with the department!

Cissy delivered a virtual seminar on inclusive representation of scientists in biology to the Department of Botany at the University of Wyoming!

How students relate to scientists impacts student retention: A $1 million NSF funds a study to examine data literacy instruction with direct connection to STEM. Lab members Emily Driessen and Cissy Ballen in COSAM News! See the full story here.