WorldWideScience

Sample records for science majors undergraduate

  1. Do Gender-Science Stereotypes Predict Science Identification and Science Career Aspirations among Undergraduate Science Majors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cundiff, Jessica L.; Vescio, Theresa K.; Loken, Eric; Lo, Lawrence

    2013-01-01

    The present research examined whether gender-science stereotypes were associated with science identification and, in turn, science career aspirations among women and men undergraduate science majors. More than 1,700 students enrolled in introductory science courses completed measures of gender-science stereotypes (implicit associations and…

  2. Reforming an Undergraduate Environmental Science Course for Nonscience Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazempour, Mahsa; Amirshokoohi, Aidin

    2013-01-01

    This article discusses the key components of a reform-based introductory undergraduate environmental science course for nonscience majors and elementary teacher candidates as well as the impact of such components on the participants. The main goals for the course were to actively engage the students in their learning and, in doing so, to enhance…

  3. Gender Attributions of Science and Academic Attributes: AN Examination of Undergraduate Science, Mathematics, and Technology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, W. Jay

    Questionnaire data (n = 297) examined the relationship between gender attributions of science and academic attributes for undergraduate science, mathematics, and technology majors from the perspective of gender schema theory. Female and male respondents perceived that (a) the role of scientist was sex typed as masculine, (b) their majors were more valuable for members of their gender than for those of the opposite gender, (c) their majors were more valuable for themselves than for members of their gender in general. Androgynous attributions of scientists and the value of one's major for women predicted value for oneself, major confidence, and career confidence, and masculine attributions of scientists predicted class participation for female respondents. Feminine attributions of scientists predicted graduate school intent; value for women predicted major confidence and subjective achievement, and value for men predicted value for oneself, course confidence, and career confidence for male respondents.

  4. Informal Learning in Science, Math, and Engineering Majors for African American Female Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, Ezella

    2014-01-01

    This research investigates how eight undergraduate African American women in science, math, and engineering (SME) majors accessed cultural capital and informal science learning opportunities from preschool to college. It uses the multiple case study methodological approach and cultural capital as frameworks to better understand the participants'…

  5. Science Café Course: An Innovative Means of Improving Communication Skills of Undergraduate Biology Majors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Goldina

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available To help bridge the increasing gap between scientists and the public, we developed an innovative two-semester course, called Science Café. In this course undergraduate biology majors learn to develop communication skills to be better able to explain science concepts and current developments in science to non-scientists. Students develop and host outreach events on various topics relevant to the community, thereby increasing interactions between budding scientists and the public. Such a Science Cafe course emphasizes development of science communication skills early, at the undergraduate level and empowers students to use their science knowledge in every day interactions with the public to increase science literacy, get involved in the local community and engage the public in a dialogue on various pressing science issues. We believe that undergraduate science majors can be great ambassadors for science and are often overlooked since many aspire to go on to medical/veterinary/pharmacy schools. However, science communication skills are especially important for these types of students because when they become healthcare professionals, they will interact with the public as part of their everyday jobs and can thus be great representatives for the field.

  6. Design and Evaluation of a One-Semester General Chemistry Course for Undergraduate Life Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnoebelen, Carly; Towns, Marcy H.; Chmielewski, Jean; Hrycyna, Christine A.

    2018-01-01

    The chemistry curriculum for undergraduate life science majors at Purdue University has been transformed to better meet the needs of this student population and prepare them for future success. The curriculum, called the 1-2-1 curriculum, includes four consecutive and integrated semesters of instruction in general chemistry, organic chemistry, and…

  7. Green Chemistry and Sustainability: An Undergraduate Course for Science and Nonscience Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, Erin M.

    2013-01-01

    An undergraduate lecture course in Green Chemistry and Sustainability has been developed and taught to a "multidisciplinary" group of science and nonscience majors. The course introduced students to the topics of green chemistry and sustainability and also immersed them in usage of the scientific literature. Through literature…

  8. Do Biology Students Really Hate Math? Empirical Insights into Undergraduate Life Science Majors' Emotions about Mathematics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Lucas P; Runyon, Christopher R; Drake, John M; Dolan, Erin L

    2017-01-01

    Undergraduate life science majors are reputed to have negative emotions toward mathematics, yet little empirical evidence supports this. We sought to compare emotions of majors in the life sciences versus other natural sciences and math. We adapted the Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory to create an Attitudes toward the Subject of Mathematics Inventory (ASMI). We collected data from 359 science and math majors at two research universities and conducted a series of statistical tests that indicated that four AMSI items comprised a reasonable measure of students' emotional satisfaction with math. We then compared life science and non-life science majors and found that major had a small to moderate relationship with students' responses. Gender also had a small relationship with students' responses, while students' race, ethnicity, and year in school had no observable relationship. Using latent profile analysis, we identified three groups-students who were emotionally satisfied with math, emotionally dissatisfied with math, and neutral. These results and the emotional satisfaction with math scale should be useful for identifying differences in other undergraduate populations, determining the malleability of undergraduates' emotional satisfaction with math, and testing effects of interventions aimed at improving life science majors' attitudes toward math. © 2017 L.P. Wachsmuth et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  9. Uncovering the lived experiences of junior and senior undergraduate female science majors

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    Adornato, Philip

    The following dissertation focuses on a case study that uses critical theory, social learning theory, identity theory, liberal feminine theory, and motivation theory to conduct a narrative describing the lived experience of females and their performance in two highly selective private university, where students can cross-register between school, while majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Through the use of narratives, the research attempts to shed additional light on the informal and formal science learning experiences that motivates young females to major in STEM in order to help increase the number of women entering STEM careers and retaining women in STEM majors. In the addition to the narratives, surveys were performed to encompass a larger audience while looking for themes and phenomena which explore what captivates and motivates young females' interests in science and continues to nurture and facilitate their growth throughout high school and college, and propel them into a major in STEM in college. The purpose of this study was to uncover the lived experiences of junior and senior undergraduate female science majors during their formal and informal education, their science motivation to learn science, their science identities, and any experiences in gender inequity they may have encountered. The findings have implications for young women deciding on future careers and majors through early exposure and guidance, understanding and recognizing what gender discrimination, and the positive effects of mentorships.

  10. Do Biology Students Really Hate Math? Empirical Insights into Undergraduate Life Science Majors' Emotions about Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Lucas P.; Runyon, Christopher R.; Drake, John M.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2017-01-01

    Undergraduate life science majors are reputed to have negative emotions toward mathematics, yet little empirical evidence supports this. We sought to compare emotions of majors in the life sciences versus other natural sciences and math. We adapted the Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory to create an Attitudes toward the Subject of…

  11. Increasing persistence in undergraduate science majors: a model for institutional support of underrepresented students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toven-Lindsey, Brit; Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Barber, Paul H; Hasson, Tama

    2015-01-01

    The 6-yr degree-completion rate of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors at U.S. colleges and universities is less than 40%. Persistence among women and underrepresented minorities (URMs), including African-American, Latino/a, Native American, and Pacific Islander students, is even more troubling, as these students leave STEM majors at significantly higher rates than their non-URM peers. This study utilizes a matched comparison group design to examine the academic achievement and persistence of students enrolled in the Program for Excellence in Education and Research in the Sciences (PEERS), an academic support program at the University of California, Los Angeles, for first- and second-year science majors from underrepresented backgrounds. Results indicate that PEERS students, on average, earned higher grades in most "gatekeeper" chemistry and math courses, had a higher cumulative grade point average, completed more science courses, and persisted in a science major at significantly higher rates than the comparison group. With its holistic approach focused on academics, counseling, creating a supportive community, and exposure to research, the PEERS program serves as an excellent model for universities interested in and committed to improving persistence of underrepresented science majors and closing the achievement gap. © 2015 B. Toven-Lindsey et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  12. The influences and experiences of African American undergraduate science majors at predominately White universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blockus, Linda Helen

    The purpose of this study is to describe and explore some of the social and academic experiences of successful African American undergraduate science majors at predominately White universities with the expectation of conceptualizing emerging patterns for future study. The study surveyed 80 upperclass African Americans at 11 public research universities about their perceptions of the influences that affect their educational experiences and career interests in science. The mailed survey included the Persistence/ voluntary Dropout Decision Scale, the Cultural Congruity Scale and the University Environment Scale. A variety of potential influences were considered including family background, career goals, psychosocial development, academic and social connections with the university, faculty relationships, environmental fit, retention factors, validation, participation in mentored research projects and other experiences. The students' sources of influences, opportunities for connection, and cultural values were considered in the context of a research university environment and investigated for emerging themes and direction for future research. Results indicate that performance in coursework appears to be the most salient factor in African American students' experience as science majors. The mean college gpa was 3.01 for students in this study. Challenging content, time demands, study habits and concern with poor grades all serve to discourage students; however, for most of the students in this study, it has not dissuaded them from their educational and career plans. Positive course performance provided encouragement. Science faculty provide less influence than family members, and more students find faculty members discouraging than supportive. Measures of faculty relations were not associated with academic success. No evidence was provided to confirm the disadvantages of being female in a scientific discipline. Students were concerned with lack of minority role models

  13. Chemical Analysis of Soils: An Environmental Chemistry Laboratory for Undergraduate Science Majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willey, Joan D.; Avery, G. Brooks, Jr.; Manock, John J.; Skrabal, Stephen A.; Stehman, Charles F.

    1999-01-01

    Describes a laboratory exercise for undergraduate science students in which they evaluate soil samples for various parameters related to suitability for crop production and capability for retention of contaminants. (Contains 18 references.) (WRM)

  14. Biomedical Science Undergraduate Major: A New Pathway to Advance Research and the Health Professions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, John S; Ledford, Cynthia H; Mousetes, Steven J; Grever, Michael R

    2018-01-01

    Many students entering professional degree programs, particularly M.D., Ph.D., and M.D./Ph.D., are not well prepared regarding the breadth of scientific knowledge required, communication skills, research experience, reading and understanding the scientific literature, and significant shadowing (for M.D.-related professions). In addition, physician scientists are a needed and necessary part of the academic research environment but are dwindling in numbers. In response to predictions of critical shortages of clinician investigators and the lack of proper preparation as undergraduates for these professions, the Biomedical Science (BMS) undergraduate major was created at The Ohio State University to attract incoming college freshmen with interests in scientific research and the healthcare professions. The intent of this major was to graduate an elite cohort of highly talented individuals who would pursue careers in the healthcare professions, biomedical research, or both. Students were admitted to the BMS major through an application and interview process. Admitted cohorts were small, comprising 22 to 26 students, and received a high degree of individualized professional academic advising and mentoring. The curriculum included a minimum of 4 semesters (or 2 years) of supervised research experience designed to enable students to gain skills in clinical and basic science investigation. In addition to covering the prerequisites for medicine and advanced degrees in health professions, the integrated BMS coursework emphasized research literacy as well as skills related to work as a healthcare professional, with additional emphasis on independent learning, teamwork to solve complex problems, and both oral and written communication skills. Supported by Ohio State's Department of Internal Medicine, a unique clinical internship provided selected students with insights into potential careers as physician scientists. In this educational case report, we describe the BMS

  15. Using the Geoscience Literacy Frameworks and Educational Technologies to Promote Science Literacy in Non-science Major Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carley, S.; Tuddenham, P.; Bishop, K. O.

    2008-12-01

    In recent years several geoscience communities have been developing ocean, climate, atmosphere and earth science literacy frameworks as enhancements to the National Science Education Standards content standards. Like the older content standards these new geoscience literacy frameworks have focused on K-12 education although they are also intended for informal education and general public audiences. These geoscience literacy frameworks potentially provide a more integrated and less abstract approach to science literacy that may be more suitable for non-science major students that are not pursuing careers in science research or education. They provide a natural link to contemporary environmental issues - e.g., climate change, resource depletion, species and habitat loss, natural hazards, pollution, development of renewable energy, material recycling. The College of Exploration is an education research non-profit that has provided process and technical support for the development of most of these geoscience literacy frameworks. It has a unique perspective on their development. In the last ten years it has also gained considerable national and international expertise in facilitating web-based workshops that support in-depth conversations among educators and working scientists/researchers on important science topics. These workshops have been of enormous value to educators working in K-12, 4-year institutions and community colleges. How can these geoscience literacy frameworks promote more collaborative inquiry-based learning that enhances the appreciation of scientific thinking by non-majors? How can web- and mobile-based education technologies transform the undergraduate non-major survey course into a place where learners begin their passion for science literacy rather than end it? How do we assess science literacy in students and citizens?

  16. Discovery of the Collaborative Nature of Science with Undergraduate Science Majors and Non-Science Majors through the Identification of Microorganisms Enriched in Winogradsky Columns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Jasmine; Pinedo, Catalina Arango; Forster, Brian M

    2015-12-01

    Today's science classrooms are addressing the need for non-scientists to become scientifically literate. A key aspect includes the recognition of science as a process for discovery. This process relies upon interdisciplinary collaboration. We designed a semester-long collaborative exercise that allows science majors taking a general microbiology course and non-science majors taking an introductory environmental science course to experience collaboration in science by combining their differing skill sets to identify microorganisms enriched in Winogradsky columns. These columns are self-sufficient ecosystems that allow researchers to study bacterial populations under specified environmental conditions. Non-science majors identified phototrophic bacteria enriched in the column by analyzing the signature chlorophyll absorption spectra whereas science majors used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify the general bacterial diversity. Students then compiled their results and worked together to generate lab reports with their final conclusions identifying the microorganisms present in their column. Surveys and lab reports were utilized to evaluate the learning objectives of this activity. In pre-surveys, nonmajors' and majors' answers diverged considerably, with majors providing responses that were more accurate and more in line with the working definition of collaboration. In post-surveys, the answers between majors and nonmajors converged, with both groups providing accurate responses. Lab reports showed that students were able to successfully identify bacteria present in the columns. These results demonstrate that laboratory exercises designed to group students across disciplinary lines can be an important tool in promoting science education across disciplines.

  17. Sociocultural Influences On Undergraduate Women's Entry into a Computer Science Major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Louise Ann

    Computer science not only displays the pattern of underrepresentation of many other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, but has actually experienced a decline in the number of women choosing the field over the past two decades. Broken out by gender and race, the picture becomes more nuanced, with the ratio of females to males receiving bachelor's degrees in computer science higher for non-White ethnic groups than for Whites. This dissertation explores the experiences of university women differing along the axis of race, class, and culture who are considering majoring in computer science in order to highlight how well-prepared women are persuaded that they belong (or not) in the field and how the confluence of social categories plays out in their decision. This study focuses on a university seminar entitled "Women in Computer Science and Engineering" open to women concurrently enrolled in introductory programming and uses an ethnographic approach including classroom participant observation, interviews with seminar students and instructors, observations of students in other classes, and interviews with parents of students. Three stand-alone but related articles explore various aspects of the experiences of women who participated in the study using Rom Harre's positioning theory as a theoretical framework. The first article uses data from twenty-two interviews to uncover how interactions with others and patterns in society position women in relation to a computer science major, and how these women have arrived at the point of considering the major despite messages that they do not belong. The second article more deeply explores the cases of three women who vary greatly along the axes of race, class, and culture in order to uncover pattern and interaction differences for women based on their ethnic background. The final article focuses on the attitudes and expectations of the mothers of three students of contrasting ethnicities and how reported

  18. Discovery of the Collaborative Nature of Science with Undergraduate Science Majors and Non-Science Majors through the Identification of Microorganisms Enriched in Winogradsky Columns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasmine Ramirez

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Today’s science classrooms are addressing the need for non-scientists to become scientifically literate. A key aspect includes the recognition of science as a process for discovery. This process relies upon interdisciplinary collaboration. We designed a semester-long collaborative exercise that allows science majors taking a general microbiology course and non-science majors taking an introductory environmental science course to experience collaboration in science by combining their differing skill sets to identify microorganisms enriched in Winogradsky columns. These columns are self-sufficient ecosystems that allow researchers to study bacterial populations under specified environmental conditions. Non-science majors identified phototrophic bacteria enriched in the column by analyzing the signature chlorophyll absorption spectra whereas science majors used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to identify the general bacterial diversity. Students then compiled their results and worked together to generate lab reports with their final conclusions identifying the microorganisms present in their column. Surveys and lab reports were utilized to evaluate the learning objectives of this activity. In pre-surveys, nonmajors’ and majors’ answers diverged considerably, with majors providing responses that were more accurate and more in line with the working definition of collaboration. In post-surveys, the answers between majors and nonmajors converged, with both groups providing accurate responses. Lab reports showed that students were able to successfully identify bacteria present in the columns. These results demonstrate that laboratory exercises designed to group students across disciplinary lines can be an important tool in promoting science education across disciplines. Editor's Note:The ASM advocates that students must successfully demonstrate the ability to explain and practice safe laboratory techniques. For more information, read the laboratory

  19. Developing New Pedagogy to Teach Planet Formation to Undergraduate Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Molly; Impey, Chris David; Buxner, Sanlyn

    2016-06-01

    A first order understanding of planet formation and the scientific concepts therein is critical in order for undergraduate students to understand our place in the Universe. Furthermore, planet formation integrates the topics of gravity, angular momentum, migration, and condensation in a “story-book” fashion where students can apply these concepts to a specific event. We collected syllabi and course topics from over 30 undergraduate general-education astrobiology courses from around the globe in order to determine the extent to which professors address planet formation. Additionally, we were looking to see if faculty had developed specific or original pedagogy to teach this topic. We find on average, instructors spend ½ of a lecture discussing planet formation or they leave it out all together. In the classes where planet formation is taught more extensively, instructors use PowerPoint slides or occasional videos to teach the topic. We aim to develop new pedagogy that will allow us to better determine learning gains and student understanding of this critical topic. If students in an astrobiology class are unable to understand how our own Solar System forms, it is significantly more challenging to make parallels (or find differences) between our home in the Universe and extrasolar planetary systems.

  20. The Undergraduate Statistics Major--A Prelude to Actuarial Science Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratliff, Michael I.; Williams, Raymond E.

    Recently there has been increased interest related to the Actuarial Science field. An actuary is a business professional who uses mathematical skills to define, analyze, and solve financial and social problems. This paper examines: (1) the interface between Statistical and Actuarial Science training; (2) statistical courses corresponding to…

  1. Using a multicultural approach to teach chemistry and the nature of science to undergraduate non-majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goff, Peter; Boesdorfer, Sarah B.; Hunter, William

    2012-09-01

    This research documents the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a novel chemistry curriculum. The curriculum allowed students to create theories situated in a variety of cultures while they investigated chemical phenomena central to all civilizations; it was a way of synthesizing chemistry, the history and nature of science, inquiry, and multicultural education. Achieving both chemistry content and nature of science objectives were the main goals of the curriculum. A small sample of undergraduate students participated in the curriculum instead of attending a large lecture course. The novel curriculum covered the same chemistry topics as the large lecture course. Program efficacy was evaluated using a combination of grades, survey data, and interviews with the participating undergraduates. The results suggest that this curriculum was a successful start at engaging students and teaching them chemistry as well as nature of science concepts.

  2. An intensive primary-literature-based teaching program directly benefits undergraduate science majors and facilitates their transition to doctoral programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozeracki, Carol A; Carey, Michael F; Colicelli, John; Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Grossel, Martha

    2006-01-01

    UCLA's Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Program (HHURP), a collaboration between the College of Letters and Science and the School of Medicine, trains a group of highly motivated undergraduates through mentored research enhanced by a rigorous seminar course. The course is centered on the presentation and critical analysis of scientific journal articles as well as the students' own research. This article describes the components and objectives of the HHURP and discusses the results of three program assessments: annual student evaluations, interviews with UCLA professors who served as research advisors for HHURP scholars, and a survey of program alumni. Students indicate that the program increased their ability to read and present primary scientific research and to present their own research and enhanced their research experience at UCLA. After graduating, they find their involvement in the HHURP helped them in securing admission to the graduate program of their choice and provided them with an advantage over their peers in the interactive seminars that are the foundation of graduate education. On the basis of the assessment of the program from 1998-1999 to 2004-2005, we conclude that an intensive literature-based training program increases student confidence and scientific literacy during their undergraduate years and facilitates their transition to postgraduate study.

  3. Researching Undergraduate Social Science Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rand, Jane

    2016-01-01

    The experience(s) of undergraduate research students in the social sciences is under-represented in the literature in comparison to the natural sciences or science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). The strength of STEM undergraduate research learning environments is understood to be related to an apprenticeship-mode of learning supported…

  4. Exploring the undergraduate experience of Latina students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors: Motivators and strategies for achieving baccalaureate attainment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carbajal, Sandy C.

    Drawing from Latino/a Critical Race Theory and the related Community Cultural Wealth (CCW) model, I concentrate on three forms of CCW---aspirational, navigational, and resistance capital---for this qualitative study on the undergraduate experience of Latina students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) majors, focusing on strategies and achieving baccalaureate attainment. I interviewed ten Latina students and asked them questions regarding their educational experiences in STEM majors, what contributed to their degree completion, and the strategies they employed for achieving baccalaureate attainment. I identified and described six themes within the study (the underrepresentation of Latinas in STEM majors, the lack of preparation by academic programs for upper division courses, motivators, involvement, time management, and support networks) that, when combined, contributed to participants' degree attainment. This study concludes with implications for policy and practice that would allow universities to better assist Latinas in STEM majors to achieve baccalaureate attainment.

  5. A Non-science Major Undergraduate Seminar on the NASA Earth Observing System (EOS): A Student Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weatherford, V. L.; Redemann, J.

    2003-12-01

    Titled "Observing Climate Change From Space-what tools do we have?", this non-science major freshman seminar at UCLA is the culmination of a year-long interdisciplinary program sponsored by the Institute of the Environment and the College Honors programs at the University. Focusing on the anthropogenic and natural causes of climate change, students study climate forcings and learn about satellite and other technological means of monitoring climate and weather. NASA's Terra satellite is highlighted as one of the most recent and comprehensive monitoring systems put into space and the role of future NASA platforms in the "A-train"-constellation of satellites is discussed. Course material is typically presented in a Power-Point presentation by the instructor, with assigned supplementary reading to stimulate class discussion. In addition to preparing lectures for class presentation, students work on a final term paper and oral presentation which constitutes the majority of their grade. Field trips to the San Gabriel mountains to take atmospheric measurements with handheld sunphotometers and to JPL, Pasadena (CA) to listen to a NASA scientist discuss the MISR instrument aboard the Terra satellite help bring a real-world perspective to the science learned in the classroom. In this paper, we will describe the objectives and structure of this class and present measurement results taken during the field trip to the San Gabriel Mountains. In this context we will discuss the potential relevance of hands-on experience to meeting class objectives and give a student perspective of the overall class experience.

