SOURCE: Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology

August 01, 2017 13:30 ET

Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology Professor Dr. Eric Hamilton Works to Get Students All Over the World Excited About Science

Latest Project Focuses on Building Collaborative Network of STEM-Related After School Clubs In United States and Abroad

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwired - August 01, 2017) - Pepperdine Professor of Education Dr. Eric Hamilton, together with the New York Hall of Science, recently established an international network of after school STEM-related media making clubs with funding from the National Science Foundation. Referred to as IC4, or International Clubs for Collaborative Content Creation, United States elementary and high school aged youth are paired with students in Namibia, Kenya, and Finland. Students aged 12-19 are then tasked with creating media related to STEM topics, sharing their results and subsequent expertise with each other through social media and real-time Internet meetups.

Related research focuses on knowledge formation in digital maker spaces, the impact of participatory teaching, and virtual networks, as well as intercultural global competencies. The project seeks to foster meaningful and scientifically rigorous collaborations that cross and connect cultures, as well as to examine research in multiple areas in order to advance informal STEM subject learning.

In May, Dr. Hamilton shared his work with IC4 in a video which aired as part of the National Science Foundation's 2017 Stem for All Video Showcase. The seven day, online event drew attention for Dr. Hamilton's project from policy makers, investigators, administrators, researchers, and educators worldwide.

"The GSEP project, it appears, had more than twice as many comments and questions as any other video, with postings for our video from all over the world. Ours was the only video viewed from Madagascar and Tasmania, it appears, something completely unexpected -- two major off-continent island countries. And the only one visited from Namibia, but that did not surprise us. Our project is just beginning, but the interactions between STEM learners in the four countries is already pretty amazing, and we are looking forward to sharing in much more detail next year!"

In June, a group of students from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania held what Dr. Hamilton describes as a "great global meetup session" with a group of advanced high schoolers in two locations in Kenya. At this online conclave, the Pittsburgh students gave an introduction to the Scratch programming language to the Kenyan group, leaving them, in Hamilton's words, "astounded."

In addition to the Pittsburgh/Kenya online meetup, Hamilton also hosted an Internet discussion between a group of schoolchildren in Finland sponsored by the program and their Kenyan peers. During another online session, Hamilton supervised Long Beach students as they interfaced with another group of Kenyan scholars who had special permission from their teachers to be at their schools at 2AM for the session.

As one of the leading authorities in the United States in the subject of mathematics teaching and education reform, Dr. Hamilton began his career as a math teacher for grades 6-12. Earning a PhD at Northwestern and his MAT at University of Chicago, Dr. Hamilton is also a Fulbright Research Fellow through 2017.

He has held two directorship roles at National Science Foundation, supervising more than $500 million dollars in science and mathematics education and research. Most recently, he served as a director of the United States Air Force Academy Center for research on learning and teaching. His leadership in science and mathematics education at Pepperdine's GSEP continues to develop and define educational policy for educators across the globe.

About Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology:
The Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) is an innovative learning community where faculty, staff, and students of diverse cultures and perspectives work collaboratively to foster academic excellence, social purpose, meaningful service, and personal fulfillment. GSEP offers eleven master's degree programs and five doctoral programs for working professionals across five locations throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties. GSEP endeavors to educate and motivate students to assume leadership roles in professions that improve and enrich the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Follow GSEP on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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