Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center to Participate in The 2020 STEM for All Video Showcase: Learning from Research and Practice

At home learning resources are available at the end of this post.

Water Stories Summit from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension will be featured May 5th-12th at https://stemforall2020.videohall.com

Wisconsin Dells, WI, April 30, 2020 — Justin Hougham, Director of Upham Woods and Associate Professor at UW-Madison Division of Extension will be featured in the 2020 STEM for All Video Showcase funded by the National Science Foundation.  The event will be held online May 5th -12th at https://stemforall2020.videohall.com.

The presentation, entitled “Water Stories Summit,” looks at how students engage in field experiences and craft stories to advocate for water issues in their communities. The project was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency grant Nos NE-00E02399. The showcase presents an opportunity to meet the demand for at-home and online educational resources. To complement the “Water Stories Summit’ video, Upham Woods staff have crafted response questions and activities intended to promote critical thinking among youth. The worksheet is accompanied by instructions on how to complete your own macroinvertebrate study. Upham Woods will publish the worksheets to their website (included at the end of this post). The presentation can be reached through the STEM For All Video Showcase website at https://stemforall2020.videohall.com/presentations/1707.

“The Wisconsin Youth Water Stories Summit is a practice and test of community science. This project represents our commitment to broadening scientific participation through accessible programs, expanded science communication and a greater acceptance of how personal experience is interwoven in science experiences. We participated in the STEM for All Video Showcase last year believing that it would help us meet our community science objectives. This year we look forward to how new thinkers, science enthusiasts and curious folks will respond to our water story,” said Justin Hougham, Director of Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center.

The Wisconsin Youth Water Stories Summit represents one of many community science events hosted by Upham Woods. Other examples include Science Strikes Back, the all-ages community science fair co-hosted by Escuela Verde, a school in Milwaukee, and the Earth Stories Exchange. The Earth Stories Exchange was launched to build a sense of community during the COVID-19 pandemic and as a way to promote scientific storytelling virtually. Upham Woods’ storytelling approach is described in the next edition of Connected Science Learning, a publication of the National Science Teaching Association. The article describes how this tool promotes deep reflection and builds science communication skills. Another recent article featuring collaborative, environmental education research at Upham Woods is in the Journal of Experiential Education earlier this year.

The Wisconsin Youth Water Stories Summit also represents one of many projects supported by grants secured by Upham Woods. Another example is the Research and Innovation Initiative, which aims to increase research activity and university student engagement at Upham Woods. Upham Woods is currently in partnership with over 20 university faculty and researchers to collaborate on this initiative.

The annual showcase will feature over 170 innovative projects aimed at improving STEM learning and teaching, which have been funded by the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies. During the week-long event, researchers, practitioners, policy makers and members of the public are invited to view the short videos, discuss them with the presenters online, and vote for their favorites.

“The STEM for All Video Showcase has a rare opportunity this year to connect with educators and youth who are trying to learn online during the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth could have a direct line to researchers during this event and there is an educational need to connect them. We hope to support youth engagement by providing prompts and activities designed to encourage them to join the online discussion about the videos,” said Isabelle Herde, Program Director of Upham Woods.

The theme for this year’s event is “Learning from Research and Practice.” Video presentations address improving K-12 STEM classroom, informal environments, undergraduate and graduate education, teacher professional development, and community engagement. Collectively the presentations cover a broad range of topics including science, mathematics, computer science, engineering, cyber-learning, citizen science, maker spaces, broadening participation, research experiences, mentoring, professional development, NGSS and the Common Core.

Last year’s STEM for All Video Showcase is still being accessed, and to date has had over 76,000 unique visitors from 181 countries.


The worksheets are available here:

Science Communication and Community – includes thought-provoking questions about how to engage communities with water issues. Appropriate for older students (7th grade +)

Make your H2Own Story – includes prompts to discuss the content of the video.

Where is Your Water From– includes questions about water resource allocation and use.


The STEM for All Video Showcase is hosted by TERC, in partnership with: STEMTLnet, CADRE, CAISE, CIRCL, STELAR, CS for All Teachers, NARST, NCTM, NSTA, NSF INCLUDES, and QEM. The Showcase is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (#1922641).

Contact Justin Hougham at justin.hougham@wisc.edu for questions.