  6. Impact of backwards faded scaffolding approach to inquiry-based astronomy laboratory experiences on undergraduate non-science majors' views of scientific inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Daniel J.

    This study explored the impact of a novel inquiry-based astronomy laboratory curriculum designed using the Backwards Faded Scaffolding inquiry teaching framework on non-science majoring undergraduate students' views of the nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI). The study focused on two aspects of NOSI: The Distinction between Data and Evidence (DvE), and The Multiple Methods of Science (MMS). Participants were 220 predominately non-science majoring undergraduate students at a small, doctoral granting, research-extensive university in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States. The student participants were enrolled in an introductory astronomy survey course with an associated laboratory section and were selected in two samples over consecutive fall and spring semesters. The participants also included four of the graduate student instructors who taught the laboratory courses using the intervention curriculum. In the first stage, student participant views of NOSI were measured using the VOSI-4 research instrument before and after the intervention curriculum was administered. The responses were quantified, and the distributions of pre and posttest scores of both samples were separately analyzed to determine if there was a significant improvement in understanding of either of the two aspects of NOSI. The results from both samples were compared to evaluate the consistency of the results. In the second stage, the quantitative results were used to strategically design a qualitative investigation, in which the four lab instructors were interviewed about their observations of how the student participants interacted with the intervention curriculum as compared to traditional lab activities, as well as their suggestions as to how the curriculum may or may not have contributed to the results of the first stage. These interviews were summarized and analyzed for common themes as to how the intervention curriculum influenced the students' understandings of the two aspect of

  7. Informal learning in SME majors for African American female undergraduates

    OpenAIRE

    Ezella McPherson

    2014-01-01

    This research investigates how eight undergraduate African American women in science, math, and engineering (SME) majors accessed cultural capital and informal science learning opportunities from preschool to college. It uses the multiple case study methodological approach and cultural capital as the framework to better understand their opportunities to engage in free-choice science learning. The article demonstrates that African American women have access to cultural capital and informal sci...

  8. Life Science Literacy of an Undergraduate Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Stephanie R.; Ortlieb, Evan; Metoyer, Sandra

    2014-01-01

    Science content knowledge is a concern for educators in the United States because performance has stagnated for the past decade. Investigators designed this study to determine the current levels of scientific literacy among undergraduate students in a freshman-level biology course (a core requirement for majors and nonmajors), identify factors…

  9. Using a Multicultural Approach to Teach Chemistry and the Nature of Science to Undergraduate Non-Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goff, Peter; Boesdorfer, Sarah B.; Hunter, William

    2012-01-01

    This research documents the creation, implementation, and evaluation of a novel chemistry curriculum. The curriculum allowed students to create theories situated in a variety of cultures while they investigated chemical phenomena central to all civilizations; it was a way of synthesizing chemistry, the history and nature of science, inquiry, and…

  10. Measuring Science Literacy in College Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Impey, Chris David; Buxner, S. R.; Antonellis, J.; King, C.; Johnson, E.; CATS

    2010-01-01

    Initial results from a major study of scientific literacy are presented, involving nearly 10,000 undergraduates in science classes at a large Southwestern Land Grant public university over a 20-year period. The science content questions overlap with those in the NSF's Science Indicators series. About 10% of all undergraduates in the US take a General Education astronomy course, and NSF data and the work of Jon Miller show that the number of college science courses taken is the strongest predictor of civic scientific literacy. Our data show that gains in knowledge on any particular item through the time students graduate are only 10-15%. Among students who have taken most or all of their science requirements, one-in-three think that antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria, one-in-four think lasers work by focusing sound waves, one-in-five think atoms are smaller than electrons, and the same fraction is unaware that humans evolved from earlier species of animals and that the Earth takes a year to go around the Sun. The fraction of undergraduates saying that astrology is "not at all” scientific increases from 17% to a still-low 34% as they move through the university. Equally worrying, half of all science majors say that astrology is "sort of” or "very” scientific. Education majors - the cohort of future teachers - perform worse than average on most individual questions and in terms of their overall scientific literacy. Assuming the study institution is representative of the nation's higher education institutions, our instruction is not raising students to the level we would expect for educated citizens who must vote on many issues that relate to science and technology. We acknowledge the NSF for funding under Award No. 0715517, a CCLI Phase III Grant for the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) Program.

  11. Informal learning in SME majors for African American female undergraduates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ezella McPherson

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available This research investigates how eight undergraduate African American women in science, math, and engineering (SME majors accessed cultural capital and informal science learning opportunities from preschool to college. It uses the multiple case study methodological approach and cultural capital as the framework to better understand their opportunities to engage in free-choice science learning. The article demonstrates that African American women have access to cultural capital and informal science learning inside and outside of home and school environments in P-16 settings. In primary and secondary schools, African American girls acquire cultural capital and access to free-choice science learning in the home environment, museums, science fairs, student organizations and clubs. However, in high school African American female teenagers have fewer informal science learning opportunities like those such as those provided in primary school settings. In college, cultural capital is transmitted through informal science learning that consisted of involvement in student organizations, research projects, seminars, and conferences. These experiences contributed to their engagement and persistence in SME fields in K-16 settings. This research adds to cultural capital and informal science learning research by allowing scholars to better understand how African American women have opportunities to learn about the hidden curriculum of science through informal science settings throughout the educational pipeline.

  12. Beliefs and Attitudes about Science and Mathematics in Pre-Service Elementary Teachers, STEM, and Non-STEM Majors in Undergraduate Physics Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaluk, Lynnette; Stoiko, Rachel; Stewart, Gay; Stewart, John

    2018-04-01

    Elementary teachers often hold inaccurate beliefs about the Nature of Science (NoS) and have negative attitudes toward science and mathematics. Using a pre-post design, the current study examined beliefs about the NoS, attitudes toward science and mathematics, and beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science in a large sample study ( N = 343) of pre-service teachers receiving a curriculum-wide intervention to improve these factors in comparison with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM majors in other physics courses ( N = 6697) who did not receive the intervention, over a 10-year period. Pre-service teachers evidenced initially more negative attitudes about mathematics and science than STEM majors and slightly more positive attitudes than non-STEM majors. Their attitudes toward mathematics and science and beliefs about the NoS were more similar to non-STEM than STEM majors. Pre-service teachers initially evidenced more positive beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science, and their beliefs even increased slightly over the course of the semester, while these beliefs in other groups remained the same. Beliefs about the NoS and the teaching of mathematics and science were significantly negatively correlated for STEM and non-STEM majors, but were not significantly correlated for pre-service teachers. Beliefs about the NoS and attitudes toward mathematics and science were significantly positively correlated for both pre-service teachers and STEM students pursing the most mathematically demanding STEM majors. Attitudes toward science and mathematics were significantly positively correlated with accurate beliefs about the teaching of mathematics and science for all student groups.

  13. The Undergraduate ALFALFA Team: A Model for Involving Undergraduates in Major Legacy Astronomy Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troischt, Parker; Koopmann, Rebecca A.; Haynes, Martha P.; Higdon, Sarah; Balonek, Thomas J.; Cannon, John M.; Coble, Kimberly A.; Craig, David; Durbala, Adriana; Finn, Rose; Hoffman, G. Lyle; Kornreich, David A.; Lebron, Mayra E.; Crone-Odekon, Mary; O'Donoghue, Aileen A.; Olowin, Ronald Paul; Pantoja, Carmen; Rosenberg, Jessica L.; Venkatesan, Aparna; Wilcots, Eric M.; Alfalfa Team

    2015-01-01

    The NSF-sponsored Undergraduate ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Team (UAT) is a consortium of 19 institutions founded to promote undergraduate research and faculty development within the extragalactic ALFALFA HI blind survey project and follow-up programs. The collaborative nature of the UAT allows faculty and students from a wide ​range of public and private colleges and especially those with small astronomy programs to develop scholarly collaborations. Components of the program include an annual undergraduate workshop at Arecibo Observatory, observing runs at Arecibo, computer infrastructure, summer and academic year research projects, and dissemination at national meetings (e.g., Alfvin et al., Martens et al., Sanders et al., this meeting). Through this model, faculty and students are learning how science is accomplished in a large collaboration while contributing to the scientific goals of a major legacy survey. In the 7 years of the program, 23 faculty and more than 220 undergraduate students have participated at a significant level. 40% of them have been women and members of underrepresented groups. Faculty, many of whom were new to the collaboration and had expertise in other fields, contribute their diverse sets of skills to ALFALFA ​related projects via observing, data reduction, collaborative research, and research with students. 142 undergraduate students have attended the annual workshops at Arecibo Observatory, interacting with faculty, graduate students, their peers, and Arecibo staff in lectures, group activities, tours, and observing runs. Team faculty have supervised 131 summer research projects and 94 academic year (e.g., senior thesis) projects. 62 students have traveled to Arecibo Observatory for observing runs and 46 have presented their results at national meetings. 93% of alumni are attending graduate school and/or pursuing a career in STEM. Half of those pursuing graduate degrees in Physics or Astronomy are women. This work has been

  14. Field Research in the Teaching of Undergraduate Soil Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brevik, Eric C.; Senturklu, Songul; Landblom, Douglas

    2015-04-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that undergraduate students benefit from research experiences. Benefits of undergraduate research include 1) personal and intellectual development, 2) more and closer contact with faculty, 3) the use of active learning techniques, 4) creation of high expectations, 5) development of creative and problem-solving skills, 6) greater independence and intrinsic motivation to learn, and 7) exposure to practical skills. The scientific discipline also benefits, as studies have shown that undergraduates who engage in research experiences are more likely to remain science majors and finish their degree program (Lopatto, 2007). Research experiences come as close as possible to allowing undergraduates to experience what it is like to be an academic or research member of their profession working to advance their discipline. Soils form in the field, therefore, field experiences are very important in developing a complete and holistic understanding of soil science. Combining undergraduate research with field experiences can provide extremely beneficial outcomes to the undergraduate student, including increased understanding of and appreciation for detailed descriptions and data analysis as well as an enhanced ability to see how various parts of their undergraduate education come together to understand a complex problem. The experiences of the authors in working with undergraduate students on field-based research projects will be discussed, along with examples of some of the undergraduate research projects that have been undertaken. In addition, student impressions of their research experiences will be presented. Reference Lopatto, D. 2007. Undergraduate research experiences support science career decisions and active learning. CBE -- Life Sciences Education 6:297-306.

  15. Introducing Science to undergraduate students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Avila Jr

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of scientific method provides stimulus and development of critical thinking and logical analysis of information besides the training of continuous formulation of hypothesis to be applied in formal scientific issues as well as in everyday facts. The scientific education, useful for all people, is indispensable for the experimental science students. Aiming at the possibility to offer a systematic learning of the scientific principles, we developed a undergraduate course designed to approximate the students to the procedures of scientific production and publication. The course was developed in a 40 hours, containing two modules: I. Introducing Scientific Articles (papers and II. Writing Research Project. The first module deals with: (1 the difference between scientific knowledge and common sense; (2 scientific methodology; (3 scientific publishing categories; (4 logical principles; (5 deduction and induction approach and (6 paper analysis. The second module includes (1 selection of problem to be solved by experimental procedures; (2 bibliography revision; (3 support agencies; (4 project writing and presentation and (5 critical analysis of experimental results. The course used a Collaborative Learning strategy with each topic being developed through activities performed by the students. Qualitative and quantitative (through Likert questionnaires evaluation were carried out in each step of the course, the results showing great appreciation by the students. This is also the opinion of the staff responsible for the planning and development of the course, which is now in its second and improved version.

  16. BURECS: An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Climate Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, D. P.; Marchant, D. R.; Christ, A. J.; Ehrenfeucht, S.

    2017-12-01

    The current structure of many undergraduate programs, particularly those at large research universities, requires students to engage with a major or academic emphasis early in their university careers. This oftentimes curbs exploration outside the major and can inhibit interdisciplinary collaboration. The Boston University Research Education and Communication of Science (BURECS) program seeks to bridge this institutional divide by fostering interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaboration on climate change-related issues by students from across Boston University (B.U.). Every year, approximately fifteen first-year students from B.U.'s College of Arts and Sciences, College of Communication, and School of Education are selected to join BURECS, which includes a climate science seminar, a hands-on lab course, a supported summer internship with Boston-area researchers, and the opportunity to participate in Antarctic field work during subsequent B.U. Antarctic Research Group expeditions. Currently in its third year, BURECS is funded through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professors Program.

  17. Teaching science and ethics to undergraduates: a multidisciplinary approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Alan H

    2013-06-01

    The teaching of the ethical implications of scientific advances in science courses for undergraduates has significant advantages for both science and non-science majors. The article describes three courses taught by the author as examples of the concept, and examines the disadvantages as well as the advantages. A significant advantage of this approach is that many students take the courses primarily because of the ethical component who would not otherwise take science. A disadvantage is less time in the course for the science; arguably, this is outweighed by the greater retention of the science when it is put into context.

  18. Advancing Research on Undergraduate Science Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Susan Rundell

    2013-01-01

    This special issue of "Journal of Research in Science Teaching" reflects conclusions and recommendations in the "Discipline-Based Education Research" (DBER) report and makes a substantial contribution to advancing the field. Research on undergraduate science learning is currently a loose affiliation of related fields. The…

  19. Guidelines for the undergraduate psychology major: Version 2.0.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    The APA Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major: Version 2.0 (henceforth Guidelines 2.0; APA, 2013) represents a national effort to describe and develop high-quality undergraduate programs in psychology. The task force charged with the revision of the original guidelines for the undergraduate major examined the success of the document's implementation and made changes to reflect emerging best practices and to integrate psychology's work with benchmarking scholarship in higher education. Guidelines 2.0 abandoned the original distinction drawn between psychology-focused skills and psychology skills that enhance liberal arts development. Instead, Guidelines 2.0 describes five inclusive goals for the undergraduate psychology major and two developmental levels of student learning outcomes. Suggestions for assessment planning are provided for each of the five learning goals. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  20. The Physiology undergraduate major in the University of Arizona College of Medicine: past, present, and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriksen, Erik J; Atwater, Anne E; Delamere, Nicholas A; Dantzler, William H

    2011-06-01

    The American Physiological Society (APS) and APS Council encourage the teaching of physiology at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school levels to support the continued prominence of this area of science. One area identified by the APS Council that is of particular importance for the development of future physiologists (the "physiology pipeline") is the teaching of physiology and physiology-related topics at the undergraduate level. In this article, we describe the historical development and implementation of an undergraduate program offered through the Department of Physiology, a basic science department in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona, culminating in a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree with a major in Physiology. Moreover, we discuss the current Physiology curriculum offered at our institution and explain how this program prepares our students for successful entry into a variety of postbaccalaureate professional programs, including medical school and numerous other programs in health professions, and in graduate study in the Masters and Doctoral programs in biomedical sciences. Finally, we cover the considerable challenges that we have faced, and continue to face, in developing and sustaining a successful physiology undergraduate major in a college of medicine. We hope that the information provided on the Physiology major offered by the Department of Physiology in the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona will be helpful for individuals at other institutions who may be contemplating the development and implementation of an undergraduate program in Physiology.

  1. Internet Use Among Science Undergraduate Students: A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The objective of this study was to identify and determine the extent of students\\' access to, and use of the Internet using the Science Undergraduate Students of University of Ibadan and University of Lagos as a case study. The study also aimed at comparing the rate of use among this group of students and determine which ...

  2. Predicting Undergraduate Music Education Majors' Collegiate Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohwer, Debbie

    2012-01-01

    In order for teachers to guide students in their preparation to be music majors, it would be useful to know those musical components that best predict overall collegiate success. The purpose of this study was to measure the relationship of predictor variables (Lessons, Music History, Music Theory, and Piano) to collegiate grade point average (GPA)…

  3. Sex segregation in undergraduate engineering majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litzler, Elizabeth

    Gender inequality in engineering persists in spite of women reaching parity in college enrollments and degrees granted. To date, no analyses of educational sex segregation have comprehensively examined segregation within one discipline. To move beyond traditional methods of studying the long-standing stratification by field of study in higher education, I explore gender stratification within one field: engineering. This dissertation investigates why some engineering disciplines have a greater representation of women than other engineering disciplines. I assess the individual and institutional factors and conditions associated with women's representation in certain engineering departments and compare the mechanisms affecting women's and men's choice of majors. I use national data from the Engineering Workforce Commission, survey data from 21 schools in the Project to Assess Climate in Engineering study, and Carnegie Foundation classification information to study sex segregation in engineering majors from multiple perspectives: the individual, major, institution, and country. I utilize correlations, t-tests, cross-tabulations, log-linear modeling, multilevel logistic regression and weighted least squares regression to test the relative utility of alternative explanations for women's disproportionate representation across engineering majors. As a whole, the analyses illustrate the importance of context and environment for women's representation in engineering majors. Hypotheses regarding hostile climate and discrimination find wide support across different analyses, suggesting that women's under-representation in certain engineering majors is not a question of choice or ability. However, individual level factors such as having engineering coursework prior to college show an especially strong association with student choice of major. Overall, the analyses indicate that institutions matter, albeit less for women, and women's under-representation in engineering is not

  4. Undergraduate Non-Music Major Preferences for Western Art Music

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hash, Phillip M.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine undergraduate non-music major (N = 95) preferences for Western art music. A survey of 15 musical examples was assembled consisting of five subtests, each with three excerpts from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, or Twentieth Century. The mean preference rating of all excerpts combined was 4.68…

  5. Who am I? ~ Undergraduate Computer Science Student

    OpenAIRE

    Ferris, Jane

    2012-01-01

    As part of a school review process a survey of the students was designed to gain insight into who the students of the school were. The survey was a voluntary anonymous online survey. Students were able to skip questions and select more than one option in some questions. This was to reduce frustration with participation in the survey and ensure that the survey was completed. This conference details the average undergraduate Computer Science student of a large third level institute.

  6. A Community College Instructor's Reflective Journey Toward Developing Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Nature of Science in a Non-majors Undergraduate Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krajewski, Sarah J.; Schwartz, Renee

    2014-08-01

    Research supports an explicit-reflective approach to teaching about nature of science (NOS), but little is reported on teachers' journeys as they attempt to integrate NOS into everyday lessons. This participatory action research paper reports the challenges and successes encountered by an in-service teacher, Sarah, implementing NOS for the first time throughout four units of a community college biology course (genetics, molecular biology, evolution, and ecology). Through the action research cycles of planning, implementing, and reflecting, Sarah identified areas of challenge and success. This paper reports emergent themes that assisted her in successfully embedding NOS within the science content. Data include weekly lesson plans and pre/post reflective journaling before and after each lesson of this lecture/lab combination class that met twice a week. This course was taught back to back semesters, and this study is based on the results of a year-long process. Developing pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for NOS involves coming to understand the overlaps and connections between NOS, other science subject matter, pedagogical strategies, and student learning. Sarah found that through action research she was able to grow and assimilate her understanding of NOS within the biology content she was teaching. A shift in orientation toward teaching products of science to teaching science processes was a necessary shift for NOS pedagogical success. This process enabled Sarah's development of PCK for NOS. As a practical example of putting research-based instructional recommendations into practice, this study may be very useful for other teachers who are learning to teach NOS.

  7. Introducing an Undergraduate Degree of Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design within a College of Pharmacy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriella Baki

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available As a unique and versatile undergraduate degree program, a Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS is offered by a number of colleges/schools of pharmacy. These provide a bachelor's degree concentrated in pharmaceutical sciences, and can be a non-Doctor of Pharmacy option, possibly before progressing to graduate degree studies. Recently implemented at the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (UTCPPS, one such BSPS major is Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design. This new undergraduate major was created to serve the needs of the cosmetic and personal care industry, with a great need identified for well-trained new professionals with basic knowledge in the sciences and business. This Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design major was added to four other BSPS majors at UTCPPS. Introduced in 2013, this major is the only functioning undergraduate degree in Cosmetic Science and Formulation Design in the United States. Preliminary job placement data provides promising evidence that this undergraduate major has helped graduates launch a career in the cosmetic and personal care, or pharmaceutical industries. Based on our experience from the past three years, we believe that this cosmetic science major has been worth its resource investment. We hope others designing new undergraduate pharmaceutical sciences programs might integrate advice from this experience into their impending programs.   Type: Idea Paper

  8. Science Literacy of Undergraduates in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Impey, Chris

    2013-01-01

    Science literacy is a matter of broad concern among scientists, educators, and many policy-makers. National Science Foundation surveys of the general public for biannual Science Indicators series show that respondents on average score less than 2/3 correct on a series of science knowledge questions, and less than half display an understanding of the process of scientific inquiry. Both measures are essentially unchanged over two decades. At the University of Arizona, we have gathered over 11,000 undergraduate student responses to a survey of knowledge and beliefs that is tethered in the NSF survey. This non-science major population demographically represents ten million students nationwide. There is a less than 10% gain in performance in the science knowledge score between the incoming freshmen and seniors who graduate having completed their requirement of three science classes. Belief levels in pseudoscience and supernatural phenomena are disconcertingly high, mostly resistant to college science instruction, and weakly correlated with performance on the science knowledge questions. The Internet is rapidly becoming the primary information source for anyone interested in science so students may not get most of their information from the classroom. Educators and policy makers need to decide what aspects of science knowledge and process are important for adults to know. College science educators have major challenges in better in preparing graduates for participation in a civic society largely driven by science and technology.

  9. Investigating Undergraduate Science Students' Conceptions and Misconceptions of Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, Kathryn I.; Tanner, Kimberly D.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific research exploring ocean acidification has grown significantly in past decades. However, little science education research has investigated the extent to which undergraduate science students understand this topic. Of all undergraduate students, one might predict science students to be best able to understand ocean acidification. What…

  10. Life Science Professional Societies Expand Undergraduate Education Efforts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matyas, Marsha Lakes; Ruedi, Elizabeth A.; Engen, Katie; Chang, Amy L.

    2017-01-01

    The "Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" reports cite the critical role of professional societies in undergraduate life science education and, since 2008, have called for the increased involvement of professional societies in support of undergraduate education. Our study explored the level of support being provided by…

  11. Undergraduate Origins of Recent Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Susan T.; And Others

    Because undergraduate education is the foundation for graduate studies, it is important to know where our Nation's science and engineering (S&E) doctorate recipients are receiving their undergraduate training. Specifically, this report addresses the following broad questions: (1) What are the undergraduate origins of S&E doctorate holders? (2)…

  12. Motivating Non-Science Majors: The Technology of Electromagnetic Waves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henrich, Victor E.

