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Brain-connected technology opening doors for children with severe speech, physical impairments

Kevin Pitt, assistant professor of special education and communication disorders, is leading a three-year project that uses brain-computer interface (BCI) technology to facilitate better communication for people with severe speech and physical impairments. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Imagine being locked inside your own body, isolated and struggling to meaningfully connect and communicate with those around you.

Now imagine trying to cope with such isolation as a child.

For children with severe speech and physical impairments (SSPI), the lack of a reliable communication methods has devastating impacts on their quality of life, well-being, medical care and social interactions. Full Article

Grand Challenges research effort leverages STEM to inspire climate action

The RISE with Insects research team includes, from left, Susan Weller, director of the University of Nebraska State Museum; Sarah Roberts, Extension educator in science and nature education for early childhood; Ana María Vélez Arango, assistant professor of insect toxicology; Louise Lynch-O’Brien, assistant professor of insect biology and Extension specialist; and Holly Hatton-Bowers, associate professor of child, youth and family studies and Extension specialist. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

After decades of work, many researchers believe climate change poses the greatest global threat to human health — and that youth are the most vulnerable to the impacts and most-dire consequences, both today and in the future.

Black, Latinx, Native American and other youth of color may be disproportionately affected by climate change with deepening inequalities in access to clean air and water, healthy foods and forced migration. Full Article

RISE Project aims to improve integrated STEM instruction in elementary classrooms

Teachers participate in a STEM education class at Henzlik Hall in 2019. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

By Haley Apel, CEHS Director of Strategic Communications

Because today’s fast-paced world demands constant innovation in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, STEM-related occupations continue to grow at a faster rate than those in non-STEM related fields. Full Article

Multi-institutional study explores how students approach course work once class ends

Researchers investigating undergraduate students’ strategies for completing out-of-class homework include, front row, from left: Allison Upchurch, Dana Kirkwood-Watts and Brian Couch. Back row, from left: Lorey Wheeler, Kati Brazeal, Sarah Spier and Gabrielle Johnson. Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

As learning environments increasingly rely on online course formats that work with busy college student schedules — particularly after disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic — a better understanding of how students complete out-of-class assignments is crucial to ensuring equitable opportunities for academic success. Full Article

2022 Summit on Research in Early Childhood helps connect research, practice, policy

Participants gather during the 2022 CYFS Summit on Research in Early Childhood at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center on April 13. View photo gallery.

Creating connections among early childhood research, practice and policy — and how each can enhance the lives of young children and their families — provided the central theme of the 2022 CYFS Summit on Research in Early Childhood.

Nearly 200 attendees, including researchers from across the University of Nebraska system, practitioners, administrators, community partners and policymakers, gathered April 13 at Nebraska Innovation Campus for the daylong, sixth biennial summit, which highlighted the latest research to advance early childhood education and development, and implications for practice and policy. Full Article

Researchers, teachers, artists collaborate to envision future of emerging media instruction

Art TEAMS researchers include, from left, Guy Trainin, professor of education in the Department of Teaching, Learning & Teacher Education; Lorinda Rice, Lincoln Public Schools art curriculum specialist; HyeonJin Yoon, research assistant professor, MAP Academy; and Kimberly D’Adamo, TLTE graduate student/lecturer. Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

Given the speed at which technology changes and evolves, one can only imagine what media will look like in five years — and beyond.

But Nebraska researchers are collaborating with the state’s K-12 educators, artists and administrators to do just that. Full Article

Brain-connected technology opens communications doors for those with severe physical impairments

Kevin Pitt, assistant professor of special education and communication disorders, prepares an EEG cap for use on a P300 speller device (Photo by Kelcey Buck, Special Education and Communication Disorders). Learn more in the CYFS Research Network.

As computer technology continues to evolve and become more routine in daily life, researchers and engineers alike are working to find new ways to link computer technology with the human brain.

Using a direct communication pathway between a wired brain and an external device to produce commands is no longer the stuff of science fiction. Brain-computer interface, or BCI, is now evolving reality — and one that promises enhanced quality of life for people with severe physical impairments (SPIs). Full Article

Youth Arise encourages youth civic engagement, entrepreneurship

Kieu-Anh Do, Youth Arise project coordinator, helps a student during the July 2021 Youth Arise camp in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. (Photos by Evan Choi) Learn more about this project in the CYFS Research Network.

With the world becoming more complex each day, the importance of civic knowledge and community engagement is on the rise — especially among younger generations.

Nebraska researchers are leading a project designed to provide civics, entrepreneurship and leadership education to underserved youth through an innovative learning program based on interactive online games and simulations. Full Article