NSF Day at UNM

I spent last Wednesday at NSF Day at the University of New Mexico. It was a really, really long day, and not just because of my recent health issues.

For an organization that funds some of the most cutting edge research on STEM education, it certainly failed to implement any active or project-based learning during the day. The day was filled with standard lecture in the less entertaining variety, with different NSF employees (program directors, etc.) reading PowerPoint slides, which can be found here:

The agenda, slides, acronym descriptions, etc. can also be found here:

But, indeed, my commentary is probably best saved for the end.

A great deal of information was conveyed during the meeting, however, and I tried to live-tweet as much of it as I could. (I apologize in advance for the embedded parent tweets.)

So, this is going to be a collection of those tweets with some emphasis and commentary added in.

So let’s begin:

The NM legislature sent representatives (as they do to big deals like this):

This video was a really, really good introduction to the way NSF works. WAY worth the watch.

I think the tweets below were the beginning of my commentary on how NSF Day could’ve gone differently. I know NSF Day was a really big deal. But I really wish I had had a lot more time bouncing ideas off program directors and my peers.

The toolkit has A LOT of information and is worth looking at:

AND…back to the program directors…

Essentials for writing an NSF Proposal:

CAREER Grants:

Next we had a Panel Discussion with funded PIs. Bill’s advice, in particular, made a lot of sense to me and gave me a concrete framework to use for future grants. Thanks Bill!

Dr. France Córdova’s keynote during lunch:

Cross-cutting and NSF-wide opportunities:

The NSF EHR (Education and Human Resource directorate) Breakout Session with Rob Russell:

If the slides from Rob become available, I will post them in a Google slide file here:

My commentary throughout the day reiterated my commentary above. NSF Day would have benefitted quite a bit from more program director to peer and peer to peer interaction. Making the day a project based day, where folks immediately started bouncing ideas off of one another, then beginning to write sections for a “grant” based off of the best idea, with program directors moving from table to table, would have helped tremendously. Even holding a mock review panel would have helped.

As it was, the most helpful sections of the day were the panel discussion as well as the brief discussion after lunch peer to peer.

A shout out to the person who made it all happen for me:

And thanks from others for tweeting:

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