    2018-01-01

    To address the need for physics courses that stimulate non- STEM majors' interest in, and appreciation of, science, the Department of Applied Physics has developed a popular course for Yale College undergraduates, The Technological World, that explains the physics behind technologies that students use every day. The course provides an in-depth…

  13. Undergraduate Neuroscience Majors: A Missed Opportunity for Psychiatry Workforce Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldenberg, Matthew N; Krystal, John H

    2017-04-01

    This study sought to determine whether and to what extent medical students with an undergraduate college major in neuroscience, relative to other college majors, pursue psychiatry relative to other brain-based specialties (neurology and neurosurgery) and internal medicine. The authors analyzed data from AAMC matriculation and graduation surveys for all students who graduated from US medical schools in 2013 and 2014 (n = 29,714). Students who majored in neuroscience, psychology, and biology were compared to all other students in terms of their specialty choice at both time points. For each major, the authors determined rates of specialty choice of psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery, and, for comparison, internal medicine. This study employed Chi-square statistic to compare odds of various specialty choices among different majors. Among medical students with an undergraduate neuroscience major (3.5% of all medical students), only 2.3% preferred psychiatry at matriculation, compared to 21.5% who chose neurology, 13.1% neurosurgery, and 11% internal medicine. By graduation, psychiatry specialty choice increased to 5.1% among neuroscience majors while choice of neurology and neurosurgery declined. Psychology majors (OR = 3.16, 95% CI 2.60-4.47) but not neuroscience majors (OR 1.28, 0.92-1.77) were more likely than their peers to choose psychiatry. Psychiatry struggles to attract neuroscience majors to the specialty. This missed opportunity is an obstacle to developing the neuroscience literacy of the workforce and jeopardizes the neuroscientific future of our field. Several potential strategies to address the recruitment challenges exist.

  14. Comparison of views of the nature of science between natural science and nonscience majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Marie C Desaulniers; Montplaisir, Lisa M; Offerdahl, Erika G; Cheng, Fu-Chih; Ketterling, Gerald L

    2010-01-01

    Science educators have the common goal of helping students develop scientific literacy, including understanding of the nature of science (NOS). University faculties are challenged with the need to develop informed NOS views in several major student subpopulations, including science majors and nonscience majors. Research into NOS views of undergraduates, particularly science majors, has been limited. In this study, NOS views of undergraduates in introductory environmental science and upper-level animal behavior courses were measured using Likert items and open-ended prompts. Analysis revealed similarities in students' views between the two courses; both populations held a mix of naïve, transitional, and moderately informed views. Comparison of pre- and postcourse mean scores revealed significant changes in NOS views only in select aspects of NOS. Student scores on sections addressing six aspects of NOS were significantly different in most cases, showing notably uninformed views of the distinctions between scientific theories and laws. Evidence-based insight into student NOS views can aid in reforming undergraduate science courses and will add to faculty and researcher understanding of the impressions of science held by undergraduates, helping educators improve scientific literacy in future scientists and diverse college graduates.

  15. Development and Evaluation of an Undergraduate Science Communication Module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeoman, Kay H.; James, Helen A.; Bowater, Laura

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the design and evaluation of an undergraduate final year science communication module for the Science Faculty at the University of East Anglia. The module focuses specifically on science communication and aims to bring an understanding of how science is disseminated to the public. Students on the module are made aware of the…

  16. Investigating Undergraduate Science Students’ Conceptions and Misconceptions of Ocean Acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, Kathryn I.; Tanner, Kimberly D.

    2015-01-01

    Scientific research exploring ocean acidification has grown significantly in past decades. However, little science education research has investigated the extent to which undergraduate science students understand this topic. Of all undergraduate students, one might predict science students to be best able to understand ocean acidification. What conceptions and misconceptions of ocean acidification do these students hold? How does their awareness and knowledge compare across disciplines? Undergraduate biology, chemistry/biochemistry, and environmental studies students, and science faculty for comparison, were assessed on their awareness and understanding. Results revealed low awareness and understanding of ocean acidification among students compared with faculty. Compared with biology or chemistry/biochemistry students, more environmental studies students demonstrated awareness of ocean acidification and identified the key role of carbon dioxide. Novel misconceptions were also identified. These findings raise the question of whether undergraduate science students are prepared to navigate socioenvironmental issues such as ocean acidification. PMID:26163563

  17. Incorporating Primary Literature in Undergraduate Crop Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Lori K.; Simmons, Steve R.

    2006-01-01

    Primary literature is an underutilized learning resource for undergraduate courses in crop science. Reading assignments from scientific journals were utilized in an undergraduate University of Minnesota crop physiology course at Southwest Minnesota State University from 2002 to 2004. The subjects of the articles corresponded to the lecture topics.…

  18. Health Sciences undergraduate education at UCT: a story of transformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, Nadia; Kathard, Harsha; Perez, Gonda; Reid, Steve; Irlam, James; Gunston, Geney; Janse van Rensburg, Vicki; Burch, Vanessa; Duncan, Madeleine; Hellenberg, Derek; Van Rooyen, Ian; Smouse, Mantoa; Sikakane, Cynthia; Badenhorst, Elmi; Ige, Busayo

    2012-03-02

    Undergraduate education and training in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town has become socially responsive. A story of transformation that is consonant with wider societal developments since the 1994 democratic elections, outlining the changes in undergraduate curricula across the faculty, is presented.

  19. The Polaris Project: Undergraduate Research Catalyzing Advances in Arctic Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schade, J. D.; Holmes, R. M.; Natali, S.; Mann, P. J.; Bunn, A. G.; Frey, K. E.

    2017-12-01

    With guidance and sufficient resources, undergraduates can drive the exploration of new research directions, lead high impact scientific products, and effectively communicate the value of science to the public. As mentors, we must recognize the strong contribution undergraduates make to the advancement of scientific understanding and their unique ability and desire to be transdisciplinary and to translate ideas into action. Our job is to be sure students have the resources and tools to successfully explore questions that they care about, not to provide or lead them towards answers we already have. The central goal of the Polaris Project is to advance understanding of climate change in the Arctic through an integrated research, training, and outreach program that has at its heart a research expedition for undergraduates to a remote field station in the Arctic. Our integrative approach to training provides undergraduates with strong intellectual development and they bring fresh perspectives, creativity, and a unique willingness to take risks on new ideas that have an energizing effect on research and outreach. Since the projects inception in summer 2008, we have had >90 undergraduates participate in high-impact field expeditions and outreach activities. Over the years, we have also been fortunate enough to attract an ethnically, racially, and culturally diverse group of students, including students from Puerto Rico, Hispanic-, African- and Native-Americans, members of the LGBT community, and first-generation college students. Most of these students have since pursued graduate degrees in ecology, and many have received NSF fellowships and Fulbright scholarships. One of our major goals is to increase the diversity of the scientific community, and we have been successful in our short-term goal of recruiting and retaining a diverse group of students. The goal of this presentation is to provide a description of the mentoring model at the heart of the Polaris Project

  20. A Module-Based Environmental Science Course for Teaching Ecology to Non-Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Geoffrey R.

    2010-01-01

    Using module-based courses has been suggested to improve undergraduate science courses. A course based around a series of modules focused on major environmental issues might be an effective way to teach non-science majors about ecology and ecology's role in helping to solve environmental problems. I have used such a module-based environmental…

  1. Enhancing interdisciplinary, mathematics, and physical science in an undergraduate life science program through physical chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pursell, David P

    2009-01-01

    BIO2010 advocates enhancing the interdisciplinary, mathematics, and physical science components of the undergraduate biology curriculum. The Department of Chemistry and Life Science at West Point responded by developing a required physical chemistry course tailored to the interests of life science majors. To overcome student resistance to physical chemistry, students were enabled as long-term stakeholders who would shape the syllabus by selecting life science topics of interest to them. The initial 2 yr of assessment indicates that students have a positive view of the course, feel they have succeeded in achieving course outcome goals, and that the course is relevant to their professional future. Instructor assessment of student outcome goal achievement via performance on exams and labs is comparable to that of students in traditional physical chemistry courses. Perhaps more noteworthy, both student and instructor assessment indicate positive trends from year 1 to year 2, presumably due to the student stakeholder effect.

  2. Gender Digital Divide and Challenges in Undergraduate Computer Science Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoilescu, Dorian; McDougall, Douglas

    2011-01-01

    Previous research revealed a reduced number of female students registered in computer science studies. In addition, the female students feel isolated, have reduced confidence, and underperform. This article explores differences between female and male students in undergraduate computer science programs in a mid-size university in Ontario. Based on…

  3. Change over a service learning experience in science undergraduates' beliefs expressed about elementary school students' ability to learn science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goebel, Camille A.

    This longitudinal investigation explores the change in four (3 female, 1 male) science undergraduates' beliefs expressed about low-income elementary school students' ability to learn science. The study sought to identify how the undergraduates in year-long public school science-teaching partnerships perceived the social, cultural, and economic factors affecting student learning. Previous service-learning research infrequently focused on science undergraduates relative to science and society or detailed expressions of their beliefs and field practices over the experience. Qualitative methodology was used to guide the implementation and analysis of this study. A sample of an additional 20 science undergraduates likewise involved in intensive reflection in the service learning in science teaching (SLST) course called Elementary Science Education Partners (ESEP) was used to examine the typicality of the case participants. The findings show two major changes in science undergraduates' belief expressions: (1) a reduction in statements of beliefs from a deficit thinking perspective about the elementary school students' ability to learn science, and (2) a shift in the attribution of students, underlying problems in science learning from individual-oriented to systemic-oriented influences. Additional findings reveal that the science undergraduates perceived they had personally and profoundly changed as a result of the SLST experience. Changes include: (1) the gain of a new understanding of others' situations different from their own; (2) the realization of and appreciation for their relative positions of privilege due to their educational background and family support; (3) the gain in ability to communicate, teach, and work with others; (4) the idea that they were more socially and culturally connected to their community outside the university and their college classrooms; and (5) a broadening of the way they understood or thought about science. Women participants stated

  4. Lessons Learned from Undergraduate Students in Designing a Science-Based Course in Bioethics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loike, John D.; Rush, Brittany S.; Schweber, Adam; Fischbach, Ruth L.

    2013-01-01

    Columbia University offers two innovative undergraduate science-based bioethics courses for student majoring in biosciences and pre-health studies. The goals of these courses are to introduce future scientists and healthcare professionals to the ethical questions they will confront in their professional lives, thus enabling them to strategically…

  5. Development of an Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Major in The Earth System, Environment and Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuebbles, D. J.

    2003-12-01

    Humanity faces great challenges in the 21st Century to understand and limit our impact on the Earth System. To address these challenges, it is essential to understand the nature and implications of environmental change, and the complexity of the Earth system. We need to educate citizens that have the background to make new developments in understanding technical aspects of the Earth System, and to develop an understanding the interactions between society and the Earth System sufficient to make informed policy choices. Traditional disciplinary departments and majors don't fully address this; teaching and research talent in the study of the Earth System is spread over many disciplinary-oriented departments. At the University of Illinois, we are currently developing a new cross-disciplinary undergraduate major being called The Earth system, environment and Society. This development is co-sponsored by a number of departments centered in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (but including other departments throughout the university). Our intention is that this major will be a catalyst for bringing together the many disciplines involved in Earth System Science education. The curriculum and course for study will focus on the science and human dimensions of the Earth system, with special emphasis on the processes and issues related to the environment across a range of spatial scales from local and regional to global. Along with meeting the requirements expected of all students in a liberal arts and sciences major, students in The Earth System, Environment and Society major will be required to complete a core set of courses designed to introduce students to all of the different components of the Earth System (students will choose from course options in both the sciences and the social sciences). After completing the core courses, students will then focus their studies on one of the two options within the major, Science of the Earth System (this option will emphasize the

  6. Women in Business: Influences on the Undergraduate Major Choices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geyfman, Victoria; Force, Christina M.; Davis, Laura M.

    2015-01-01

    This study employs a survey of undergraduate business school freshmen to examine factors that influence their decision to study business and whether these factors differ by gender. Specifically, the study examines internal factors, such as students' perceived aptitudes and interests in the subject; external factors, such as compensation and job…

  7. Teaching Basic Probability in Undergraduate Statistics or Management Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naidu, Jaideep T.; Sanford, John F.

    2017-01-01

    Standard textbooks in core Statistics and Management Science classes present various examples to introduce basic probability concepts to undergraduate business students. These include tossing of a coin, throwing a die, and examples of that nature. While these are good examples to introduce basic probability, we use improvised versions of Russian…

  8. Integrating Leadership Development throughout the Undergraduate Science Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Kelynne E.; Aiello, David P.; Barton, Lance F.; Gould, Stephanie L.; McCain, Karla S.; Richardson, John M.

    2016-01-01

    This article discusses the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Teaching and Research (STAR) Leadership Program, developed at Austin College, which engages students in activities integrated into undergraduate STEM courses that promote the development of leadership behaviors. Students focus on interpersonal communication,…

  9. Matrices to Revise Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savin, Mary C.; Longer, David; Miller, David M.

    2005-01-01

    Undergraduate curricula for natural resource and agronomic programs have been introduced and revised during the past several decades with a desire to stay current with emerging issues and technologies relevant to constituents. For the past decade, the Department of Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences (CSES) faculty at the University of Arkansas…

  10. When Are Students Ready for Research Methods? A Curriculum Mapping Argument for the Political Science Major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergbower, Matthew L.

    2017-01-01

    For many political science programs, research methods courses are a fundamental component of the recommended undergraduate curriculum. However, instructors and students often see these courses as the most challenging. This study explores when it is most appropriate for political science majors to enroll and pass a research methods course. The…

  11. Do Biology Students Really Hate Math? Empirical Insights into Undergraduate Life Science Majors’ Emotions about Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wachsmuth, Lucas P.; Runyon, Christopher R.; Drake, John M.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2017-01-01

    Undergraduate life science majors are reputed to have negative emotions toward mathematics, yet little empirical evidence supports this. We sought to compare emotions of majors in the life sciences versus other natural sciences and math. We adapted the Attitudes toward the Subject of Chemistry Inventory to create an Attitudes toward the Subject of Mathematics Inventory (ASMI). We collected data from 359 science and math majors at two research universities and conducted a series of statistical tests that indicated that four AMSI items comprised a reasonable measure of students’ emotional satisfaction with math. We then compared life science and non–life science majors and found that major had a small to moderate relationship with students’ responses. Gender also had a small relationship with students’ responses, while students’ race, ethnicity, and year in school had no observable relationship. Using latent profile analysis, we identified three groups—students who were emotionally satisfied with math, emotionally dissatisfied with math, and neutral. These results and the emotional satisfaction with math scale should be useful for identifying differences in other undergraduate populations, determining the malleability of undergraduates’ emotional satisfaction with math, and testing effects of interventions aimed at improving life science majors’ attitudes toward math. PMID:28798211

  12. Undergraduate Research in Quantum Information Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, David W.

    2017-01-01

    Quantum Information Science (QIS) is an interdisciplinary field involving mathematics, computer science, and physics. Appealing aspects include an abundance of accessible open problems, active interest and support from government and industry, and an energetic, open, and collaborative international research culture. We describe our student-faculty…

  13. Innovations in Undergraduate Science Education: Going Viral

    OpenAIRE

    Hatfull, Graham F.

    2015-01-01

    Bacteriophage discovery and genomics provides a powerful and effective platform for integrating missions in research and education. Implementation of the Science Education Alliance Phage Hunters Advancing Genomics and Evolutionary Science (SEA-PHAGES) program facilitates a broad impact by including a diverse array of schools, faculty, and students. The program generates new insights into the diversity and evolution of the bacteriophage population and presents a model for introducing first-yea...

  14. Using a Scientific Paper Format to Foster Problem-Based, Cohort-Learning in Undergraduate Environmental Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, T.; Langley-Turnbaugh, S. J.; Sanford, R.

    2006-01-01

    The Department of Environmental Science at the University of Southern Maine implemented a problem-based, cohort-learning curriculum for undergraduate environmental science majors. The curriculum was based on a five-course sequence patterned after the outline of a scientific paper. Under faculty guidance, students select local environmental…

  15. Undergraduate Curriculum | College of Engineering & Applied Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Electrical Engineering Instructional Laboratories Student Resources Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Academic Programs Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Major Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering Minor Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering

  16. Undergraduate Biotechnology Students' Views of Science Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmondston, Joanne Elisabeth; Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

    2010-01-01

    Despite rapid growth of the biotechnology industry worldwide, a number of public concerns about the application of biotechnology and its regulation remain. In response to these concerns, greater emphasis has been placed on promoting biotechnologists' public engagement. As tertiary science degree programmes form the foundation of the biotechnology…

  17. Affordances and Alignments: Continuing Challenges in Advising Undergraduate Psychology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landrum, R. Eric

    2018-01-01

    Challenges abound in providing accurate and useful information to prospective and declared psychology majors about their career options and how to make decisions that will lead to satisfying and rewarding postgraduate lives. One component of this challenge is that by majoring in psychology, career affordances (i.e., the opportunities and…

  18. Collaboration and Community Building in Summer Undergraduate Research Programs in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nevle, R. J.; Watson Nelson, T.; Harris, J. M.; Klemperer, S. L.

    2012-12-01

    In 2012, the School of Earth Sciences (SES) at Stanford University sponsored two summer undergraduate research programs. Here we describe these programs and efforts to build a cohesive research cohort among the programs' diverse participants. The two programs, the Stanford School of Earth Sciences Undergraduate Research (SESUR) Program and Stanford School of Earth Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research in Geoscience and Engineering (SURGE) Program, serve different undergraduate populations and have somewhat different objectives, but both provide students with opportunities to work on strongly mentored yet individualized research projects. In addition to research, enrichment activities co-sponsored by both programs support the development of community within the combined SES summer undergraduate research cohort. Over the course of 6 to 9 months, the SESUR Program engages Stanford undergraduates, primarily rising sophomores and juniors, with opportunities to deeply explore Earth sciences research while learning about diverse areas of inquiry within SES. Now in its eleventh year, the SESUR experience incorporates the breadth of the scientific endeavor: finding an advisor, proposal writing, obtaining funding, conducting research, and presenting results. Goals of the SESUR program include (1) providing a challenging and rewarding research experience for undergraduates who wish to explore the Earth sciences; (2) fostering interdisciplinary study in the Earth sciences among the undergraduate population; and (3) encouraging students to major or minor in the Earth sciences and/or to complete advanced undergraduate research in one of the departments or programs within SES. The SURGE Program, now in its second year, draws high performing students, primarily rising juniors and seniors, from 14 colleges and universities nationwide, including Stanford. Seventy percent of SURGE students are from racial/ethnic backgrounds underrepresented in STEM fields, and approximately one

  19. The relevance of basic sciences in undergraduate medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, C; Grant, T; McLoughlin, P; Last, J

    2016-02-01

    Evolving and changing undergraduate medical curricula raise concerns that there will no longer be a place for basic sciences. National and international trends show that 5-year programmes with a pre-requisite for school chemistry are growing more prevalent. National reports in Ireland show a decline in the availability of school chemistry and physics. This observational cohort study considers if the basic sciences of physics, chemistry and biology should be a prerequisite to entering medical school, be part of the core medical curriculum or if they have a place in the practice of medicine. Comparisons of means, correlation and linear regression analysis assessed the degree of association between predictors (school and university basic sciences) and outcomes (year and degree GPA) for entrants to a 6-year Irish medical programme between 2006 and 2009 (n = 352). We found no statistically significant difference in medical programme performance between students with/without prior basic science knowledge. The Irish school exit exam and its components were mainly weak predictors of performance (-0.043 ≥ r ≤ 0.396). Success in year one of medicine, which includes a basic science curriculum, was indicative of later success (0.194 ≥ r (2) ≤ 0.534). University basic sciences were found to be more predictive than school sciences in undergraduate medical performance in our institution. The increasing emphasis of basic sciences in medical practice and the declining availability of school sciences should mandate medical schools in Ireland to consider how removing basic sciences from the curriculum might impact on future applicants.

  20. Clarity in Teaching and Active Learning in Undergraduate Microbiology Course for Non-Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marbach-Ad, Gili; McGinnis, J. Randy; Pease, Rebecca; Dai, Amy H.; Schalk, Kelly A.; Benson, Spencer

    2010-01-01

    We investigated a pedagogical innovation in an undergraduate microbiology course (Microbes and Society) for non-majors and education majors. The goals of the curriculum and pedagogical transformation were to promote active learning and concentrate on clarity in teaching. This course was part of a longitudinal project (Project Nexus) which…

  1. Do Nondomestic Undergraduates Choose a Major Field in Order to Maximize Grade Point Averages?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Matthew E.; Fass-Holmes, Barry

    2016-01-01

    The authors investigated whether undergraduates attending an American West Coast public university who were not U.S. citizens (nondomestic) maximized their grade point averages (GPA) through their choice of major field. Multiple regression hierarchical linear modeling analyses showed that major field's effect size was small for these…

  2. The "art" of science communication in undergraduate research training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatemi, F. R.; Stockwell, J.; Pinheiro, V.; White, B.

    2016-12-01

    Student creation of well-designed and engaging visuals in science communication can enhance their deep learning while streamlining the transmission of information to their audience. However, undergraduate research training does not frequently emphasize the design aspect of science communication. We devised and implemented a new curricular component to the Lake Champlain NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program in Vermont. We took a holistic approach to communication training, with a targeted module in "art and science". Components to the module included: 1) an introduction to environmental themes in fine art, 2) a photography assignment in research documentation, 3) an overview of elements of design (e.g., color, typography, hierarchy), 4) a graphic design workshop using tools in Powerpoint, and 5) an introduction to scientific illustration. As part of the REU program, students were asked to document their work through photographs, and develop an infographic or scientific illustration complementary to their research. The "art and science" training culminated with a display and critique of their visual work. We report on student responses to the "art and science" training from exit interviews and survey questions. Based on our program, we identify a set of tools that mentors can use to enhance their student's ability to engage with a broad audience.

  3. The Physiology Undergraduate Major in the University of Arizona College of Medicine: Past, Present, and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriksen, Erik J.; Atwater, Anne E.; Delamere, Nicholas A.; Dantzler, William H.

    2011-01-01

    The American Physiological Society (APS) and APS Council encourage the teaching of physiology at the undergraduate, graduate, and medical school levels to support the continued prominence of this area of science. One area identified by the APS Council that is of particular importance for the development of future physiologists (the…

  4. Gender and Subject Choice: An Empirical Study on Undergraduate Students' Majors in Phnom Penh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dom, Vannak; Yi, Gihong

    2018-01-01

    The empirical study on 610 undergraduate students between the age of 16 to 25 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, was set to examine the relationship of gender and subject choice. The findings have revealed that women were overrepresented in non-science subjects and their gender identity has strong connection with subject choice (*** p < 0.001). The study…

  5. Core Skills for Effective Science Communication: A Teaching Resource for Undergraduate Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise

    2017-01-01

    Science communication is a diverse and transdisciplinary field and is taught most effectively when the skills involved are tailored to specific educational contexts. Few academic resources exist to guide the teaching of communication with non-scientific audiences for an undergraduate science context. This mixed methods study aimed to explore what…

  6. Emphasizing Astrobiology: Highlighting Communication in an Elective Course for Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offerdahl, Erika G.; Prather, Edward E.; Slater, Timothy F.

