Devin Chu

Devin Chu is a graduate student in astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research focuses on spectroscopy of stars that orbit a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

Devin hopes to pursue a career in astronomy, with an emphasis on educational outreach. He sees PDP as a way to better understand inclusive, inquiry-based learning and how it can be applied to educational outreach.



Teaching Activity Summary

Name of Teaching Activity: Laws of Refraction and Reflection

Teaching Venue & Date: Akamai PREP JUNE 2019

Learners: 38 under graduate students.

Reflection on teaching and assessing the practices of science or engineering:

The STEM practice we focused on was “Constructing Explanations”. This particular practice is very important because it comes up in STEM constantly. As scientists, we need to make sure we effectively explain our findings that are clear and supported with evidence. Learners struggle with this practice because the communication of results is not always emphasized. Additionally, sometimes learners are so focused on presenting results aesthetically well but do not focus on the content of their explanations. In our rubric, we focused on evaluating learners’ explanations. We looked at the clarity and organization of their explanations. Additionally, we evaluated how they supported their explanation with evidence. We encouraged learners to incorporate these aspects of the practice into their explanations by placing these themes in prompts. It was interesting seeing learners think more about their explanations and support them using evidence. Sometimes, we noticed learners take data during their investigations for the sake of taking data, without thinking about how their data would support their explanation. After talking with them, they began to focus more on crafting their reasoning and using evidence. The learners used their diagrams as a way to construct and support their explanations as well.