Students Prepare for Geological Society of America Presentations (Part 1)


Maxwell Meadows, a senior student in the Department of Geological Sciences, began a study of trace elements enrichment within agricultural farmland of Lebanon, CT under the supervision of Dr. Oyewumi.  He is seen here collecting soil within agricultural farmland with the overall goal of examining trace element enrichment and possible impact on the hydrologic systems. Results of his research will be presented at the forthcoming Northeast Conference of the Geological Society of America in Pittsburgh, PA. You can read Max’s abstract here.


Future El Ed Teachers Make the Grade in Science With the Help of GSCI Faculty


One of the most important jobs of the Geological Sciences Department is to make sure that ALL students accepted into the Professional Program in Elementary Education at CCSU make the grade in terms of their preparation to teach science to the children of our state. With the recent adoption of NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), this task is more important than ever. Shown above is a poster created by students in Dr. Bednarski’s SCI 412 (Elementary Science Methods) class explaining their work on forces and motion. They created an experiment to test out the various forces involved in playing billiards. They then tested their questions using chop sticks and ping pong balls. Next week they will be creating models of their investigations.

Sharing Our Students’ Success at the CCSU Majors and Minors Fair


[Mascot Rex the T-Rex, students Nick Zygmont and Sara Poppa, and faculty member Dr. Kristine Larsen representing the department]

While some departments might find it difficult to find volunteers, the Geological Sciences Department found itself with an embarrassment of riches at the annual Majors and Minors Fair at CCSU, with two faculty members and five students rotating through the table over the course of three hours. The faculty and students shared their passion for geology and astronomy with undecided students as well as faculty and staff from other departments on campus. Of course, having free star finders, candy, and Geology and Planetary Science Club bracelets, as well as an inflatable Saturn (plus an appearance from the ever-photogenic department mascot Rex) never hurts. Please join us at the CCSU Open House on October 30, 2016 or the Bristol Rock and Gem Show on October 15 & 16 and learn more about our programs.

Masters Degree in STEM Helps Teachers Blossom

[Ed. note: The Geological Sciences Department at CCSU has two science education specialists, Dr. Marsha Bednarski and Dr. Jeffrey Thomas. They are both central to the program described below]

You only need to watch the evening news or leisurely peruse the internet to understand how important a basic understanding of Science, Technology/Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is in today’s world. Our K-12 teachers play a vital role in educating the next generation in these important areas. But who helps the teachers reach their potential in terms of not only an understanding of the issues themselves, but the practical skills needed to effectively  teach them to others? We do!

The MS STEM Program at CCSU (developed and administered in collaboration with colleagues in the Technology & Engineering Education department) developed to bring together Science, Technology/Engineering, and Mathematics certified teachers from all grade levels to explore how to integrate the STEM disciplines in curriculum, instruction, and assessment for use in their classrooms. Begun in the fall of 2014, this innovative new program enables teachers to build on skills and knowledge they already have and create an exciting trans-disciplinary learning environment for their students.

This program  provides current teachers with the skills necessary to move away from the traditional way of teaching individual STEM subjects towards a more comprehensive way of addressing the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines in order to prepare students for 21st century college skills and career readiness. Our courses are aligned with National and CT state content standards and the Common Core Standards in Language Arts and Mathematics. Note that this is a program for those already certified to teach in Connecticut, so it does not by itself lead to CT state teacher certification or cross-endorsement.

If you or someone you know would benefit from this exciting new program, please contact me via phone (860-832-2943) or email ( More information is also available on our website ( I look forward to speaking with you.

-Marsha Bednarski