2023 SENCER Summer Institute

  • 03 Aug 2023
  • 4:00 PM
  • 06 Aug 2023
  • 6:00 PM
  • online


  • Registration Fees are waived for Lifetime Members.
  • For Basic, Patron, and Sustainer members of NCSCE (go to ncsce.wildapricot.org to join)

Registration is closed

SENCER Summer Institute 2023

August 3-6, 2023

This year’s SENCER Summer Institute will again take advantage our continuing virtual environment and combine synchronous and asynchronous content. Institute programming will be held online from August 3 through August 6, 2023. A Zoom link will be sent to registrants.


Our theme for this year's Institute is:


Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) was launched in 2001 with the mission of improving STEM learning for all students, but importantly, to ensure that our efforts produce (in the words of the founding PI, David Burns) “Knowledge to Make our Democracy.” Two decades later, and since the assault on the US Capitol, there is no longer any question that US democracy is in crisis. Racial, economic, social, and political divisions are growing. Media manipulation, gerrymandering, voter suppression, and strategic court rulings have allowed an explicitly anti-democratic minority to disproportionately influence public discourse, law, and policy, a situation accelerated by a lack of public understanding of the basic elements of American governance.  

The ability to use empirical reasoning and evidence to guide action—what John Dewey called “the scientific habit of mind”-- is a critical capacity for citizens in a democracy. SENCER has always maintained that science learning was a powerful and foundational context for civic education, and essential for effective civic agency in a democracy.  But science education can never meet this challenge if it is practiced as the transmission of “facts.” Science education can only contribute to the effort of building civic capacity if the connections between content and context, inquiry and action, knowledge and responsibility, are clear and relevant to the learner.

Deploying science learning in the service of the long-term collective goals of democracy--including equity, justice, and community well-being--and not solely short-term workforce needs and starting salaries, will require profound curricular and pedagogical reform. It will also require value-driven academic leadership that supports faculty committed to ensuring STEM education IS civic education.  This year’s SENCER Institute will showcase innovative strategies that educators are using to advance both science AND civic learning.  We hope you will participate and share your efforts with a community of transformative practice that is SENCER.

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