About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1332-1339
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1282

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

STORIES FOR SCIENCE CLASSES: EXPERIMENTAL INTERACTIVE METAPHORS

X. Zhang, E. Polyak

North Carolina State University (UNITED STATES)
The use of narrative (a story with a plot, characters, setting, climax and resolution, i.e., fictional written text) makes science meaningful, relevant, and accessible to the public, and create strong memory traces.

Most educational videos that teach STEM concepts focus on the accurate reflections of the concepts using hyper-realistic depictions. However, accuracy may not make the teaching materials more intuitive, accessible, or memorable. In our biomanufacturing program, we teach 3 bioprocess undergraduate & Professional Science Master's level courses chronologically, and some key concepts recur in 3 courses. We noticed that: although students understood and memorized the concepts well in the previous course, they already forgot them just within a few weeks when attending the next level course.

To inspire learning through emotionally engaging explanations that are relevant to students’ lives, and in an attempt to consolidate long-term memory, we propose using stories that humanize the teaching materials in STEM education. Based on this hypothesis, we asked a group of design students to define metaphors and build non-linear narratives to teach bioprocess concepts. The resulted 8 interactive scenarios for one topic (celB induction system for heterologous protein expression) humanized the technical concepts and included narrative storylines relevant to popular culture and everyday language.

The design and development of those experimental interactive metaphors are student-centered with multidisciplinary collaborations. The “induction system” concept is an important but also complex “hard science” concept in biochemistry, microbiology, and molecular biology, etc. Students of the College of Design worked with their advisor and an instructor from biomanufacturing program (College of Engineering). They managed to understand and communicate complex and diverse scenarios with storylines relevant to daily life.

To gain a better understanding of the pedagogical value, we conducted a faculty focus group and we were able to pinpoint the most appealing metaphors and scenarios that could be further refined.
@InProceedings{ZHANG2017STO,
author = {Zhang, X. and Polyak, E.},
title = {STORIES FOR SCIENCE CLASSES: EXPERIMENTAL INTERACTIVE METAPHORS},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1282},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1282},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1332-1339}}
TY - CONF
AU - X. Zhang AU - E. Polyak
TI - STORIES FOR SCIENCE CLASSES: EXPERIMENTAL INTERACTIVE METAPHORS
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1282
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 1332
EP - 1339
ER -
X. Zhang, E. Polyak (2017) STORIES FOR SCIENCE CLASSES: EXPERIMENTAL INTERACTIVE METAPHORS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 1332-1339.
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