As a postdoc, I was Co-PI and Project Manager for an NSF funded GK-12 program (Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education) at Kellogg Biological Station. My work with K-12 students and teachers made me passionate about equity and inclusion in STEM fields and about training scientists to communicate with broad audiences. At DU, we are continuing our work with the K-12 community by bringing immersive science experiences to middle school and high school classrooms in Denver and Hawaii in and out of the classroom. I'm delighted to co-coordinate DUSciTech, a free week-long STEM Summer Camp for low income middle school girls who are members of groups historically excluded from the sciences. Read more about this program here: news.du.edu/science-and-fun and see the paper we published in 2021 (below) with 10 middle school coauthors! Post-doc and collaborator Dale Broder recently helped us develop tools to assess the efficacy of informal science experiences like DU SciTech for engagement and retention of minoritized girls in STEM fields. We also work actively in local school districts. For instance, virtual lab visits with Highlands Ranch middle schoolers brought >180 students in a single day for an all day look at behavioral ecology research in our lab. Check out this quick video, highlighting how these experiences have impacted local students: http://youtu.be/xtlFoI9GCQo. Our ongoing collaboration with Kauai High School teachers allows us to engage numerous high school students in long-term field- and lab-research projects with crickets right in their own backyards!
In other work, together with the Murphy lab at DU, we're developing science education materials that might be useful to other ecologists and evolutionary biologists. And, with Spencer Ingley we run an animal behavior CURE at BYU-Hawaii where we collaborate with students attending this PUI to do intensive field research in situ where the crickets live right on their campus.
See related publications below.
Email Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in learning more or in having us come to your school.
Broder E.D., Fetrow, K., Murphy, S., Hoffman, J.L., and Tinghitella, R.M. In review. Out-of-school program increases scientific self-efficacy in middle school girls. Journal of Research in Science Teaching.
Murphy, S.M., Vyas, D.K., Hoffman, J.L., Jenck, C.*, Washburn, B.A.*, Hunnicutt, K.E.*, Davidson, A.*, Andersen, J.M.*, Bennet, R.K.*, Gifford, A.~, Herrera, M.~, Lawler, B.~, Lorman, S.~, Peacock, V.~, Walker, L.~, Watkins, E.~, Wilkinson, L.~, Williams, Z.~, Tinghitella, R.M. 2021. Streetlights positively affect the presence of an invasive grass species. Ecology and Evolution. 11: 10320–10326.
Smith, T.**, Broder, E.D., Tinghitella, R.M., Ingley, S. 2021. Using inter-institutional collaboration to generate publishable findings through course-based undergraduate research experiences. American Biology Teacher. 83(7): 451-457.
Welsh, G. 2021. Purring crickets: The evolution of a new cricket song. https://datanuggets.org/2021/03/purring-crickets-the-evolution-of-a-new-cricket-song/
Broder, E.D., Guilbert, K.E., Ghalambor, C.K., Tinghitella, R.M., Murphy, S.M., Angeloni, L.M. 2019. Authentic science with dissemination increases self-efficacy of middle school students. Integrative and Comparative Biology. https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icz140.
Lehto, W.R., Murphy, S.M., Vidal, M.C.*, & Tinghitella, R.M. 2018. Life Tables, Darwin's Finches, and the dynamics of small island populations. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/detail.asp?case_id=987&id=987.
Vidal, M.C., Grenis, K., Lehto, W.R., Tinghitella, R.M. & Murphy, S.M. 2017. Butterfly Hunt: the role of density dependence in Batesian and Mullerian mimicry. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/detail.asp?case_id=946&id=946.
Grenis, K., Lehto, W.R., Murphy, S.M., Vidal, M.C. & Tinghitella, R.M. 2017. Animals on treadmills: the importance of basic research. National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science. http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/collection/detail.asp?case_id=926&id=926.
Tinghitella, R.M. 2015. How the cricket lost its song Part I. Published 'Data Nugget'. http://datanuggets.org/2015/06/how-the-cricket-lost-its-song/.
Tinghitella, R.M. 2015. How the cricket lost its song Part II. Published ‘Data Nugget’. http://datanuggets.org/2016/05/how-the-cricket-lost-its-song-part-2/.