    2004-01-01

    The project described here involved the design, implementation, and evaluation of an upper level, undergraduate elective course for science majors. Specific course goals were to help students gain an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of astrobiology, understand key ideas in astrobiology, and develop the skills necessary to communicate…

  7. Science and ecological literacy in undergraduate field studies education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mapp, Kim J.

    There is an ever-increasing number of issues that face our world today; from climate change, water and food scarcity, to pollution and resource extraction. Science and ecology play fundamental roles in these problems, and yet the understanding of these fields is limited in our society (Miller, 2002; McBride, Brewer, Berkowitz, and Borrie, 2013). Across the nation students are finishing their undergraduate degrees and are expected to enter the workforce and society with the skills needed to succeed. The deficit of science and ecological literacy in these students has been recognized and a call for reform begun (D'Avanzo, 2003 and NRC, 2009). This mixed-methods study looked at how a field studies course could fill the gap of science and ecological literacy in undergraduates. Using grounded theory, five key themes were data-derived; definitions, systems thinking, human's role in the environment, impetus for change and transference. These themes where then triangulated for validity and reliability through qualitative and quantitative assessments. A sixth theme was also identified, the learning environment. Due to limited data to support this themes' development and reliability it is discussed in Chapter 5 to provide recommendations for further research. Key findings show that this field studies program influenced students' science and ecological literacy through educational theory and practice.

  8. A Blueprint for Expanding the Mentoring Networks of Undergraduate Women in the Earth and Environmental Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, E. V.; Adams, A. S.; Barnes, R.; Bloodhart, B.; Burt, M. A.; Clinton, S. M.; Godfrey, E. S.; Pollack, I. B.; Hernandez, P. R.

    2017-12-01

    Women are substantially underrepresented in the earth and environmental sciences, and that underrepresentation begins at the undergraduate level. In fall 2015, an interdisciplinary team including expertise in the broader geosciences as well as gender and quantitative educational psychology began a project focused on understanding whether mentoring can increase the interest, persistence, and achievement of undergraduate women in the geosciences. The program focuses on mentoring 1st and 2nd year female undergraduate students from five universities in Colorado and Wyoming and four universities in North and South Carolina. The mentoring program includes a weekend workshop, access to professional women across geoscience fields, and both in-person and virtual peer networks. We have found that undergraduate women with large mentoring networks, that include faculty mentors, are more likely to identify as scientists and are more committed to pursuing the geosciences. Our presentation will provide an overview of the major components of our effective and scalable program. We will include a discussion of our first published results in the context of larger social science research on how to foster effective mentoring relationships. We will offer a list of successes and challenges, and we will provide the audience with online links to the materials needed to adopt our model (https://geosciencewomen.org/materials/).

  9. Exploration of Factors Affecting Success of Undergraduate Engineering Majors at a Historically Black University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igbinoba, Egheosa P.

    Blacks are underrepresented amongst persons who earn college degrees in the United States and Black males attend and complete college at a lower rate than Black females (Toldson, Fry Brown, & Sutton, 2009). According to Toldson et al. (2009), this quandary may be attributed to Black males' apathy toward education in general, waning support and ideological challenges toward Pell Grants and affirmative action, cultural incompetency on the part of the 90% White, ethnic makeup of the U.S. teaching force, and the relatively high numbers of Black males who are held back in school. In spite of the dismal statistics regarding Black male academic achievement and matriculation, there are those Black males who do participate in postsecondary education. While many studies have highlighted reasons that Black males do not achieve success in attending and persisting through college, few have adopted the anti-deficit research framework suggested by Harper (2010), identifying reasons Black males do persist in higher education. Although science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers are identified as those most imperative to the economic competitiveness of the United States, few studies have concentrated solely on engineering majors and fewer, if any, solely on Black male engineering majors at an historically Black college and university. The aim of this study was to address an apparent gap in the literature and invoke theories for recruitment, retention, and success of Black males in engineering degree programs by employing an anti-deficit achievement framework for research of students of color in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Data garnered from the study included insight into participants' definitions of success, precollege experiences, factors contributing to the persistence during undergraduate study, and perceptions of attending a historically Black college and university versus a primarily White institution.

  10. Undergraduates' Perceived Gains and Ideas about Teaching and Learning Science from Participating in Science Education Outreach Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Stacey L.

    2015-01-01

    This study examined what undergraduate students gain and the ideas about science teaching and learning they develop from participating in K-12 science education outreach programs. Eleven undergraduates from seven outreach programs were interviewed individually about their experiences with outreach and what they learned about science teaching and…

  11. The Lunar Phases Project: A Mental Model-Based Observational Project for Undergraduate Nonscience Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Angela Osterman; Mon, Manuel J.; Hibbard, Susan T.

    2011-01-01

    We present our Lunar Phases Project, an ongoing effort utilizing students' actual observations within a mental model building framework to improve student understanding of the causes and process of the lunar phases. We implement this project with a sample of undergraduate, nonscience major students enrolled in a midsized public university located…

  12. An Observational Study of Score Study Practices among Undergraduate Instrumental Music Education Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvey, Brian A.; Montemayor, Mark; Baumgartner, Christopher M.

    2017-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate undergraduate instrumental music education majors' score study practices as they related to the effectiveness of their simulated conducting. Participants (N = 30) were video recorded in two sessions in which they completed a 20-min score study session and a simulated conducting performance. In the first…

  13. Undergraduate Public Health Majors: Why They Choose Public Health or Medicine?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Warren

    2013-01-01

    This mixed methods study examined the relationship between the motivations for attending college of undergraduate students with a focus on students with a public health major, and their desire to pursue graduate training in public health and subsequently, public health careers. The study highlighted the current public health workforce shortage and…

  14. Undergraduate Music Education Major Identity Formation in the University Music Department

    Science.gov (United States)

    McClellan, Edward

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine relationships among social identity, value of music education, musician-teacher orientation, selected demographic factors, and self-concept as a music educator. Participants (N = 968) were volunteer undergraduate music education majors enrolled at four-year institutions granting a bachelor of music…

  15. Effects of a Research-Infused Botanical Curriculum on Undergraduates' Content Knowledge, STEM Competencies, and Attitudes toward Plant Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jennifer Rhode; Clarke, H. David; Horton, Jonathan L.

    2014-01-01

    In response to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education initiative, we infused authentic, plant-based research into majors' courses at a public liberal arts university. Faculty members designed a financially sustainable pedagogical approach, utilizing vertically integrated…

  16. [The undergraduate program in forensic science: a national challenge].

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Castillo, Zoraida; Graue Wiechers, Enrique; Durante Montiel, Irene; Herrera Saint Leu, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    The challenge in achieving an ideal state of justice is that each "proof" has the highest degree of reliability. This is the main responsibility of the forensic scientist. Up to now, criminal investigations in Mexico have been supported by forensic work from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds that give testimony in a particular area, even though they may have become forensic witnesses in a complementary and experiential manner. In January 2013, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) approved the "Forensic Science" undergraduate program that, in collaboration with various academic entities and government institutions, will develop forensic scientists trained in science, law, and criminology. This is focused on contributing to the national demand that the justice system has more elements to procure and administer justice in dealing with crime.

  17. Longitudinal effects of college type and selectivity on degrees conferred upon undergraduate females in physical science, life science, math and computer science, and social science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Stacy Mckimm

    There has been much research to suggest that a single-sex college experience for female undergraduate students can increase self-confidence and leadership ability during the college years and beyond. The results of previous studies also suggest that these students achieve in the workforce and enter graduate school at higher rates than their female peers graduating from coeducational institutions. However, some researchers have questioned these findings, suggesting that it is the selectivity level of the colleges rather than the comprised gender of the students that causes these differences. The purpose of this study was to justify the continuation of single-sex educational opportunities for females at the post-secondary level by examining the effects that college selectivity, college type, and time have on the rate of undergraduate females pursuing majors in non-traditional fields. The study examined the percentage of physical science, life science, math and computer science, and social science degrees conferred upon females graduating from women's colleges from 1985-2001, as compared to those at comparable coeducational colleges. Sampling for this study consisted of 42 liberal arts women's (n = 21) and coeducational (n = 21) colleges. Variables included the type of college, the selectivity level of the college, and the effect of time on the percentage of female graduates. Doubly multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance testing revealed significant main effects for college selectivity on social science graduates, and time on both life science and math and computer science graduates. Significant interaction was also found between the college type and time on social science graduates, as well as the college type, selectivity level, and time on math and computer science graduates. Implications of the results and suggestions for further research are discussed.

  18. Authentic Science Research Opportunities: How Do Undergraduate Students Begin Integration into a Science Community of Practice?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Grant E.; Forrester, Jennifer H.; Jeffrey, Penny Shumaker; Ferzli, Miriam; Shea, Damian

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the study described was to understand the process and degree to which an undergraduate science research program for rising college freshmen achieved its stated objectives to integrate participants into a community of practice and to develop students' research identities.

  19. In the foot steps of Madame Curie: A cross-case study of female undergraduate physics majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaladanki, Vani Savithri

    Females are disproportionately underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) majors. Further, the number of females who take physics in college has declined. While female students make up 61% of graduates in biological sciences and 50% in chemistry, the proportion of women completing physics degrees is only 21% (Sawtelle, 2011). In order to improve women's access to science and engineering education, research must focus on personal and environmental factors that motivate them to select these fields (AAUW, 2010). The purpose of this study was to explore how the educational experiences of three female undergraduate physics majors contribute to their current dispositions toward, interest in, and pursuit of physics as a major at a large southern research university. This qualitative study employs symbolic interactionism (Blumer, 1969) as its methodological framework and social cognitive career theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 2002) as its theoretical framework. Case study methods (Yin, 2006) were implemented to investigate the experiences of three participants. The primary sources of data included critical incident interviews (Flanagan, 1954), photographs, documents, object elicitations, and the researcher's reflections. Narrative and arts-based techniques were employed to analyze and represent data. Findings are presented as co-constructed narratives of the participants' journeys to becoming undergraduate physics majors. Three major themes emerged from the cross case analysis: carving new spaces, authoring an empowered self, and show me you care and so will I. The direct experiences of engaging with science at a young age and social persuasions of family members, teachers, and peers strongly influenced the participants' interest in and pursuit of physics. Their current dispositions to physics result from vicarious experiences with professors and peers in combination with the social persuasions of the latter. This study informs science

  20. The Conundrum of Social Class: Disparities in Publishing among STEM Students in Undergraduate Research Programs at a Hispanic Majority Institution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grineski, Sara; Daniels, Heather; Collins, Timothy; Morales, Danielle X.; Frederick, Angela; Garcia, Marilyn

    2018-01-01

    Research on the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) student development pipeline has largely ignored social class and instead examined inequalities based on gender and race. We investigate the role of social class in undergraduate student research publications. Data come from a sample of 213 undergraduate research participants…

  1. Engaging Undergraduates in Social Science Research: The Taking the Pulse of Saskatchewan Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdahl, Loleen

    2014-01-01

    Although student involvement in research and inquiry can advance undergraduate learning, there are limited opportunities for undergraduate students to be directly involved in social science research. Social science faculty members typically work outside of laboratory settings, with the limited research assistance work being completed by graduate…

  2. Developing Oral and Written Communication Skills in Undergraduate Computer Science and Information Systems Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kortsarts, Yana; Fischbach, Adam; Rufinus, Jeff; Utell, Janine M.; Yoon, Suk-Chung

    2010-01-01

    Developing and applying oral and written communication skills in the undergraduate computer science and computer information systems curriculum--one of the ABET accreditation requirements - is a very challenging and, at the same time, a rewarding task that provides various opportunities to enrich the undergraduate computer science and computer…

  3. Student and Faculty Outcomes of Undergraduate Science Research Projects by Geographically Dispersed Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Lawton; Kennepohl, Dietmar

    2013-01-01

    Senior undergraduate research projects are important components of most undergraduate science degrees. The delivery of such projects in a distance education format is challenging. Athabasca University (AU) science project courses allow distance education students to complete research project courses by working with research supervisors in their…

  4. Teaching Spatial Thinking in Undergraduate Geology Courses Using Tools and Strategies from Cognitive Science Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ormand, C. J.; Shipley, T. F.; Dutrow, B. L.; Goodwin, L. B.; Hickson, T. A.; Tikoff, B.; Atit, K.; Gagnier, K. M.; Resnick, I.

    2015-12-01

    Spatial visualization is an essential skill in the STEM disciplines, including the geological sciences. Undergraduate students, including geoscience majors in upper-level courses, bring a wide range of spatial skill levels to the classroom. Students with weak spatial skills may struggle to understand fundamental concepts and to solve geological problems with a spatial component. However, spatial thinking skills are malleable. Using strategies that have emerged from cognitive science research, we developed a set of curricular materials that improve undergraduate geology majors' abilities to reason about 3D concepts and to solve spatially complex geological problems. Cognitive science research on spatial thinking demonstrates that predictive sketching, making visual comparisons, gesturing, and the use of analogy can be used to develop students' spatial thinking skills. We conducted a three-year study of the efficacy of these strategies in strengthening the spatial skills of students in core geology courses at three universities. Our methodology is a quasi-experimental quantitative design, utilizing pre- and post-tests of spatial thinking skills, assessments of spatial problem-solving skills, and a control group comprised of students not exposed to our new curricular materials. Students taught using the new curricular materials show improvement in spatial thinking skills. Further analysis of our data, to be completed prior to AGU, will answer additional questions about the relationship between spatial skills and academic performance, spatial skills and gender, spatial skills and confidence, and the impact of our curricular materials on students who are struggling academically. Teaching spatial thinking in the context of discipline-based exercises has the potential to transform undergraduate education in the geological sciences by removing one significant barrier to success.

  5. Undergraduate-driven interventions to increase representation in science classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freilich, M.; Aluthge, D.; Bryant, R. M.; Knox, B.; McAdams, J.; Plummer, A.; Schlottman, N.; Stanley, Z.; Suglia, E.; Watson-Daniels, J.

    2014-12-01

    Recognizing that racial, ethnic, and gender underrepresentation in science classrooms persists despite intervention programs and institutional commitments to diversity, a group of undergraduates from a variety of backgrounds and academic disciplines came together for a group independent study to (a) study the theoretical foundations of the current practice of science and of programs meant to increase diversity, (b) utilize the experiences of course participants and our peers to better understand the drivers of underrepresentation, and (c) design and implement interventions at Brown University. We will present on individual and small group projects designed by course members in collaboration with faculty. The projects emerged from an exploration of literature in history, philosophy, and sociology of science, as well as an examination of anthropological and psychological studies. We also evaluated the effectiveness of top-down and bottom-up approaches that have already been attempted in developing our projects. They focus on the specific problems faced by underrepresented minorities, women, LGBTQ+ people, and well-represented minorities. We will share experiences of faculty-student collaboration and engaged scholarship focused on representation in science and discuss student-designed interventions.

  6. Can a tablet device alter undergraduate science students' study behavior and use of technology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Neil P; Ramsay, Luke; Chauhan, Vikesh

    2012-06-01

    This article reports findings from a study investigating undergraduate biological sciences students' use of technology and computer devices for learning and the effect of providing students with a tablet device. A controlled study was conducted to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of a tablet device on students' use of devices and technology for learning. Overall, we found that students made extensive use of the tablet device for learning, using it in preference to laptop computers to retrieve information, record lectures, and access learning resources. In line with other studies, we found that undergraduate students only use familiar Web 2.0 technologies and that the tablet device did not alter this behavior for the majority of tools. We conclude that undergraduate science students can make extensive use of a tablet device to enhance their learning opportunities without institutions changing their teaching methods or computer systems, but that institutional intervention may be needed to drive changes in student behavior toward the use of novel Web 2.0 technologies.

  7. Scientists and Mathematicians Collaborating to Build Quantitative Skills in Undergraduate Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rylands, Leanne; Simbag, Vilma; Matthews, Kelly E.; Coady, Carmel; Belward, Shaun

    2013-01-01

    There is general agreement in Australia and beyond that quantitative skills (QS) in science, the ability to use mathematics and statistics in context, are important for science. QS in the life sciences are becoming ever more important as these sciences become more quantitative. Consequently, undergraduates studying the life sciences require better…

  8. Effect of a Problem Based Simulation on the Conceptual Understanding of Undergraduate Science Education Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, David Devraj; Sherwood, Robert D.

    2007-01-01

    A study of the effect of science teaching with a multimedia simulation on water quality, the "River of Life," on the science conceptual understanding of students (N = 83) in an undergraduate science education (K-9) course is reported. Teaching reality-based meaningful science is strongly recommended by the National Science Education Standards…

  9. Science teachers and docents as mentors to science and mathematics undergraduates in formal and information settings. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koran, J.J. Jr. [Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1993-10-15

    Twenty-four undergraduate science and mathematics majors who were juniors and seniors in the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Engineering were recruited, and paid, to participate in an orientation seminar and act as teacher aides in regional schools and the Florida Museum of Natural History. Aides worked with teachers in the schools one semester and as docents in the natural history museum a second semester. Mentoring took place by the principal investigator and participating teachers and docents throughout the program. Success of the program was measured by a specially prepared attitude instrument which was administered to participants before the mentoring started and when it ended each semester. Written logs (field notes) were also prepared and submitted by participants at the end of each semester. Further, a tally was kept of the number of participants who decided to go into science or mathematics teaching as a result of the experience.

  10. Using Primary Literature for Teaching Undergraduate Planetary Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levine, J.

    2013-05-01

    Articles from the primary scientific literature can be a valuable teaching tool in undergraduate classrooms. At Colgate University, I emphasize selected research articles in an upper-level undergraduate course in planetary sciences. In addition to their value for conveying specific scientific content, I find that they also impart larger lessons which are especially apt in planetary sciences and allied fields. First, because of the interdisciplinary nature of planetary sciences, students discover that contributions to outstanding problems may arrive from unexpected directions, so they need to be aware of the multi-faceted nature of scientific problems. For instance, after millennia of astrometric attempts, the scale of the Solar System was determined with extraordinary precision with emerging radar technology in the 1960's. Second, students learn the importance of careful work, with due attention to detail. After all, the timescales of planetary formation are encoded in systematic isotopic variations of a few parts in 10,000; in students' own experiences with laboratory data they might well overlook such a small effect. Third, students identify the often-tortuous connections between measured and inferred quantities, which corrects a common student misconception that all quantities of interest (e.g., the age of a meteorite) can be measured directly. Fourth, research articles provide opportunities for students to practice the interpretation of graphical data, since figures often represent a large volume of data in succinct form. Fifth, and perhaps of greatest importance, by considering the uncertainties inherent in reported data, students come to recognize the limits of scientific understanding, the extent to which scientific conclusions are justified (or not), and the lengths to which working scientists go to mitigate their uncertainties. These larger lessons are best mediated by students' own encounters with the articles they read, but require instructors to make

  11. Recruiting Science Majors into Secondary Science Teaching: Paid Internships in Informal Science Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worsham, Heather M.; Friedrichsen, Patricia; Soucie, Marilyn; Barnett, Ellen; Akiba, Motoko

    2014-01-01

    Despite the importance of recruiting highly qualified individuals into the science teaching profession, little is known about the effectiveness of particular recruitment strategies. Over 3 years, 34 college science majors and undecided students were recruited into paid internships in informal science settings to consider secondary science teaching…

  12. Spatial abilities, Earth science conceptual understanding, and psychological gender of university non-science majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Alice A. (Jill)

    Research has shown the presence of many Earth science misconceptions and conceptual difficulties that may impede concept understanding, and has also identified a number of categories of spatial ability. Although spatial ability has been linked to high performance in science, some researchers believe it has been overlooked in traditional education. Evidence exists that spatial ability can be improved. This correlational study investigated the relationship among Earth science conceptual understanding, three types of spatial ability, and psychological gender, a self-classification that reflects socially-accepted personality and gender traits. A test of Earth science concept understanding, the Earth Science Concepts (ESC) test, was developed and field tested from 2001 to 2003 in 15 sections of university classes. Criterion validity was .60, significant at the .01 level. Spearman/Brown reliability was .74 and Kuder/Richardson reliability was .63. The Purdue Visualization of Rotations (PVOR) (mental rotation), the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) (spatial perception), the Differential Aptitude Test: Space Relations (DAT) (spatial visualization), and the Bem Inventory (BI) (psychological gender) were administered to 97 non-major university students enrolled in undergraduate science classes. Spearman correlations revealed moderately significant correlations at the .01 level between ESC scores and each of the three spatial ability test scores. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that PVOR scores were the best predictor of ESC scores, and showed that spatial ability scores accounted for 27% of the total variation in ESC scores. Spatial test scores were moderately or weakly correlated with each other. No significant correlations were found among BI scores and other test scores. Scantron difficulty analysis of ESC items produced difficulty ratings ranging from 33.04 to 96.43, indicating the percentage of students who answered incorrectly. Mean score on the ESC was 34

  13. Integrating Hands-On Undergraduate Research in an Applied Spatial Science Senior Level Capstone Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulhavy, David L.; Unger, Daniel R.; Hung, I-Kuai; Douglass, David

    2015-01-01

    A senior within a spatial science Ecological Planning capstone course designed an undergraduate research project to increase his spatial science expertise and to assess the hands-on instruction methodology employed within the Bachelor of Science in Spatial Science program at Stephen F Austin State University. The height of 30 building features…

  14. Research and Teaching: Encouraging Science Communication in an Undergraduate Curriculum Improves Students' Perceptions and Confidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Train, Tonya Laakko; Miyamoto, Yuko J.

    2017-01-01

    The ability to effectively communicate science is a skill sought after by graduate and professional schools as well as by employers in science-related fields. Are content-heavy undergraduate science curricula able to incorporate opportunities to develop science communication skills, and is promoting these skills worth the time and effort? The…

  15. Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Multidisciplinary Environmental Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, M. S.

    2012-12-01

    During summers 2011 and 12 Montclair State University hosted a Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (REU) in transdisciplinary, hands-on, field-oriented research in environmental sciences. Participants were housed at the Montclair State University's field station situated in the middle of 30,000 acres of mature forest, mountain ridges and freshwater streams and lakes within the Kittatinny Mountains of Northwest New Jersey, Program emphases were placed on development of project planning skills, analytical skills, creativity, critical thinking and scientific report preparation. Ten students were recruited in spring with special focus on recruiting students from underrepresented groups and community colleges. Students were matched with their individual research interests including hydrology, erosion and sedimentation, environmental chemistry, and ecology. In addition to research activities, lectures, educational and recreational field trips, and discussion on environmental ethics and social justice played an important part of the program. The ultimate goal of the program is to facilitate participants' professional growth and to stimulate the participants' interests in pursuing Earth Science as the future career of the participants.

