The Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem (BCE2) is a pilot project developing a model for building an educational ecosystem with a multiplicity of outcome aims – attracting and retaining underrepresented groups in engineering and science, building STEM literacy within the regional workforce, and improving the quality of life of low-income neighborhoods. Thus, BCE2 aims not just at improving practices in STEM for greater inclusion and skill development, but also increasing retention of recipients of training or programming in the geographic regions where these interventions occur and are often most needed . To do this, partnerships in the BCE2 pilot include a diversity of higher education institutions, the K-12 system, local government, and community organizations. In its final year of research and refinement through an NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education grant, researchers have expanded educational programming and partnerships into another city in the region as a prelude to full replication.
Researchers outline observed outcomes for students and project outcomes for community partners based on information from evaluation findings. The poster and paper This paper discusses initial findings and challenges related replication of identified core elements in a reduced-scale trial and concludes with next steps for broader replication.
Director for Community-Based Research and Impact, Center for Social Concerns;
Assistant Director for Research, Center for Civic Innovation
Dr. Wood received her M.S.and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds her B.S. from Purdue University. Her research interests include community engagement, asset-based community development, collective impact, and evaluation in complex settings.
Alisa Zornig Gura is Managing Director for the Center for Civic Innovation at the University of Notre Dame. She was the Science and Engineering Academic Community Engagement Program Manager and Executive Director of the Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair from 2012 to 2016 and her committee work includes several initiatives to broaden participation of underrepresented groups in STEM. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Public Affairs degree with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration from Indiana University South Bend.
Dr. Jay Brockman is the Associate Dean of Engineering for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and previously worked for Intel Corporation. He is also a founder of
Sara Boukdad is the internship program manager at the Center for Civic Innovation at the University of Notre Dame. Sara is a recent graduate from the University of Notre Dame in 2016 with a degree in environmental engineering.
A native of Puebla, Mexico, Juan-Carlos Alarcon developed his love for music while playing piano at an early age. All through middle school and high school he participated in many musical ensembles. His high school music activities included the Elkhart Central High School Men's choir, the Shades of Blue show choir, Concert choir and the Indiana All-State choir. Besides his involvement in music at his school, he worked with liturgical music. At the age of twelve he began work as a church accompanist, and by the age of sixteen he led the choir in Sunday worship services. His church service deepened his love and passion for the organ. He is a proud member of the St. Joseph Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and he serves as the technology coordinator for the chapter.
His musical activities have taken him to New York to perform at Carnegie hall in 2016, where he sang in a choir presenting chosen works of the African Diaspora. He also traveled to Florida to play as part of the Grammy award winning CD “American Dreamers, voices of hope, music of freedom” by John Daversa.
Juan-Carlos continually advocates for music education, STEAM education, the arts, and for education and inclusion for all. Because of his desire to further the arts, he is involved in leadership roles both in school and local musical organizations. His positions include membership in the Elkhart County Symphony board of directors and also serving as the librarian for the symphony. Other positions include the Presidency of the IU South Bend chapter of the National Association for Music Education, and the Presidency of the University Choral Union. He also worked as a counselor for the IU South Bend Chamber Orchestra Intensive.
During the summer of 2018, Juan-Carlos worked developing STEM curriculum for the Bowman Creek Academy, a week-long STEM camp sponsored by Bowman Creek Educational Ecosystem and the University of Notre Dame. Due to the success, delivery and execution of the camp, Juan-Carlos received the Bud Ahearn leadership award. The mentors who selected Juan-Carlos for the award describe him as, “A positive influence in our classrooms, his ability to collaborate with others as well as his initiative led him to be a top contender for this award. [He] has furthered our confidence that he has traits and characteristics that will carry him far in his professional career.”
Because of his love for singing, playing, and music education, Juan-Carlos studies Organ with Celia Weiss and Voice with Emanuel-Cristian Caraman. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music Education with a concentration in general, choral, and instrumental music at IU South Bend and currently teaches STEM and Music at Pierre Moran Middle school and Roosevelt Elementary school.
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