  16. Public Science Education and Outreach as a Modality for Teaching Science Communication Skills to Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arion, Douglas; OConnell, Christine; Lowenthal, James; Hickox, Ryan C.; Lyons, Daniel

    2018-01-01

    The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University is working with Carthage College, Dartmouth College, and Smith College, in partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club, to develop and disseminate curriculum to incorporate science communication education into undergraduate science programs. The public science education and outreach program operating since 2012 as a partnership between Carthage and the Appalachian Mountain Club is being used as the testbed for evaluating the training methods. This talk will review the processes that have been developed and the results from the first cohort of students trained in these methods and tested during the summer 2017 education and outreach efforts, which reached some 12,000 members of the public. A variety of evaluation and assessment tools were utilized, including surveys of public participants and video recording of the interactions of the students with the public. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number 1625316.

  17. Targeting Future Customers: An Introductory Biobanking Course for Undergraduate Students of Life Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelhafiz, Ahmed Samir; Fouda, Merhan Ahmed; El-Jaafary, Shaimaa Ibrahim; Farghly, Maysa Ibrahim; Salem, Mazen; Tammam, Ahmed; Gabr, Hala

    2017-08-01

    Biobanking is a relatively new concept in the Arab region. Targeting different stakeholders to introduce the concept of biobanking and develop an acceptance of it among them is important for the growth of biobanking in the region. Undergraduate students of life sciences represent an important segment of stakeholders, since they constitute potential future biobank customers. Limited funding, lack of awareness of the existence of the term "biobanking" itself among these students, and questions regarding best marketing strategies presented challenges to planning for the most effective message delivery to this target group. A specific course was designed for undergraduate students of life sciences, which was conducted at the Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt. The course was conducted twice in 2016 and included lectures covering biobanking, quality, ethics, information technology, and translational research. Facebook and word-of-mouth were used for marketing and advertising. A total number of 125 participants attended both courses cumulatively. Facebook appeared to have been an effective marketing outlet, especially when paid advertisements were used. Evaluation of knowledge, measured using a pretest and posttest, demonstrated some improvement in knowledge of participants. Evaluation forms filled after the course showed positive attitude toward content and message delivery by a majority of participants. Facebook was also used as an evaluation method through analysis of engagement with posts created after course completion. Biobanking education can be carried out effectively with limited resources. Understanding the needs of the target group and using appropriate methods of communication are essential prerequisites to a well-tailored curriculum and effective message delivery. Using Facebook appears to be an effective and affordable method of communication and advertising. Targeting undergraduate students of life sciences interested in research is a good

  18. Student science publishing: an exploratory study of undergraduate science research journals and popular science magazines in the US and Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mico Tatalovic

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Science magazines have an important role in disseminating scientific knowledge into the public sphere and in discussing the broader scope affected by scientific research such as technology, ethics and politics. Student-run science magazines afford opportunities for future scientists, communicators, politicians and others to practice communicating science. The ability to translate ‘scientese’ into a jargon-free discussion is rarely easy: it requires practice, and student magazines may provide good practice ground for undergraduate and graduate science students wishing to improve their communication skills.

  19. A Workbook for Scaffolding Mentored Undergraduate Research Experiences in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colbert-White, Erin; Simpson, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    Research mentors strive to ensure that undergraduates gain research skills and develop professionally during mentored research experiences in the sciences. We created the SURE (Specialized Undergraduate Research Experience) Workbook, a freely-available, interactive guide to scaffold student learning during this process. The Workbook: (1)…

  20. A Flexible e-Learning Resource Promoting the Critical Reading of Scientific Papers for Science Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letchford, Julie; Corradi, Hazel; Day, Trevor

    2017-01-01

    An important aim of undergraduate science education is to develop student skills in reading and evaluating research papers. We have designed, developed, and implemented an on-line interactive resource entitled "Evaluating Scientific Research literature" (ESRL) aimed at students from the first 2 years of the undergraduate program. In this…

  1. The Influence of Materials Science and Engineering Undergraduate Research Experiences on Public Communication Skills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ing, Marsha; Fung, Wenson W.; Kisailus, David

    2013-01-01

    Communicating research findings with others is a skill essential to the success of future STEM professionals. However, little is known about how this skill can be nurtured through participating in undergraduate research. The purpose of this study is to quantify undergraduate participation in research in a materials science and engineering…

  2. Undergraduate female science-related career choices: A phenomenological study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Kathy S.

    This qualitative phenomenological study used a modified Groenewald's five steps method with semi-structured, recorded, and transcribed interviews to focus on the underrepresentation of females in science-related careers. The study explored the lived experiences of a purposive sample of 25 senior female college students attending a college in Macon, Georgia. Ten major themes emerged from the research study that included (a) journey to a science-related career; (b) realization of career interest; (c) family support (d) society's role; (e) professors' treatment of students; (f) lack of mentors and models; (g) gender and career success; (h) females and other disadvantages in science-related careers; (i) rewards of the journey; and (j) advice for the journey. The three minor themes identified were (a) decision-making; (b) career awareness; and (c) guidance. The key findings revealed that females pursuing a science degree or subsequent science-related career, shared their experience with other females interested in science as a career choice, dealt with barriers standing in the way of their personal goals, lack role models, and received little or no support from family and friends. The study findings may offer information to female college students interested in pursuing science-related careers and further foundational research on gender disparities in career choice.

  3. A new course and textbook on Physical Models of Living Systems, for science and engineering undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Philip

    2015-03-01

    I'll describe an intermediate-level course on ``Physical Models of Living Systems.'' The only prerequisite is first-year university physics and calculus. The course is a response to rapidly growing interest among undergraduates in a broad range of science and engineering majors. Students acquire several research skills that are often not addressed in traditional courses: Basic modeling skills Probabilistic modeling skills Data analysis methods Computer programming using a general-purpose platform like MATLAB or Python Dynamical systems, particularly feedback control. These basic skills, which are relevant to nearly any field of science or engineering, are presented in the context of case studies from living systems, including: Virus dynamics Bacterial genetics and evolution of drug resistance Statistical inference Superresolution microscopy Synthetic biology Naturally evolved cellular circuits. Work supported by NSF Grants EF-0928048 and DMR-0832802.

  4. Study on diversified cultivation orientation and pattern of optoelectronic major undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhiying

    2017-08-01

    To improve the research quality preparation for graduate study and looking for job competition ability of undergraduates students, the education orientation objective need to be explicit. Universities need develop undergraduates' cultivation plan according to students' classification. Based on analysis of students export characteristic, there will be corresponding cultivation plan. Keep tracking study during the cultivation plan implantation process, the Curriculum system and related manage documents are revised corresponding to exist problems. There are mainly three kinds of undergraduates' career direction plan for opto-electronic major undergraduates. In addition to the vast majority university graduates opting for direct employment, nearly one third of university students choose to take part in the postgraduate entrance exams and other further education abroad, and also one-tenth choose their own businesses, university chooses are diversified. The exports are further studying as graduates, working and study abroad. Because national defense students are also recruited, the cultivation plan will be diversified to four types. For students, who go to work directly after graduation, the "Excellence engineers plan" is implemented to enhance their practice ability. For students, who will study further as graduate student, the scientific innovation research ability cultivation is paid more attention to make good foundation for their subsequent development. For students, who want to study abroad after graduation, the bilingual teaching method is introduced, and the English environment is built. We asked foreign professionals to give lectures for students. The knowledge range is extending, and the exchange and cooperation chance is provided at the same time. And the cultivation plan is revised during docking with Universities abroad. For national defense students, combat training and other defense theory courses are added to make them familiar with force knowledge. And

  5. Optics and communication technology major of physics undergraduate degree at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buranasiri, Prathan

    2014-09-01

    A physics undergraduate degree major in optics and communication technology has been offered at King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL), Bangkok, Thailand. There are nine required three credit hour courses including two laboratory courses plus a number of selections in optics and communication based technology courses. For independent thinking and industrial working skills, nine credit hours of research project, practical training or overseas studies are included for selection in the final semester. Students are encouraged to participate in international conferences and professional organizations. Recently the program, with support from SPIE and OSA, has organized its first international conference on photonic solutions 2013 (ICPS 2013).

  6. The ASSURE Summer REU Program: Introducing research to first-generation and underserved undergraduates through space sciences and engineering projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, Darcy; Peticolas, Laura; Multiverse Team at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Lab

    2018-01-01

    The Advancing Space Science through Undergraduate Research Experience (ASSURE) summer REU program is an NSF-funded REU site at the Space Sciences Lab at UC Berkeley that first started in summer 2014. The program recruits students from all STEM majors, targeting underserved students including community college students and first-generation college students. The students have little or no research experience and a wide variety of academic backgrounds, but have a shared passion for space sciences and astronomy. We will describe our program's structure and the components we have found successful in preparing and supporting both the students and their research advisors for their summer research projects. This includes an intensive first week of introductory lectures and tutorials at the start of the program, preparing students for working in an academic research environment. The program also employs a multi-tiered mentoring system, with layers of support for the undergraduate student cohort, as well as graduate student and postdoctoral research advisors.

  7. Gender in the Geosciences: Factors Supporting the Recruitment and Retention of Women in the Undergraduate Major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riggs, E. M.; Sexton, J. M.; Pugh, K.; Bergstrom, C.; Parmley, R.; Phillips, M.

    2014-12-01

    The proportion of women earning undergraduate geoscience degrees has remained about 40% for over a decade. Little research has investigated why women select and persist in a geoscience major. This study addresses why students major in the geosciences and why some programs are more successful at recruiting and retaining female students. We collected interview and survey data from faculty and students at six public US universities. Four sites had a low proportion of female degree recipients ( 48%). 408 students (64% female) completed surveys. Interviews were conducted with 49 faculty members and 151 students. Survey data analysis showed that interest/identity and transformative experiences were significant predictors of students' decision to major in geoscience. Institutional barriers and supports were significant predictors of confidence in the major while connection to instructor predicted students' intent to major. Analysis of pre- and post-course surveys show that students with a greater connection to instructors and students whose instructors expressed more passion for the content also reported higher levels of transformative experiences. This effect was especially pronounced for women and was a significant predictor of persistence in the major. Qualitative data show differences in departmental practices and climate between low and high female graduation sites. High sites used many student-centered approaches to teaching, had extensive opportunities for and a high number of undergraduate students involved in research, and had many opportunities for faculty-student interaction outside of class. Low sites had few of these practices. Qualitative data also showed differences in the gendered equity climate between high and low sites. High sites had more positive gender equity climates and low sites had more negative gender equity climates. At this time, we do not fully understand the causal relationships among all of these findings and higher female graduation rates

  8. Teaching Scientists to Communicate: Evidence-based assessment for undergraduate science education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise

    2015-07-01

    Communication skills are one of five nationally recognised learning outcomes for an Australian Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. Previous evidence indicates that communication skills taught in Australian undergraduate science degrees are not developed sufficiently to meet the requirements of the modern-day workplace-a problem faced in the UK and USA also. Curriculum development in this area, however, hinges on first evaluating how communication skills are taught currently as a base from which to make effective changes. This study aimed to quantify the current standard of communication education within BSc degrees at Australian research-intensive universities. A detailed evidential baseline for not only what but also how communication skills are being taught was established. We quantified which communication skills were taught and assessed explicitly, implicitly, or were absent in a range of undergraduate science assessment tasks (n = 35) from four research-intensive Australian universities. Results indicate that 10 of the 12 core science communication skills used for evaluation were absent from more than 50% of assessment tasks and 77.14% of all assessment tasks taught less than 5 core communication skills explicitly. The design of assessment tasks significantly affected whether communication skills were taught explicitly. Prominent trends were that communication skills in tasks aimed at non-scientific audiences were taught more explicitly than in tasks aimed at scientific audiences, and the majority of group and multimedia tasks taught communication elements more explicitly than individual, or written and oral tasks. Implications for science communication in the BSc and further research are discussed.

  9. Developing Leaders: Implementation of a Peer Advising Program for a Public Health Sciences Undergraduate Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan eGriffin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Peer advising is an integral part of our undergraduate advising system in the Public Health Sciences major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The program was developed in 2009 to address the advising needs of a rapidly growing major that went from 25 to over 530 majors between 2007 and 2014. Each year, 9-12 top performing upper-level students are chosen through an intensive application process. A major goal of the program is to provide curriculum and career guidance to students in the major and empower students in their academic and professional pursuits. The year-long program involves several components, including: staffing the drop-in advising center, attending training seminars, developing and presenting workshops for students, meeting prospective students and families, evaluating ways to improve the program, and collaborating on self-directed projects. The peer advisors also provide program staff insight into the needs and perspectives of students in the major. In turn, peer advisors gain valuable leadership and communication skills, and learn strategies for improving student success. The Peer Advising Program builds community and fosters personal and professional development for the peer advisors. In this paper, we will discuss the undergraduate peer advising model, the benefits and challenges of the program, and lessons learned. Several methods were used to understand the perceived benefits and challenges of the program and experiences of students who utilized the Peer Advising Center. The data for this evaluation were drawn from three sources: 1 archival records from the Peer Advising Center; 2 feedback from peer advisors who completed the year-long internship; and 3 a survey of students who utilized the Peer Advising Center. Results of this preliminary evaluation indicate that peer advisors gain valuable skills that they can carry into their professional world. The program is also a way to engage students in building community

  10. Undergraduate honors students' images of science: Nature of scientific work and scientific knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Michael L.

    This exploratory study assessed the influence of an implicit, inquiry-oriented nature of science (NOS) instructional approach undertaken in an interdisciplinary college science course on undergraduate honor students' (UHS) understanding of the aspects of NOS for scientific work and scientific knowledge. In this study, the nature of scientific work concentrated upon the delineation of science from pseudoscience and the value scientists place on reproducibility. The nature of scientific knowledge concentrated upon how UHS view scientific theories and how they believe scientists utilize scientific theories in their research. The 39 UHS who participated in the study were non-science majors enrolled in a Honors College sponsored interdisciplinary science course where the instructors took an implicit NOS instructional approach. An open-ended assessment instrument, the UFO Scenario, was designed for the course and used to assess UHS' images of science at the beginning and end of the semester. The mixed-design study employed both qualitative and quantitative techniques to analyze the open-ended responses. The qualitative techniques of open and axial coding were utilized to find recurring themes within UHS' responses. McNemar's chi-square test for two dependent samples was used to identify whether any statistically significant changes occurred within responses from the beginning to the end of the semester. At the start of the study, the majority of UHS held mixed NOS views, but were able to accurately define what a scientific theory is and explicate how scientists utilize theories within scientific research. Postinstruction assessment indicated that UHS did not make significant gains in their understanding of the nature of scientific work or scientific knowledge and their overall images of science remained static. The results of the present study found implicit NOS instruction even with an extensive inquiry-oriented component was an ineffective approach for modifying UHS

  11. Learning physical biology via modeling and simulation: A new course and textbook for science and engineering undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Philip

    To a large extent, undergraduate physical-science curricula remain firmly rooted in pencil-and-paper calculation, despite the fact that most research is done with computers. To a large extent, undergraduate life-science curricula remain firmly rooted in descriptive approaches, despite the fact that much current research involves quantitative modeling. Not only does our pedagogy not reflect current reality; it also creates a spurious barrier between the fields, reinforcing the narrow silos that prevent students from connecting them. I'll describe an intermediate-level course on ``Physical Models of Living Systems.'' The prerequisite is first-year university physics and calculus. The course is a response to rapidly growing interest among undergraduates in a broad range of science and engineering majors. Students acquire several research skills that are often not addressed in traditional undergraduate courses: •Basic modeling skills; •Probabilistic modeling skills; •Data analysis methods; •Computer programming using a general-purpose platform like MATLAB or Python; •Pulling datasets from the Web for analysis; •Data visualization; •Dynamical systems, particularly feedback control. Partially supported by the NSF under Grants EF-0928048 and DMR-0832802.

  12. Of Responsible Research--Exploring the Science-Society Dialogue in Undergraduate Training within the Life Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Maria Strecht; Quintanilha, Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    We explore the integration of societal issues in undergraduate training within the life sciences. Skills in thinking about science, scientific knowledge production and the place of science in society are crucial in the context of the idea of responsible research and innovation. This idea became institutionalized and it is currently well-present in…

  13. How Do People Think about the Science They Encounter in Fiction? Undergraduates Investigate Responses to Science in "The Simpsons"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orthia, Lindy A.; Dobos, Amy R.; Guy, Tristan; Kan, Shanan Z.; Keys, Siân E.; Nekvapil, Stefan; Ngu, Dalton H. Y.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, students and staff involved in an undergraduate science communication course investigated people's responses to a science-rich episode of the animated sitcom "The Simpsons". Using focus groups, we sought to find out if and how the episode influenced our 34 participants' perceptions of science, but our results problematised…

  14. The use of appetite suppressants among health sciences undergraduate students in Southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubaran, Carlos; Lazzaretti, Rubia

    2013-01-01

    To investigate the prevalence of appetite suppressant use among health sciences students in Southern Brazil. Undergraduate students (n=300) from seven health science undergraduate courses of the Universidade de Caxias do Sul completed a questionnaire about the use of substances to suppress appetite. A significant percentage (15%; n=45) of research participants used appetite suppressants at least once in their lives. The most commonly used substances were sympathomimetic stimulant drugs (5%), including amfepramone (3.3%) and fenproporex (1.7%). The lifetime use of appetite suppressants was more prevalent among Nursing (26.7%) and Nutrition (24.4%%) students. There was no reported use of appetite suppressants among medical students. The use of appetite suppressants was significantly more prevalent among women. The majority of those who used these substances did so under medical recommendation. Most of users took appetite suppressants for more than 3 months. Lifetime use of appetite suppressants was substantial, being sympathomimetic stimulant drugs the most commonly used agents. Students enrolled in Nursing and Nutrition courses presented a significantly higher prevalence of lifetime use of appetite suppressants.

  15. Introducing Research Methods to Undergraduate Majors Through an On-Campus Observatory with The University of Toledo's Ritter Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, Noel; Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Bjorkman, Jon Eric; Bjorkman, Karen S.; Ritter Observing Team

    2017-01-01

    With a 1-m telescope on the University of Toledo (OH) main campus, we have initiated a grad student-undergraduate partnership to help teach the undergraduates observational methods and introduce them to research through peer mentorship. For the last 3 years, we have trained up to 21 undergraduates (primarily physics/astronomy majors) in a given academic semester, ranging from freshman to seniors. Various projects are currently being conducted by undergraduate students with guidance from graduate student mentors, including constructing three-color images, observations of transiting exoplanets, and determination of binary star orbits from echelle spectra. This academic year we initiated a large group research project to help students learn about the databases, journal repositories, and online observing tools astronomers use for day-to-day research. We discuss early inclusion in observational astronomy and research of these students and the impact it has on departmental retention, undergraduate involvement, and academic success.

  16. Internet use by library and information science undergraduates in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study recommended that undergraduates should be trained to be ICT literate as well as be given increased access to internet facilities to enable them maximize the benefits of internet use. The study concluded that although there is a rise in the use of internet by undergraduates, they primarily use the internet for social ...

  17. Undergraduate Research-Methods Training in Political Science: A Comparative Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Jonathan

    2010-01-01

    Unlike other disciplines in the social sciences, there has been relatively little attention paid to the structure of the undergraduate political science curriculum. This article reports the results of a representative survey of 200 political science programs in the United States, examining requirements for quantitative methods, research methods,…

  18. Characteristics of Abductive Inquiry in Earth Science: An Undergraduate Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Phil Seok

    2011-01-01

    The goal of this case study was to describe characteristic features of abductive inquiry learning activities in the domain of earth science. Participants were undergraduate junior and senior students who were enrolled in an earth science education course offered for preservice secondary science teachers at a university in Korea. The undergraduate…

  19. Introducing Taiwanese Undergraduate Students to the Nature of Science through Nobel Prize Stories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eshach, Haim; Hwang, Fu-Kwun; Wu, Hsin-Kai; Hsu, Ying-Shao

    2013-01-01

    Although there is a broad agreement among scientists and science educators that students should not only learn science, but also acquire some sense of its nature, it has been reported that undergraduate students possess an inadequate grasp of the nature of science (NOS). The study presented here examined the potential and effectiveness of Nobel…

  20. Perceptions of undergraduate pharmacy students on plagiarism in three major public universities in Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Moataz Ehab; Mohy, Nagla; Salah, Sarah

    2018-01-01

    The survey aimed to capture the perceptions of undergraduate pharmacy students towards plagiarism in three major public universities in Cairo, Egypt: Helwan, Ain-Shams, and Cairo Universities. This was a paper-based self-administrated survey study. The questionnaire was validated by both content and face validation. The final survey form captured the knowledge of the students on plagiarism in terms of definitions, attitudes, and practices. Four hundred and fourteen students, 320 females and 94 males, participated in the study. There was a significant difference between the students who knew the definition of plagiarism among the three universities with p-value = .01. More than half of the participants (67%) claimed that they had no previous education or training on plagiarism. However, after being informed about plagiarism, most of them agreed that plagiarism should be regarded as stealing and a punishment. Additionally, poor study skills and the ease of copying and pasting from the Internet were identified by the majority of the students to be the leading causes of plagiarism. Pharmacy students need to be more educated on plagiarism and its consequences on research and educational ethics. Finally, more strict policies should be incorporated to monitor and control plagiarism in undergraduate sections.

  1. Photo Z: A Real Research Project for Undergraduate Non-Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rector, Travis A.; Puckett, A. W.; Hinnah, K. D.

    2009-01-01

    Research-Based Science Education (RBSE) is a method of instruction that models the processes of scientific inquiry and exploration used by scientists to discover new knowledge. It is "research-based" in the sense that students work together on a real astronomical research project. In other words, in order to learn science, students are given the opportunity to actually do science. We present "Photo Z," a new RBSE project wherein students search for distant galaxies using data from the NOAO Deep Wide Field Survey (NDWFS). Students download FITS data files from the NDWFS cutout server. They then complete photometry of galaxies in three bands (Bw, V and I) using Polaris, a custom-made plugin written for ImageJ. The photometric color of each galaxy allows an estimate of its redshift as well as its star-formation history. Many student projects are possible. An example is to search for galaxies clustered around high-redshift quasars. An advantage of this project is that the datasets are readily available online. This project is part of an NSF CCLI grant to develop and test RBSE curricula in an undergraduate course setting. The goals of RBSE are fourfold: (1) To teach that science is a process, not just a body of knowledge; (2) To improve retention of science content by using it in a research project; (3) to improve attitudes towards STEM careers, particularly among first-year students; and (4) to develop task-driven skills, such as critical thinking and teamwork skills, that are useful in any career path. These curricula are currently being developed and tested at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Indiana University Bloomington, and Pima Community College.

  2. Brownfield Action Online - An Interactive Undergraduate Science Course in Environmental Forensics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddicoat, Joseph; Bower, Peter

    2014-05-01

    Brownfield Action (BA) is a web-based, interactive, three dimensional digital space and learning simulation in which students form geotechnical consulting companies and work collectively to explore problems in environmental forensics. Created at Barnard College (BC) in conjunction with the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning at Columbia University, BA has a 12-year history at BC of use in one semester of a two-semester Introduction to Environmental Science course that is taken by more than 100 female undergraduate non-science majors to satisfy their science requirement. The pedagogical methods and design of the BA model are grounded in a substantial research literature focused on the design, use, and effectiveness of games and simulation in education. The successful use of the BA simulation at BC and 14 other institutions in the U.S. is described in Bower et al. (2011 and 2014). Soon to be taught online to non-traditional undergraduate students, BA has 15 modules that include a reconnaissance survey; scale; topographic, bedrock, and water table maps; oral and written reports from residents and the municipal government; porosity and permeability measurements of the regolith (sand) in the area of interest; hydrocarbon chemistry; direction and velocity of groundwater flow; and methods of geophysical exploration (soil gas, ground penetrating radar, magnetic metal detection, excavation, and drilling). Student performance is assessed by weekly exercises and a semester ending Environmental Site Assessment Phase I Report that summarizes the individual and collective discoveries about a contaminated subsurface plume that emanates from a leaking underground storage tank at a gasoline station upgrade from the water well that serves the surrounding community. Texts for the course are Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action and Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, which are accompanied by questions that direct the reading.

  3. Advancing Space Sciences through Undergraduate Research Experiences at UC Berkeley's Space Sciences Laboratory - a novel approach to undergraduate internships for first generation community college students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raftery, C. L.; Davis, H. B.; Peticolas, L. M.; Paglierani, R.

    2015-12-01

    The Space Sciences Laboratory at UC Berkeley launched an NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in the summer of 2015. The "Advancing Space Sciences through Undergraduate Research Experiences" (ASSURE) program recruited heavily from local community colleges and universities, and provided a multi-tiered mentorship program for students in the fields of space science and engineering. The program was focussed on providing a supportive environment for 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates, many of whom were first generation and underrepresented students. This model provides three levels of mentorship support for the participating interns: 1) the primary research advisor provides academic and professional support. 2) The program coordinator, who meets with the interns multiple times per week, provides personal support and helps the interns to assimilate into the highly competitive environment of the research laboratory. 3) Returning undergraduate interns provided peer support and guidance to the new cohort of students. The impacts of this program on the first generation students and the research mentors, as well as the lessons learned will be discussed.

  4. Successful Programs for Undergraduate Women in Science and Engineering: "Adapting" versus "Adopting" the Institutional Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Mary Frank; Sonnert, Gerhard; Nikiforova, Irina

    2009-01-01

    This article focuses upon programs for undergraduate women in science and engineering, which are a strategic research site in the study of gender, science, and higher education. The design involves both quantitative and qualitative approaches, linking theory, method, questions, and analyses in ways not undertaken previously. Using a comprehensive,…

  5. A Portable Bioinformatics Course for Upper-Division Undergraduate Curriculum in Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Floraino, Wely B.

    2008-01-01

    This article discusses the challenges that bioinformatics education is facing and describes a bioinformatics course that is successfully taught at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, to the fourth year undergraduate students in biological sciences, chemistry, and computer science. Information on lecture and computer practice…

  6. Computer Literacy for Life Sciences: Helping the Digital-Era Biology Undergraduates Face Today's Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolinski, Tomasz G.

    2010-01-01

    Computer literacy plays a critical role in today's life sciences research. Without the ability to use computers to efficiently manipulate and analyze large amounts of data resulting from biological experiments and simulations, many of the pressing questions in the life sciences could not be answered. Today's undergraduates, despite the ubiquity of…

  7. Truth in Packaging: Teaching Controversial Topics to Undergraduates in the Human Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredericks, Marcel; Miller, Steven I.

    1993-01-01

    Argues that the behavioral or "human" sciences are fundamentally different in scope and intent from the natural sciences. Describes the use of controversial topics in undergraduate courses and provides a four-step process. Recommends using Karl Popper's falsification theory to help students think critically about issues. (CFR)

  8. Teaching Scientists to Communicate: Evidence-Based Assessment for Undergraduate Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy; Kuchel, Louise

    2015-01-01

    Communication skills are one of five nationally recognised learning outcomes for an Australian Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree. Previous evidence indicates that communication skills taught in Australian undergraduate science degrees are not developed sufficiently to meet the requirements of the modern-day workplace--a problem faced in the UK and…

  9. Student Perceptions of Communication Skills in Undergraduate Science at an Australian Research-Intensive University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer-Mapstone, Lucy D.; Matthews, Kelly E.

    2017-01-01

    Higher education institutions globally are acknowledging the need to teach communication skills. This study used the Science Student Skills Inventory to gain insight into how science students perceive the development of communication skills across the degree programme. Responses were obtained from 635 undergraduate students enrolled in a Bachelor…

  10. Anthropogenic Climate Change in Undergraduate Marine and Environmental Science Programs in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlietstra, Lucy S.; Mrakovcich, Karina L.; Futch, Victoria C.; Stutzman, Brooke S.

    2016-01-01

    To develop a context for program-level design decisions pertaining to anthropogenic climate change, the authors studied the prevalence of courses focused on human-induced climate change in undergraduate marine science and environmental science degree programs in the United States. Of the 86 institutions and 125 programs the authors examined, 37%…

  11. Using Mobile Devices to Facilitate Student Questioning in a Large Undergraduate Science Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crompton, Helen; Burgin, Stephen R.; De Paor, Declan G.; Gregory, Kristen

    2018-01-01

    Asking scientific questions is the first practice of science and engineering listed in the Next Generation Science Standards. However, getting students to ask unsolicited questions in a large class can be difficult. In this qualitative study, undergraduate students sent SMS text messages to the instructor who received them on his mobile phone and…

  12. Value Added: History of Physics in a ``Science, Technology, and Society'' General Education Undergraduate Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, Dwight

    2016-03-01

    In thirty years of teaching a capstone ``Science, Technology, and Society'' course to undergraduate students of all majors, I have found that, upon entering STS, to most of them the Manhattan Project seems about as remote as the Civil War; few can describe the difference between nuclear and large non-nuclear weapons. With similar lack of awareness, many students seem to think the Big Bang was dreamed up by science sorcerers. One might suppose that a basic mental picture of weapons that held entire populations hostage should be part of informed citizenship. One might also suppose that questions about origins, as they are put to nature through evidence-based reasoning, should be integral to a culture's identity. Over the years I have found the history of physics to be an effective tool for bringing such subjects to life for STS students. Upon hearing some of the history behind (for example) nuclear weapons and big bang cosmology, these students can better imagine themselves called upon to help in a Manhattan Project, or see themselves sleuthing about in a forensic science like cosmology. In this talk I share sample student responses to our class discussions on nuclear weapons, and on cosmology. The history of physics is too engaging to be appreciated only by physicists.

  13. Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Undergraduate Student Views of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arino de la Rubia, Leigh S.; Lin, Tzung-Jin; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2014-07-01

    Past studies investigating university level students' views of nature of science (NOS) were relatively few and most of them were conducted in Western countries. This paper focuses upon comparing the quantitative patterns in Western (US Caucasian and African-American) and non-Western (Taiwanese) students' views of NOS (VNOS) by adopting a survey instrument. This analysis combined with qualitative data begin to uncover details of potential cultural differences in patterns specifically in the US educational context by comparing Caucasian and African-American student responses to a question from a commonly used assessment of VNOS. Results show different patterns of views along the four dimensions of NOS (social negotiation, invented/creative NOS, cultural impacts, and changing/tentative feature of science) according to student major, student gender, and student ethnicity. These differences and similarities have the potential to impact undergraduate education and underrepresentation of cultural minorities in science careers and call for further research into NOS views in the context of diverse student groups.

  14. Starting an Actuarial Science Major at a Liberal Arts College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mills, Mark A.

    2014-01-01

    The article provides details of the process of starting an actuarial science major at a small, liberal arts college. Some critique of the major is included, as well as some challenges that may be faced by others wanting to start such a major at their institution.

  15. A Computer Security Course in the Undergraduate Computer Science Curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spillman, Richard

    1992-01-01

    Discusses the importance of computer security and considers criminal, national security, and personal privacy threats posed by security breakdown. Several examples are given, including incidents involving computer viruses. Objectives, content, instructional strategies, resources, and a sample examination for an experimental undergraduate computer…

  16. A Social Capital Perspective on the Mentoring of Undergraduate Life Science Researchers: An Empirical Study of Undergraduate-Postgraduate-Faculty Triads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikens, Melissa L; Sadselia, Sona; Watkins, Keiana; Evans, Mara; Eby, Lillian T; Dolan, Erin L

    2016-01-01

    Undergraduate researchers at research universities are often mentored by graduate students or postdoctoral researchers (referred to collectively as "postgraduates") and faculty, creating a mentoring triad structure. Triads differ based on whether the undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty member interact with one another about the undergraduate's research. Using a social capital theory framework, we hypothesized that different triad structures provide undergraduates with varying resources (e.g., information, advice, psychosocial support) from the postgraduates and/or faculty, which would affect the undergraduates' research outcomes. To test this, we collected data from a national sample of undergraduate life science researchers about their mentoring triad structure and a range of outcomes associated with research experiences, such as perceived gains in their abilities to think and work like scientists, science identity, and intentions to enroll in a PhD program. Undergraduates mentored by postgraduates alone reported positive outcomes, indicating that postgraduates can be effective mentors. However, undergraduates who interacted directly with faculty realized greater outcomes, suggesting that faculty interaction is important for undergraduates to realize the full benefits of research. The "closed triad," in which undergraduates, postgraduates, and faculty all interact directly, appeared to be uniquely beneficial; these undergraduates reported the highest gains in thinking and working like a scientist. © 2016 M. L. Aikens et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  17. Absenteeism among medical and health science undergraduate students at Hawassa University, Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desalegn, Anteneh Assefa; Berhan, Asres; Berhan, Yifru

    2014-04-14

    Student absenteeism is a major concern for university education worldwide. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and causes of absenteeism among undergraduate medical and health sciences students at Hawassa University. We conducted a cross-sectional study using a pretested self-administered structured questionnaire from May-June 2013. The primary outcome indicator was self-reported absenteeism from lectures in the semester preceding the study period. The study included all regular undergraduate students who were enrolled in the University for at least one semester. The data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20. The association between class absenteeism and socio-demographic and behavioral correlates of absenteeism was determined by bivariate and multivariate analyses. Results were reported as crude odds ratios (COR), adjusted odds ratios (AOR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). 1200 students consented and filled the questionnaire. Of these students, 43.7% had missed three or more lectures and 14.1% (95% CI = 12.2-16.2) missed more than 8 lectures in the preceding semester. There was a significant association between missing more than 8 lectures and age of students, chosen discipline (medicine), and social drug use. The main reasons reported for missing lectures were preparing for another examination, lack of interest, lecturer's teaching style, and availability of lecture material. At Hawassa University College of Medicine and Health Science student habits and teacher performance play a role in absenteeism from lectures. A university culture that promotes discipline and integrity especially among medical and older students discourages social drug use will likely improve motivation and attendance. Training in teaching methodologies to improve the quality and delivery of lectures should also help increase attendance.

  18. Graduate teaching assistants' perceptions of teaching competencies required for work in undergraduate science labs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deacon, Christopher; Hajek, Allyson; Schulz, Henry

    2017-11-01

    Many post-secondary institutions provide training and resources to help GTAs fulfil their teaching roles. However, few programmes focus specifically on the teaching competencies required by GTAs who work with undergraduate students in laboratory settings where learning tends to be more active and inquiry based than in classroom settings. From a review of 8 GTA manuals, we identified 20 competencies and then surveyed faculty and lab coordinators (FIS) and GTAs from a Faculty of Science at a comprehensive Canadian university to identify which of those competencies are required of GTAs who work in undergraduate science labs. GTAs and FIS did not significantly differ in the competencies they view as required for GTAs to work effectively in undergraduate labs. But, when comparing the responses of GTAs and FIS to TA manuals, 'Clearly and effectively communicates ideas and information with students' was the only competency for which there was agreement on the level of requirement. We also examined GTAs' self-efficacy for each of the identified competencies and found no overall relationship between self-efficacy and demographic characteristics, including experience and training. Our results can be used to inform the design of training programmes specifically for GTAs who work in undergraduate science labs, for example, programmes should provide strategies for GTAs to obtain feedback which they can use to enhance their teaching skills. The goal of this study is to improve undergraduate lab instruction in faculties of science and to enhance the teaching experience of GTAs by better preparing them for their role.

  19. A behavioral science/behavioral medicine core curriculum proposal for Japanese undergraduate medical education

    OpenAIRE

    Tsutsumi, Akizumi

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral science and behavioral medicine have not been systematically taught to Japanese undergraduate medical students. A working group under the auspices of Japanese Society of Behavioral Medicine developed an outcome-oriented curriculum of behavioral science/behavioral medicine through three processes: identifying the curriculum contents, holding a joint symposium with related societies, and defining outcomes and proposing a learning module. The behavioral science/behavioral medicine cor...

  20. A mathematics content course and teaching efficacy beliefs of undergraduate majors in education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkhateeb, Haitham M; Abed, Adnan S

    2003-10-01

    This study was designed to assess the mathematics teaching efficacy beliefs of undergraduates in elementary education through a manipulative-based course in mathematics. Responses of 106 university undergraduates to the 21-item Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs administered as pre- and posttest without a control group showed a significant immediate postcourse change in their efficacy beliefs using dependent t test.

  1. Air, Ocean and Climate Monitoring Enhancing Undergraduate Training in the Physical, Environmental and Computer Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hope, W. W.; Johnson, L. P.; Obl, W.; Stewart, A.; Harris, W. C.; Craig, R. D.

    2000-01-01

    Faculty in the Department of Physical, Environmental and Computer Sciences strongly believe in the concept that undergraduate research and research-related activities must be integrated into the fabric of our undergraduate Science and Technology curricula. High level skills, such as problem solving, reasoning, collaboration and the ability to engage in research, are learned for advanced study in graduate school or for competing for well paying positions in the scientific community. One goal of our academic programs is to have a pipeline of research activities from high school to four year college, to graduate school, based on the GISS Institute on Climate and Planets model.

  2. Citizen Science- Lessons learned from non-science majors involved in Globe at Night and the Great Worldwide Star Count

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, S.

    2011-12-01

    Non-science majors often misunderstand the process of science, potentially leading to a fear or mistrust of scientific inquiry and current scientific theory. Citizen science projects are a critical means of reaching this audience, as many will only take a limited number of science courses during their undergraduate careers. For the past three years, our freshman Earth Science students have participated in both Globe at Night and the Great Worldwide Star Count, citizen science programs that encourage simple astronomical observations which can be compiled globally to investigate a number of issues. Our focus has been introducing students to the effect of light pollution on observational astronomy in an effort to highlight the effect of increasing urbanization in the U.S. on amateur astronomy. These programs, although focused on astronomy, often awaken natural curiosity about the Earth and man's effect on the natural world, a concept that can easily be translated to other areas of Earth science. Challenges encountered include content specific issues, such as misinterpreting the location or magnitude of the constellation being observed, as well as student disinterest or apathy if the project is not seen as being vital to their performance in the course. This presentation reports on lessons learned in the past three years, and offers suggestions for engaging these students more fully in future projects.

  3. Strategic Curricular Decisions in Butler University's Actuarial Science Major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Christopher James

    2014-01-01

    We describe specific curricular decisions employed at Butler University that have resulted in student achievement in the actuarial science major. The paper includes a discussion of how these decisions might be applied in the context of a new actuarial program.

  4. Family Context Predictors of Math Self-Concept among Undergraduate STEM Majors: An Analysis of Gender Differences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinn, Anne N.; Miner, Kathi; Taylor, Aaron B.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to examine four family context variables (socioeconomic status, mother's level of education, father's level of education, and perceived family social support) as predictors of math self-concept among undergraduate STEM majors to better understand the gender differential in math self-concept. Participants…

  5. Song Leading Effectiveness of Undergraduate Education Majors: A Comparison of Student Self Ratings and Expert Ratings under Three Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, Nancy H.; Orlofsky, Diane DeNicola

    1997-01-01

    Examines the song leading effectiveness of undergraduate education majors under three conditions: unaccompanied, accompanied with autoharp, and accompanied by recording. Finds that students rate themselves higher than experts do; there is greater eye contact using rote or recording; and there is greater tempo accuracy using rote and autoharp. (DSK)

  6. A Data-enhanced On-line Learning Environment for Undergraduate Earth System Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    di, L.; Deng, M.

    2004-12-01

    Earth system science (ESS) research often requires integrating, analyzing, and modeling with large amount of multi-disciplinary, multi-source geospatial data. Satellite remote sensing is one of the major sources of such data. Currently, NASA EOSDIS has archived more than three petabytes of Earth remote sensing data. Those data are essential for conducting ESS research. Therefore, training students on how to effectively use large amount of remote sensing data in ESS research is the essential part of their ESS education. However, currently most of undergraduate students have never been trained to handle the huge volume of available data because of lack of resources and suitable teaching technology at ESS colleges. In order to reduce this problem, we are developing a web-based geospatial information system, called GeoBrain, for providing a data-enhanced on-line learning and research environment for ESS education and research. The system makes petabytes of NASA EOS data and information easily accessible to higher-education users. The system allows users to dynamically and collaboratively develop interoperable, web-executable geospatial process and analysis modules and models, and run them on-line against any part of the peta-byte archives for getting back the customized information products rather than raw data. The system makes a data-enhanced ESS learning and research environment, backed by petabytes of NASA EOS data and unavailable to students and professors before, available to them at their desktops. In order to integrate this new learning environment into the undergraduate ESS teaching and research, a NASA EOS Higher Education Alliance (NEHEA), consisting of the GeoBrain development team led by GMU and a group of Earth science educators selected from an open RFP process, has been formed. NEHEA members are incorporating the data enhanced learning environment into their teaching and on-going research and will develop new courses for taking advantages of the

  7. Kimchi: Spicy Science for the Undergraduate Microbiology Laboratory ?

    OpenAIRE

    Young, Virginia A.; Kiefer, Adam M.

    2014-01-01

    Undergraduate microbiology courses offer a perfect opportunity to introduce students to historical food preservation processes that are still in use today. The fermentation of vegetables, as occurs in the preparation of sauerkraut and kimchi, uses an enrichment step to select for the growth of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria (LAB).  This is an active learning exercise in which students learn a food preparation skill and basic microbiological terms such as selection and enrichment.  W...

  8. Family matters: Familial support and science identity formation for African American female STEM majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Ashley Dawn

    This research seeks to understand the experiences of African American female undergraduates in STEM. It investigates how familial factors and science identity formation characteristics influence persistence in STEM while considering the duality of African American women's status in society. This phenomenological study was designed using critical race feminism as the theoretical framework to answer the following questions: 1) What role does family play in the experiences of African American women undergraduate STEM majors who attended two universities in the UNC system? 2) What factors impact the formation of science identity for African American women undergraduate STEM majors who attended two universities in the UNC system? Purposive sampling was used to select the participants for this study. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with 10 African American female undergraduate STEM major from a predominantly White and a historically Black institution with the state of North Carolina public university system. Findings suggest that African American families and science identity formation influence the STEM experiences of the African American females interviewed in this study. The following five themes emerged from the findings: (1) independence, (2) support, (3) pressure to succeed, (4) adaptations, and (5) race and gender. This study contributes to the literature on African American female students in STEM higher education. The findings of this study produced knowledge regarding policies and practices that can lead to greater academic success and persistence of African American females in higher education in general, and STEM majors in particular. Colleges and universities may benefit from the findings of this study in a way that allows them to develop and sustain programs and policies that attend to the particular concerns and needs of African American women on their campuses. Finally, this research informs both current and future African American female

  9. Utilization of Electronic Information Resources by Undergraduate Students of University of Ibadan: A Case Study of Social Sciences and Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owolabi, Sola; Idowu, Oluwafemi A.; Okocha, Foluke; Ogundare, Atinuke Omotayo

    2016-01-01

    The study evaluated utilization of electronic information resources by undergraduates in the Faculties of Education and the Social Sciences in University of Ibadan. The study adopted a descriptive survey design with a study population of 1872 undergraduates in the Faculties of Education and the Social Sciences in University of Ibadan, from which a…

  10. SPIN-UP and Preparing Undergraduate Physics Majors for Careers in Industry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howes, Ruth

    2011-03-01

    Seven years ago, the Strategic Programs for Innovations in Undergraduate Physics (SPIN-UP) Report produced by the National Task Force on Undergraduate Physics identified several key characteristics of thriving undergraduate physics departments including steps these departments had taken to prepare students better for careers in industry. Today statistical data from AIP shows that almost 40% of students graduating with a degree in physics seek employment as soon as they graduate. Successful undergraduate physics programs have taken steps to adapt their rigorous physics programs to ensure that graduating seniors have the skills they need to enter the industrial workplace as well as to go on to graduate school in physics. Typical strategies noted during a series of SPIN-UP workshops funded by a grant from NSF to APS, AAPT, and AIP include flexible curricula, early introduction of undergraduates to research techniques, revised laboratory experiences that provide students with skills they need to move directly into jobs, and increased emphasis on ``soft'' skills such as communication and team work. Despite significant success, undergraduate programs face continuing challenges in preparing students to work in industry, most significantly the fact that there is no job called ``physicist'' at the undergraduate level. supported by grant NSF DUE-0741560.

  11. Brownfield Action: An education through an environmental science simulation experience for undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelsey, Ryan Daniel

    Brownfield Action is a computer simulation experience used by undergraduates in an Introduction to Environmental Science course for non-science majors at Barnard College. Students play the role of environmental consultants given the semester-long task of investigating a potentially contaminated landsite in a simulated town. The simulation serves as the integration mechanism for the entire course. The project is a collaboration between Professor Bower and the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL). This study chronicles the discovery, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of this project over its four-year history from prototype to full-fledged semester-long integrated lecture and lab experience. The complete project history serves as a model for the development of best practices in contributing to the field of educational technology in higher education through the study of fully designed and implemented projects in real classrooms. Recommendations from the project focus on linking the laboratory and lecture portions of a course, the use of simulations (especially for novice students), instructor adaptation to the use of technology, general educational technology project development, and design research, among others. Findings from the study also emphasize the uniqueness of individual student's growth through the experience, and the depth of understanding that can be gained from embracing the complexity of studying sophisticated learning environments in real classrooms.

  12. The Effects of Majoring in Political Science on Political Efficacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominguez, Casey B. K.; Smith, Keith W.; Williams, J. Michael

    2017-01-01

    This study tests, and finds support, for the hypotheses that a student who majors in political science will have stronger feelings of political competence and will be more willing to engage in hypothetical political actions than two peer groups: (a) those who major in other fields and (b) those who show an interest in politics but have not studied…

  13. Exploring the Relationships between Self-Efficacy and Preference for Teacher Authority among Computer Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Che-Li; Liang, Jyh-Chong; Su, Yi-Ching; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2013-01-01

    Teacher-centered instruction has been widely adopted in college computer science classrooms and has some benefits in training computer science undergraduates. Meanwhile, student-centered contexts have been advocated to promote computer science education. How computer science learners respond to or prefer the two types of teacher authority,…

  14. Can a Tablet Device Alter Undergraduate Science Students' Study Behavior and Use of Technology?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Neil P.; Ramsay, Luke; Chauhan, Vikesh

    2012-01-01

    This article reports findings from a study investigating undergraduate biological sciences students' use of technology and computer devices for learning and the effect of providing students with a tablet device. A controlled study was conducted to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the impact of a tablet device on students' use of…

  15. Connecting Self-Efficacy and Views about the Nature of Science in Undergraduate Research Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, Gina M.; Elby, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Undergraduate research can support students' more central participation in physics. We analyze markers of two coupled shifts in participation: changes in students' views about the nature of science coupled to shifts in self-efficacy toward physics research. Students in the study worked with faculty and graduate student mentors on research projects…

  16. Management Science in U.S. AACSB International-Accredited Core Undergraduate Business School Curricula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palocsay, Susan W.; Markham, Ina S.

    2014-01-01

    In 2003, accreditation standards were revised to require coverage of management science (MS) after previously removing it in 1991. Meanwhile, increasing awareness of the value of business analytics stimulated a renewed interest in MS. To examine its present status in undergraduate core business curricula, the authors conducted two studies to…

  17. Citation Behavior of Undergraduate Students: A Study of History, Political Science, and Sociology Papers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hendley, Michelle

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this analysis was to obtain local citation behavior data on undergraduates researching history, political science, and sociology papers. The study found that students cited books and journals even with the availability of web sources; however, usage varied by subject. References to specific websites' domains also varied across subject…

  18. Bridging the Gap: A Research-Based Approach for Teaching Interdisciplinary Science to Undergraduate Freshman Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sales, Jessica; Comeau, Dawn; Liddle, Kathleen; Khanna, Nikki; Perrone, Lisa; Palmer, Katrina; Lynn, David

    2006-01-01

    A new program, On Recent Discoveries by Emory Researchers (ORDER), has been developed as a bridge across the ever-widening gap between graduate and undergraduate education in the sciences. This bridge is created by merging the needs of graduate/postdoctoral students to educate more interdisciplinary scholars about their research discoveries with…

  19. Factors Influencing Achievement in Undergraduate Social Science Research Methods Courses: A Mixed Methods Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markle, Gail

    2017-01-01

    Undergraduate social science research methods courses tend to have higher than average rates of failure and withdrawal. Lack of success in these courses impedes students' progression through their degree programs and negatively impacts institutional retention and graduation rates. Grounded in adult learning theory, this mixed methods study…

  20. Broadening the voice of science: Promoting scientific communication in the undergraduate classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirino, Lauren A; Emberts, Zachary; Joseph, Paul N; Allen, Pablo E; Lopatto, David; Miller, Christine W

    2017-12-01

    Effective and accurate communication of scientific findings is essential. Unfortunately, scientists are not always well trained in how to best communicate their results with other scientists nor do all appreciate the importance of speaking with the public. Here, we provide an example of how the development of oral communication skills can be integrated with research experiences at the undergraduate level. We describe our experiences developing, running, and evaluating a course for undergraduates that complemented their existing undergraduate research experiences with instruction on the nature of science and intensive training on the development of science communication skills. Students delivered science talks, research monologues, and poster presentations about the ecological and evolutionary research in which they were involved. We evaluated the effectiveness of our approach using the CURE survey and a focus group. As expected, undergraduates reported strong benefits to communication skills and confidence. We provide guidance for college researchers, instructors, and administrators interested in motivating and equipping the next generation of scientists to be excellent science communicators.

  1. Technological and Traditional Drawing Approaches Encourage Active Engagement in Histology Classes for Science Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogdell, Barbara; Torsney, Ben; Stewart, Katherine; Smith, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    In order to promote more active engagement of science undergraduates in histology practical classes some technology-based innovations were introduced. First, an interactive pre-lab tutorial was set up using an electronic handset voting system, where guidance on tissue analysis was given. Second, a web-based resource where students could access…

  2. Experiencing Wireless Sensor Network Concepts in an Undergraduate Computer Science Curriculum

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zwartjes, G.J.; van de Voort, M.; Dil, B.J.; Havinga, Paul J.M.

    2009-01-01

    Incorporating Embedded Systems courses in a general and broad Computer Science undergraduate curriculum can be a challenging task. The lack of experience with relevant tools and programming languages tends to limit the amount material that can be included in courses on this area. This, combined with

  3. Undergraduate African American females in the sciences: A qualitative study of student experiences affecting academic success and persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essien-Wood, Idara R.

    Given the lack of literature on Undergraduate African American females in the sciences (UAAFS), this study sought to explicate their experiences at one large, predominantly White, Research I institution in the southwestern United States. In particular, the purpose of this study was to identify factors that affect the academic success and persistence of Black females in the natural and physical sciences. Data was collected via in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 15 Black female science majors. Findings from this study identified several supportive mechanisms for academic success: family, religion, teaching assistants and friends. Also identified were seven barriers to academic success: employment, lack of diversity, cultural dissonance, unwelcoming Research I environment, faculty, advisors, classmates, and lab groups. Further, an analysis of students' responses revealed numerous instances of racial and gender micro-aggressions. Recommendations are provided to address factors identified as affecting student academic success and persistence as well as a culture of micro-aggressive behavior.

  4. Choices in higher education: Majoring in and changing from the sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minear, Nancy Ann

    This dissertation addresses patterns of retention of undergraduate science, engineering and mathematics (SEM) students, with special attention paid to female and under represented minority students. As such, the study is focused on issues related to academic discipline and institutional retention, rather than the retention of students in the overall system of higher education. While previous retention studies have little to say about rates of retention that are specific to the sciences (or any other specific area of study) or employ models that rely on students' performance at the college level, this work address both points by identifying the post secondary academic performance characteristics of persisters and non-persisters in the sciences by gender, ethnicity and matriculating major as well as identifying introductory SEM course requirements that prevent students from persisting in sciencegender, ethnicity and matriculating major as well as identifying introductory SEM course requirements that prevent students from persisting in science majors. A secondary goal of investigating the usefulness of institutional records for retention research is addressed. Models produced for the entire population and selected subpopulations consistently classified higher-performing (both SEM and non-SEM grade point averages) students into Bachelor of Science categories using the number of Introductory Chemistry courses attempted at the university. For lower performing students, those with more introductory chemistry courses were classified as changing majors out of the sciences, and in general as completing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Performance in gatekeeper courses as a predictor of terminal academic status was limited to Introductory Physics for a small number of cases. Performance in Introductory Calculus and Introductory Chemistry were not consistently utilized as predictor variables. The models produced for various subpopulations (women, ethnic groups and matriculation

  5. Are UK undergraduate Forensic Science degrees fit for purpose?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welsh, Charles; Hannis, Marc

    2011-09-01

    In October 2009 Skills for Justice published the social research paper 'Fit for purpose?: Research into the provision of Forensic Science degree programmes in UK Higher Education Institutions.' The research engaged employers representing 95% of UK Forensic Science providers and 79% of UK universities offering Forensic Science or Crime Scene degree programmes. In addition to this, the research collected the views of 430 students studying these degrees. In 2008 there were approximately 9000 people working in the Forensic Science sector in the UK. The research found that the numbers of students studying Forensic Science or Crime Scene degrees in the UK have more than doubled since 2002-03, from 2191 in to 5664 in 2007-08. Over the same period there were twice as many females as males studying for these degrees. The research concluded that Forensic Science degree programmes offered by UK universities were of a good quality and they provided the student with a positive learning experience but the content was not relevant for Forensic Science employers. This echoed similar research by the former Government Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills on graduates from wider science, technology, engineering and mathematics degree programmes. The research also found that 75% of students studying Forensic Science or Crime Scene degrees expected to have a career in the Forensic Science sector, meaning that ensuring these courses are relevant for employers is a key challenge for universities. This paper reflects on the original research and discusses the implications in light of recent government policy. Copyright © 2011 Forensic Science Society. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Effects of a research-infused botanical curriculum on undergraduates' content knowledge, STEM competencies, and attitudes toward plant sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Jennifer Rhode; Clarke, H David; Horton, Jonathan L

    2014-01-01

    In response to the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education initiative, we infused authentic, plant-based research into majors' courses at a public liberal arts university. Faculty members designed a financially sustainable pedagogical approach, utilizing vertically integrated curricular modules based on undergraduate researchers' field and laboratory projects. Our goals were to 1) teach botanical concepts, from cells to ecosystems; 2) strengthen competencies in statistical analysis and scientific writing; 3) pique plant science interest; and 4) allow all undergraduates to contribute to genuine research. Our series of inquiry-centered exercises mitigated potential faculty barriers to adopting research-rich curricula, facilitating teaching/research balance by gathering publishable scholarly data during laboratory class periods. Student competencies were assessed with pre- and postcourse quizzes and rubric-graded papers, and attitudes were evaluated with pre- and postcourse surveys. Our revised curriculum increased students' knowledge and awareness of plant science topics, improved scientific writing, enhanced statistical knowledge, and boosted interest in conducting research. More than 300 classroom students have participated in our program, and data generated from these modules' assessment allowed faculty and students to present 28 contributed talks or posters and publish three papers in 4 yr. Future steps include analyzing the effects of repeated module exposure on student learning and creating a regional consortium to increase our project's pedagogical impact. © 2014 J. R. Ward et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2014 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http

  7. Computer Labs | College of Engineering & Applied Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engineering Concentration on Ergonomics M.S. Program in Computer Science Interdisciplinary Concentration on Structural Engineering Laboratory Water Resources Laboratory Computer Science Department Computer Science Academic Programs Computer Science Undergraduate Programs Computer Science Major Computer Science Tracks

  8. Computer Resources | College of Engineering & Applied Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engineering Concentration on Ergonomics M.S. Program in Computer Science Interdisciplinary Concentration on Structural Engineering Laboratory Water Resources Laboratory Computer Science Department Computer Science Academic Programs Computer Science Undergraduate Programs Computer Science Major Computer Science Tracks

  9. Computer Science | Classification | College of Engineering & Applied

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engineering Concentration on Ergonomics M.S. Program in Computer Science Interdisciplinary Concentration on Structural Engineering Laboratory Water Resources Laboratory Computer Science Department Computer Science Academic Programs Computer Science Undergraduate Programs Computer Science Major Computer Science Tracks

  10. A Guide to Undergraduate Science Course and Laboratory Improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Straumanis, Joan, Ed.; Watson, Robert F., Ed.

    Reported are activities carried out at colleges and universities during 1976-1980 with support from the National Science Foundation's Local Course Improvement (LOCI) and Instructional Scientific Equipment Program (ISEP). It is intended as a reference for persons interested in current course and laboratory developments in the sciences at the…

  11. Kimchi: Spicy Science for the Undergraduate Microbiology Laboratory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia A. Young

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Undergraduate microbiology courses offer a perfect opportunity to introduce students to historical food preservation processes that are still in use today. The fermentation of vegetables, as occurs in the preparation of sauerkraut and kimchi, uses an enrichment step to select for the growth of naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria (LAB.  This is an active learning exercise in which students learn a food preparation skill and basic microbiological terms such as selection and enrichment.  When performed in conjunction with cultured fermentations, such as yogurt making, students can see the difference between fermentations by naturally occurring microorganisms versus inoculated microorganisms. Additionally, this exercise introduces students to concepts of food safety, intrinsic factors influencing microbial growth such as pH, and cultural uses of fermentation to preserve locally available foods.

  12. Self Reflections of Undergraduate Students on Using Web-Supported Counterintuitive Science Demonstrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, David Devraj; Dunn, Jessica

    2018-03-01

    Analysis of self-reflections of undergraduate education students in a project involving web-supported counterintuitive science demonstrations is reported in this paper. Participating students (N = 19) taught science with counterintuitive demonstrations in local elementary school classrooms and used web-based resources accessed via wireless USB adapters. Student reflections to seven questions were analyzed qualitatively using four components of reflection (meeting objectives/perception of learning, dynamics of pedagogy, special needs accommodations, improving teaching) deriving 27 initial data categories and 12 emergent themes. Overall the undergraduates reported meeting objectives, engaging students in pedagogically relevant learning tasks including, providing accommodations to students with special needs, and gaining practice and insight to improve their own teaching. Additional research is needed to arrive at generalizable findings concerning teaching with web-supported counterintuitive science demonstrations in elementary classrooms.

  13. Undergraduate Research or Research-Based Courses: Which Is Most Beneficial for Science Students?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivares-Donoso, Ruby; González, Carlos

    2017-06-01

    Over the last 25 years, both research literature and practice-oriented reports have claimed the need for improving the quality of undergraduate science education through linking research and teaching. Two manners of doing this are reported: undergraduate research and research-based courses. Although there are studies reporting benefits of participating in these experiences, few synthesize their findings. In this article, we present a literature review aimed at synthesizing and comparing results of the impact of participating in these research experiences to establish which approach is most beneficial for students to develop as scientists. Twenty studies on student participation in undergraduate research and research-based courses were reviewed. Results show that both types of experiences have positive effects on students. These results have implications for both practice and research. Regarding practice, we propose ideas for designing and implementing experiences that combine both types of experiences. Concerning research, we identify some methodological limitations that should be addressed in further studies.

  14. The Role of Residential Communities for the Academic and Social Success of Undergraduate Women in STEM Majors: The Case of a Public University in Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuhib, Frehiwot Wondimu

    This study is an exploratory case study which explored the residential environment of an Ethiopian public university on its role for the social and academic integration of undergraduate women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields. It also explained how the social and academic integration of the women contributed for their overall college success. There were three groups of participants; undergraduate women in STEM, female resident proctors, and relevant officials from the university and the Ministry of Education of the Ethiopian government. Each of the participants were interviewed on a one-on-one basis and the interviews were transcribed and coded for the analysis. Supportive quantitative data about the enrollment, performance and retention of students were also gathered from the university's registrar office and analyzed quantitatively to support the qualitative data obtained through interviews. The study was framed by Tinto's Integration Model and data were interpreted using Third World feminist theory. The findings showed that due to the fact that all same-sex, same-major women living in the same rooms, and all who live in one dorm take similar courses throughout their program, and dormitories serving multiple roles, including being collaboration spaces, played a big role for better social and academic integration of the women. It is also found that their social and academic integration helped them to better perform in their majors by enhancing their sense of belonging in the male-dominated STEM majors, enhancing their commitment, and promoting peer encouragement. On the other hand, the findings also showed that there were some factors which have negative influence in the integration process such as negative stereotypes against the presence and good performance of women in STEM, lack of support system, and limited interaction with faculty. So, the study recommends that working on improving the negatively influencing factors will

  15. The academic majors of students taking American soil science classes: 2004-2005 to 2013-2014 academic years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brevik, Eric C.; Vaughan, Karen L.; Parikh, Sanjai J.; Dolliver, Holly; Lindbo, David; Steffan, Joshua J.; Weindorf, David; McDaniel, Paul; Mbila, Monday; Edinger-Marshall, Susan

    2017-04-01

    Many papers have been written in recent years discussing the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary aspects of soil science. Therefore, it would make sense that soil science courses would be taken by students in a wide array of academic majors. To investigate this, we collected data from eight different American universities on the declared academic majors of students enrolled in soil science courses over a 10 year time period (2004-2005 to 2013-2014 academic years). Data was collected for seven different classes taught at the undergraduate level: introduction to soil science, soil fertility, soil management, pedology, soil biology/microbiology, soil chemistry, and soil physics. Overall trends and trends for each class were evaluated. Generally, environmental science and crop science/horticulture/agronomy students were enrolled in soil science courses in the greatest numbers. Environmental science and engineering students showed rapid increases in enrollment over the 10 years of the study, while the number of crop science/ horticulture/ agronomy students declined. In the introduction to soil science classes, environmental science and crop science/ horticulture/ agronomy students were enrolled in the greatest numbers, while declared soil science majors only made up 6.6% of the average enrollment. The highest enrollments in soil fertility were crop science/ horticulture/ agronomy students and other agricultural students (all agricultural majors except crop science, horticulture, agronomy, or soil science). In both the soil management and pedology classes, environmental science and other agricultural students were the largest groups enrolled. Other agricultural students and students from other majors (all majors not otherwise expressly investigated) were the largest enrolled groups in soil biology/microbiology courses, and environmental science and soil science students were the largest enrolled groups in soil chemistry classes. Soil physics was the only class

  16. STEM for Non-STEM Majors: Enhancing Science Literacy in Large Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Guang; Bierma, Tom

    2013-01-01

    This study evaluated a strategy using "clickers," POGIL (process oriented guided inquiry learning), and a focused science literacy orientation in an applied science course for non-STEM undergraduates taught in large classes. The effectiveness of these interventions in improving the science literacy of students was evaluated using a…

  17. CDM: Teaching Discrete Mathematics to Computer Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutner, Klaus

    2005-01-01

    CDM, for computational discrete mathematics, is a course that attempts to teach a number of topics in discrete mathematics to computer science majors. The course abandons the classical definition-theorem-proof model, and instead relies heavily on computation as a source of motivation and also for experimentation and illustration. The emphasis on…

  18. Major Differences: Variations in Undergraduate and Graduate Student Mental Health and Treatment Utilization across Academic Disciplines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipson, Sarah Ketchen; Zhou, Sasha; Wagner, Blake, III; Beck, Katie; Eisenberg, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    This article explores variations in mental health and service utilization across academic disciplines using a random sample of undergraduate and graduate students (N = 64,519) at 81 colleges and universities. We report prevalence of depression, anxiety, suicidality, and self-injury, and rates of help-seeking across disciplines, including results…

  19. Correlates of Perceived Favorability of Online Courses for Quantitative versus Qualitative Undergraduate Business Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blau, Gary; Pred, Robert; Drennan, Rob B., Jr.; Kapanjie, Darin

    2016-01-01

    An online survey tested the association among background, technological, and course-related variables with perceived favorability of online courses for two independent samples of fall 2015 and spring 2016 business undergraduates taking at least one online or hybrid course. Results showed that perceived learning was a consistent positive correlate…

  20. A Framework for Teaching Social and Environmental Sustainability to Undergraduate Business Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumagim, Alan L.; Cann, Cynthia W.

    2012-01-01

    The authors outline an undergraduate exercise to help students more fully understand the environmental and social justice aspects of business sustainability activities. A simple hierarchical framework, based on Maslow's (1943) work, was utilized to help the students understand, analyze, and judge the vast amount of corporate sustainability…

  1. Promoting Information Systems Major to Undergraduate Students--A Comprehensive Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lei; Zhang, Chi; Zheng, Guangzhi

    2014-01-01

    Weak enrollment growth has been a concern for many Information Systems (IS) programs in recent years although the IT/IS job market remains strong. Stimulating undergraduate students' interest to IS programs have been a challenge. In this paper, the researchers took a comprehensive approach to study how to effectively promote a Management…

  2. Science of Food and Cooking: A Non-Science Majors Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miles, Deon T.; Bachman, Jennifer K.

    2009-01-01

    Recent emphasis on the science of food and cooking has been observed in our popular literature and media. As a result of this, a new non-science majors course, The Science of Food and Cooking, is being taught at our institution. We cover basic scientific concepts, which would normally be discussed in a typical introductory chemistry course, in the…

  3. Using Environmental Science as a Motivational Tool to Teach Physics to Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Hauke C.

    2010-01-01

    A traditional physical science course was transformed into an environmental physical science course to teach physics to non-science majors. The objective of the new course was to improve the learning of basic physics principles by applying them to current issues of interest. A new curriculum was developed with new labs, homework assignments,…

  4. Factors affecting the matriculation of African American undergraduate students in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Alfred L., II

    Previous research studies indicated that African Americans remain severely underrepresented in the field of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET), making up only 3% of that workforce, while representing 11.1% of all professional and related workers and 12.6% of the general population. As this country moves towards a more culturally diverse population, then representation of African Americans in SMET-related fields must be addressed in order to ensure our nation's competitiveness in a global market. This research study analyzed characteristics of African American undergraduate SMET majors participating in the Alliance for Minority Participation (AMP) program in six different states located in the Southeast region of the United States. These states consisted of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina. AMP program participants completed a survey questionnaire, which collected information about potential factors that could affect their matriculation in SMET programs of studies at their respective institutions. Follow-up interviews and focus group sessions were also conducted with AMP participants to provide supplemental information to the survey data. The results of student responses were analyzed according to the type of institution the students attended (Historically Black College or University and Majority White Institution) as well as by the statewide Alliance program in which the students were involved. The students responded to survey questions that asked for their reasons for majoring in their field of study, their level of satisfaction with their institution, their impressions of student support programs and persons, their impressions of faculty and advisors, their reasons for thinking of switching majors, and their level of high school preparation. Statistical analyses of the student responses found that African American AMP students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities differed from those

  5. Impact of Undergraduate Research Mentorship Affects on Student Desire, Confidence and Motivation to Continue Work in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salm, Ann E.

    2015-01-01

    The quantitative Undergraduate Research Questionnaire (URQ) is used to assess the impact of undergraduate research mentorship affects, such as informal conversations, supportive faculty and/or peer interactions, on student confidence and motivation to continue working, learning or researching in the sciences (Taraban & Logue, 2012). Research…

  6. Science as a general education: Conceptual science should constitute the compulsory core of multi-disciplinary undergraduate degrees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlton, Bruce G

    2006-01-01

    It is plausible to assume that in the future science will form the compulsory core element both of school curricula and multi-disciplinary undergraduate degrees. But for this to happen entails a shift in the emphasis and methods of science teaching, away from the traditional concern with educating specialists and professionals. Traditional science teaching was essentially vocational, designed to provide precise and comprehensive scientific knowledge for practical application. By contrast, future science teaching will be a general education, hence primarily conceptual. Its aim should be to provide an education in flexible rationality. Vocational science teaching was focused on a single-discipline undergraduate degree, but a general education in abstract systematic thinking is best inculcated by studying several scientific disciplines. In this sense, 'science' is understood as mathematics and the natural sciences, but also the abstract and systematic aspects of disciplines such as economics, linguistics, music theory, history, sociology, political science and management science. Such a wide variety of science options in a multi-disciplinary degree will increase the possibility of student motivation and aptitude. Specialist vocational science education will progressively be shifted to post-graduate level, in Masters and Doctoral programs. A multi-disciplinary and conceptually-based science core curriculum should provide an appropriate preparation for dealing with the demands of modern societies; their complex and rapidly changing social systems; and the need for individual social and professional mobility. Training in rational conceptual thinking also has potential benefits to human health and happiness, since it allows people to over-ride inappropriate instincts, integrate conflicting desires and pursue long-term goals.

  7. Persistence of deaf students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics undergraduate programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchut, Amber E.

    Diversifying the student population and workforce under science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a necessity if innovations and creativity are to expand. There has not been a lot of literature regarding Deaf students in STEM especially regarding understanding how they persist in STEM undergraduate programs to successfully become STEM Bachelor of Science degree recipients. This study addresses the literature gap by investigating six students' experiences as they navigate their STEM undergraduate programs. The investigation uses narrative inquiry methodology and grounded theory method through the lens of Critical Race Theory and Critical Deaf Theory. Using videotaped interviews and observations, their experiences are highlighted using narratives portraying them as individuals surviving in a society that tends to perceive being deaf as a deficit that needs to be treated or cured. The data analysis also resulted in a conceptual model providing a description of how they persist. The crucial aspect of the conceptual model is the participants learned how to manage being deaf in a hearing-dominated society so they can reach their aspirations. The essential blocks for the persistence and managing their identities as deaf undergraduate STEMs include working harder, relying on familial support, and affirming themselves. Through the narratives and conceptual model of the six Deaf STEM undergraduates, the goal is to contribute to literature to promote a better understanding of the persistence of Deaf students, members of a marginalized group, as they pursue their dreams.

  8. Lecturing undergraduate science in Danish and in English

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thøgersen, Jacob; Airey, John

    2011-01-01

    formal and condensed style as compared to the rhetorical style in L1. Finally, the potential consequences of these quantitative and qualitative differences for student learning are discussed. Research highlights ¿ We analyse five science lectures: three in Danish (L1) and two in English (L2). ¿ The same...

  9. Social Networking among Library and Information Science Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alakpodia, Onome Norah

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine social networking use among Library and Information Science students of the Delta State University, Abraka. In this study, students completed a questionnaire which assessed their familiarity with social networking sites, the purpose for which they use social networking site and their most preferred sites to…

  10. Transferable skills of undergraduates of sciences and arts at Taibah ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DELL

    compared Arts and Science students in these skills, there were significant ... central to occupational competence in all sectors and all levels, including project management, leadership, communication, working in teams and problem solving. ..... France has initiated various reforms, one of which established 'doctoral schools' ...

  11. Deciding on Science: An Analysis of Higher Education Science Student Major Choice Criteria

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Stephen Wilson

    The number of college students choosing to major in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the United States affects the size and quality of the American workforce (Winters, 2009). The number of graduates in these academic fields has been on the decline in the United States since the 1960s, which, according to Lips and McNeil (2009), has resulted in a diminished ability of the United States to compete in science and engineering on the world stage. The purpose of this research was to learn why students chose a STEM major and determine what decision criteria influenced this decision. According to Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behavior (TPB), the key components of decision-making can be quantified and used as predictors of behavior. In this study the STEM majors' decision criteria were compared between different institution types (two-year, public four-year, and private four-year), and between demographic groups (age and sex). Career, grade, intrinsic, self-efficacy, and self-determination were reported as motivational factors by a majority of science majors participating in this study. Few students reported being influenced by friends and family when deciding to major in science. Science students overwhelmingly attributed the desire to solve meaningful problems as central to their decision to major in science. A majority of students surveyed credited a teacher for influencing their desire to pursue science as a college major. This new information about the motivational construct of the studied group of science majors can be applied to the previously stated problem of not enough STEM majors in the American higher education system to provide workers required to fill the demand of a globally STEM-competitive United States (National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, & Institute of Medicine, 2010).

  12. [Undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the biological sciences in Chile (1985)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemeyer, H

    1986-01-01

    A study group of scientists was convened by the Sociedad de Biología de Chile (Biological Society of Chile) and the Regional Program for Graduate Training in Biological Sciences, PNUD-Unesco, RLA 78/024, to assess undergraduate and graduate studies in life sciences in Chile. The group presented this report at the 28th Annual Meeting of the Society. Discussion centered on the features that should characterize the studies leading to the academic degrees of Licenciado (Licenciate), Magíster (Master) and Doctor (Ph. D) in Sciences, and also on the qualifications that the universities should satisfy in order to grant them. After analyzing the present situation of undergraduate and graduate studies in Biological Sciences in Chilean universities, the group made the following main suggestions: 1. It is recommended that Chilean universities agree on a 4-year plan for the Licenciado degree, without the requirement of a thesis. The importance of providing the students with good laboratory exercises and field experience and with the opportunity to perform short research projects is stressed. In addition, a sound theoretical training on mathematics, physics and chemistry in the education of a modern Biologist is important. Licenciate studies ought to be the basis for professional careers and the universities should offer to the Licenciados free access to their professional schools. 2. It is considered appropriate for Chile and its universities to develop graduate programs in those disciplines that have reached a level of excellence. To accomplish this aim, adequate finance of the universities is necessary to permit them to provide the essential facilities for doing research, and to create a wide system of fellowships for graduate students. Direct government support for research and graduate student fellowships is requested. 3. Research experience of the kind needed for the preparation of a doctoral thesis is recommended as the academic level appropriate for those engaged in

  13. Development of research paper writing skills of poultry science undergraduate students studying food microbiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Z R; Donalson, L M; Kim, W K; Li, X; Zabala Díaz, I; Landers, K L; Maciorowski, K G; Ricke, S C

    2006-02-01

    Because food and poultry industries are demanding an improvement in written communication skills among graduates, research paper writing should be an integral part of a senior undergraduate class. However, scientific writing assignments are often treated as secondary to developing the technical skills of the students. Scientific research paper writing has been emphasized in an undergraduate course on advanced food microbiology taught in the Poultry Science Department at Texas A& M University (College Station, TX). Students' opinions suggest that research paper writing as part of a senior course in Poultry Science provides students with scientific communication skills and useful training for their career, but more emphasis on reading and understanding scientific literature may be required.

  14. Facilitating awareness of philosophy of science, ethics and communication through manual skills training in undergraduate education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kordahl, Hilde Lund; Fougner, Marit

    2017-03-01

    Professional health science education includes a common theoretical basis concerning the theory of science, ethics and communication. Former evaluations by first-year students of the bachelor physiotherapy program at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (HiOA) show that they find it hard to understand the relation between these particular topics and future professional practice. This challenge is the starting point for a pedagogical development project that aims to develop learning contexts that highlight the relevance of these theoretical concepts. The aim of the study is to explore and present findings on the value of using Sykegrep manual skills classes as an arena in which students can be encouraged to think about, reflect on and appreciate the role and value of the philosophical perspectives that inform their practice and contributes to practise knowledge. A qualitative study with data collection through focus groups was performed and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Eighteen first-year undergraduate students, who had completed the manual skills course, participated in the study. Analysis of the data yielded three categories of findings that can be associated with aspects of philosophy of science, ethics and communication. These are as follows: 1) preconceived understanding of physiotherapy; 2) body knowledge perspectives; and 3) relational aspects of interactions. Undergraduate students' understanding and experience of philosophy of science, ethics and communication may be facilitated by peer collaboration, reflection on intimacy and touch and the ethical aspects of interaction during manual skills training. Practical classes in Sykegrep provide a basis for students' discussions about the body as well as their experiences with the body in the collaborative learning context. The students' reflections on their expectations of manual skills in physiotherapy and experiences of touch and being touched can facilitate an awareness of

  15. Of responsible research-Exploring the science-society dialogue in undergraduate training within the life sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Maria Strecht; Quintanilha, Alexandre

    2017-01-02

    We explore the integration of societal issues in undergraduate training within the life sciences. Skills in thinking about science, scientific knowledge production and the place of science in society are crucial in the context of the idea of responsible research and innovation. This idea became institutionalized and it is currently well-present in the scientific agenda. Developing abilities in this regard seems particularly relevant to training in the life sciences, as new developments in this area somehow evoke the involvement of all of us citizens, our engagement to debate and take part in processes of change. The present analysis draws from the implementation of a curricular unit focused on science-society dialogue, an optional course included in the Biochemistry Degree study plan offered at the University of Porto. This curricular unit was designed to be mostly an exploratory activity for the students, enabling them to undertake in-depth study in areas/topics of their specific interest. Mapping topics from students' final papers provided a means of analysis and became a useful tool in the exploratory collaborative construction of the course. We discuss both the relevance and the opportunity of thinking and questioning the science-society dialogue. As part of undergraduate training, this pedagogical practice was deemed successful. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(1):46-52, 2017. © 2016 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  16. Radiochemistry course in the undergraduate nuclear science program at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarmani, S.B.; Yahaya, R.B.; Yasir, M.S.; Majid, A.Ab.; Khoo, K.S.; Rahman, I.A.; Mohamed, F.

    2015-01-01

    Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia offered an undergraduate degree program in Nuclear Science since 1980 and the programme has undergone several modifications due to changes in national policy and priority. The programme covers nuclear sub-disciplines such as nuclear physics, radiobiology, radiochemistry, radiation chemistry and radiation safety. The radiochemistry component consists of radiochemistry, chemistry in nuclear industry, radiochemical analysis laboratory, radiopharmaceutical chemistry subjects and mini research project in radiochemistry. (author)

  17. INTRODUCING SCIENCE BY DISTANCE EDUCATION TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Avila Jr.

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Exponential growing of scientific and technological knowledge of nowadayssociety demands new abilities and competences of theirs citizens. In the otherhand, the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTsand the low cost of equipments provide a new teaching strategy, namely distanceeducation, through intranet or internet. The familiarity with of scientific methodstimulates autonomy in obtaining information, critical thinking and logical analysisof data. These are useful abilities for science students as well as for commoncitizens. Aiming the development of such abilities a distance course wasdeveloped in 45 hours, using mainly forum and chat in the Claroline platform withtechnical support of the Centro Nacional de Supercomputação da UFRGS. All thestudents attending the course were from Fundação Faculdade Federal deCiências Médicas de Porto Alegre. In this course the following topics wereexplored: (1 scientific knowledge x common sense, (2 different conceptions ofscience, (3 scientific method, (4 different categories of science publications, (5principles of Logic, (6 deduction x induction (7 paper analysis simulation.Scientific project writing was taught/learned through the following items: (1 choiceof a problem, (2 bibliography revision, (3 agencies for funding, (4 projectpresentation by videoconference and (5 analysis of results.The course was evaluated by Likert-type questionnaire and the results fromstudents and teachers indicate a very successful outcome.

  18. China's rise as a major contributor to science and technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Yu; Zhang, Chunni; Lai, Qing

    2014-07-01

    In the past three decades, China has become a major contributor to science and technology. China now employs an increasingly large labor force of scientists and engineers at relatively high earnings and produces more science and engineering degrees than the United States at all levels, particularly bachelor's. China's research and development expenditure has been rising. Research output in China has been sharply increasing since 2002, making China the second largest producer of scientific papers after the United States. The quality of research by Chinese scientists has also been improving steadily. However, China's rise in science also faces serious difficulties, partly attributable to its rigid, top-down administrative system, with allegations of scientific misconduct trending upward.

  19. Earth Systems Science in an Integrated Science Content and Methods Course for Elementary Education Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, J. A.; Allen, D. E.; Donham, R. S.; Fifield, S. J.; Shipman, H. L.; Ford, D. J.; Dagher, Z. R.

    2004-12-01

    With funding from the National Science Foundation, we have designed an integrated science content and methods course for sophomore-level elementary teacher education (ETE) majors. This course, the Science Semester, is a 15-credit sequence that consists of three science content courses (Earth, Life, and Physical Science) and a science teaching methods course. The goal of this integrated science and education methods curriculum is to foster holistic understandings of science and pedagogy that future elementary teachers need to effectively use inquiry-based approaches in teaching science in their classrooms. During the Science Semester, traditional subject matter boundaries are crossed to stress shared themes that teachers must understand to teach standards-based elementary science. Exemplary approaches that support both learning science and learning how to teach science are used. In the science courses, students work collaboratively on multidisciplinary problem-based learning (PBL) activities that place science concepts in authentic contexts and build learning skills. In the methods course, students critically explore the theory and practice of elementary science teaching, drawing on their shared experiences of inquiry learning in the science courses. An earth system science approach is ideally adapted for the integrated, inquiry-based learning that takes place during the Science Semester. The PBL investigations that are the hallmark of the Science Semester provide the backdrop through which fundamental earth system interactions can be studied. For example in the PBL investigation that focuses on energy, the carbon cycle is examined as it relates to fossil fuels. In another PBL investigation centered on kids, cancer, and the environment, the hydrologic cycle with emphasis on surface runoff and ground water contamination is studied. In a PBL investigation that has students learning about the Delaware Bay ecosystem through the story of the horseshoe crab and the biome

  20. Exploration of the lived experiences of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics minority students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snead-McDaniel, Kimberly

    An expanding ethnicity gap exists in the number of students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers in the United States. The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering revealed that the number of minorities pursuing STEM degrees and careers has declined over the past few years. The specific origins of this trend are not quite evident; one variable to consider is that undergraduate minority students are failing in STEM disciplines at various levels of education from elementary to postsecondary. The failure of female and minority students to enter STEM disciplines in higher education have led various initiatives to establish programs to promote STEM disciplines among these groups. Additional funding for minority STEM programs have led to a increase in undergraduate minority students entering STEM disciplines, but the minority students' graduation rate in STEM disciplines is approximately 7% lower than the graduation of nonminority students in STEM disciplines. This phenomenological qualitative research study explores the lived experiences of underrepresented minority undergraduate college students participating in an undergraduate minority-mentoring program. The following nine themes emerged from the study: (a) competitiveness, (b) public perception, (c) dedication, (d) self-perception, (e) program activities, (f) time management, (g) exposure to career and graduate opportunities, (h) rigor in the curriculum, and (i) peer mentoring. The themes provided answers and outcomes to better support a stronger minority representation in STEM disciplines.

  1. Students' Perceptions of an Applied Research Experience in an Undergraduate Exercise Science Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Regis C; Crandall, K Jason; Dispennette, Kathryn; Maples, Jill M

    2017-01-01

    Applied research experiences can provide numerous benefits to undergraduate students, however few studies have assessed the perceptions of Exercise Science (EXS) students to an applied research experience. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to describe the rationale and implementation of an applied research experience into an EXS curriculum and 2) to evaluate EXS undergraduate students' perceptions of an applied research experience. An EXS measurement course was chosen for implementation of an applied research experience. The applied research experience required groups of students to design, implement, and evaluate a student-led research project. Fourteen questions were constructed, tailored to EXS undergraduate students, to assess students' perceptions of the experience. Qualitative analysis was used for all applicable data, with repeated trends noted; quantitative data were collapsed to determine frequencies. There was an overall positive student perception of the experience and 85.7% of students agreed an applied research experience should be continued. 84.7% of students perceived the experience as educationally enriching, while 92.8% reported the experience was academically challenging. This experience allowed students to develop comprehensive solutions to problems that arose throughout the semester; while facilitating communication, collaboration, and problem solving. Students believed research experiences were beneficial, but could be time consuming when paired with other responsibilities. Results suggest an applied research experience has the potential to help further the development of EXS undergraduate students. Understanding student perceptions of an applied research experience may prove useful to faculty interested in engaging students in the research process.

  2. Undergraduates' Attitudes Toward Science and Their Epistemological Beliefs: Positive Effects of Certainty and Authority Beliefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulmer, Gavin W.

    2014-02-01

    Attitudes toward science are an important aspect of students' persistence in school science and interest in pursuing future science careers, but students' attitudes typically decline over the course of formal schooling. This study examines relationships of students' attitudes toward science with their perceptions of science as inclusive or non-religious, and their epistemological beliefs about epistemic authority and certainty. Data were collected using an online survey system among undergraduates at a large, public US university (n = 582). Data were prepared using a Rasch rating scale model and then analyzed using multiple-regression analysis. Gender and number of science and mathematics courses were included as control variables, followed by perceptions of science, then epistemological beliefs. Findings show that respondents have more positive attitudes when they perceive science to be inclusive of women and minorities, and when they perceive science to be incompatible with religion. Respondents also have more positive attitudes toward science when they believe scientific knowledge is uncertain, and when they believe knowledge derives from authority. Interpretations of these findings and implications for future research are discussed.

  3. Information fluency for undergraduate biology majors: applications of inquiry-based learning in a developmental biology course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gehring, Kathleen M; Eastman, Deborah A

    2008-01-01

    Many initiatives for the improvement of undergraduate science education call for inquiry-based learning that emphasizes investigative projects and reading of the primary literature. These approaches give students an understanding of science as a process and help them integrate content presented in courses. At the same time, general initiatives to promote information fluency are being promoted on many college and university campuses. Information fluency refers to discipline-specific processing of information, and it involves integration of gathered information with specific ideas to form logical conclusions. We have implemented the use of inquiry-based learning to enhance and study discipline-specific information fluency skills in an upper-level undergraduate Developmental Biology course. In this study, an information literacy tutorial and a set of linked assignments using primary literature analysis were integrated with two inquiry-based laboratory research projects. Quantitative analysis of student responses suggests that the abilities of students to identify and apply valid sources of information were enhanced. Qualitative assessment revealed a set of patterns by which students gather and apply information. Self-assessment responses indicated that students recognized the impact of the assignments on their abilities to gather and apply information and that they were more confident about these abilities for future biology courses and beyond.

  4. Science during crisis: the application of social science during major environmental crises

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machlis, Gary; Ludwig, Kris; Manfredo, Michael J.; Vaske, Jerry J.; Rechkemmer, Andreas; Duke, Esther

    2014-01-01

    Historical and contemporary experience suggests that science plays an increasingly critical role in governmental and institutional responses to major environmental crises. Recent examples include major western wildfires (2009), the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (2010), the Fukushima nuclear accident (2011), and Hurricane Sandy (2012). The application of science during such crises has several distinctive characteristics, as well as essential requirements if it is to be useful to decision makers. these include scope conditions that include coupled natural/human systems, clear statement of uncertainties and limitations, description of cascading consequences, accurate sense of place, estimates of magnitude of impacts, identification of beneficiaries and those adversely affected, clarity and conciseness, compelling visualization and presentation, capacity to speak "truth to power", and direct access to decision makers. In this chapter, we explore the role and significance of science – including all relevant disciplines and focusing attention on the social sciences – in responding to major environmental crises. We explore several important questions: How is science during crisis distinctive? What social science is most useful during crises? What distinctive characteristics are necessary for social science to make meaningful contributions to emergency response and recovery? How might the social sciences be integrated into the strategic science needed to respond to future crises? The authors, both members of the Department of the Interior's innovative Strategic Sciences Group, describe broad principles of engagement as well as specific examples drawn from history, contemporary efforts (such as during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill), and predictions of environmental crises still to be confronted.

  5. Introducing Taiwanese undergraduate students to the nature of science through Nobel Prize stories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haim Eshach

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Although there is a broad agreement among scientists and science educators that students should not only learn science, but also acquire some sense of its nature, it has been reported that undergraduate students possess an inadequate grasp of the nature of science (NOS. The study presented here examined the potential and effectiveness of Nobel Prize stories as a vehicle for teaching NOS. For this purpose, a 36-hour course, “Albert Einstein’s Nobel Prize and the Nature of Science,” was developed and conducted in Taiwan Normal University. Ten undergraduate physics students participated in the course. Analysis of the Views of Nature of Science questionnaires completed by the students before and after the course, as well as the students’ own presentations of Nobel Prize stories (with an emphasis on how NOS characteristics are reflected in the story, showed that the students who participated in the course enriched their views concerning all aspects of NOS. The paper concludes with some suggestions for applying the novel idea of using Nobel Prize stories in physics classrooms.

  6. Science of health care delivery milestones for undergraduate medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Havyer, Rachel D; Norby, Suzanne M; Leep Hunderfund, Andrea N; Starr, Stephanie R; Lang, Tara R; Wolanskyj, Alexandra P; Reed, Darcy A

    2017-08-25

    The changing healthcare landscape requires physicians to develop new knowledge and skills such as high-value care, systems improvement, population health, and team-based care, which together may be referred to as the Science of Health Care Delivery (SHCD). To engender public trust and confidence, educators must be able to meaningfully assess physicians' abilities in SHCD. We aimed to develop a novel set of SHCD milestones based on published Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) milestones that can be used by medical schools to assess medical students' competence in SHCD. We reviewed all ACGME milestones for 25 specialties available in September 2013. We used an iterative, qualitative process to group the ACGME milestones into SHCD content domains, from which SHCD milestones were derived. The SHCD milestones were categorized within the current ACGME core competencies and were also mapped to Association of American Medical Colleges' Entrustable Professional Activities (AAMC EPAs). Fifteen SHCD sub-competencies and corresponding milestones are provided, grouped within ACGME core competencies and mapped to multiple AAMC EPAs. This novel set of milestones, grounded within the existing ACGME competencies, defines fundamental expectations within SHCD that can be used and adapted by medical schools in the assessment of medical students in this emerging curricular area. These milestones provide a blueprint for SHCD content and assessment as ongoing revisions to milestones and curricula occur.

  7. Adherence and perceptions regarding simulation training in undergraduate health Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Perpétuo Elias

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Simulation techniques are spreading rapidly in medicine. Suc h resources are increasingly concentrated in Simulation Laboratories. The MSRP-USP is structuring such a laboratory and is interested in the prevalence of individual initiatives that could be centralized there. The MSRP-USP currently has five full-curriculum courses in the health sciences: Medicine, Speech Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nutrition, and Occupational Therapy, all consisting of core disciplines. GOAL: To determine the prevalence of simulation techniques in the regular courses at MSRP-USP. METHODS: Coordinators of disciplines in the various courses were interviewed using a specifically designed semi-structured questionnaire, and all the collected data were stored in a dedicated database. The disciplines were grouped according to whether they used (GI or did not use (GII simulation resources. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: 256 disciplines were analyzed, of which only 18.3% used simulation techniques, varying according to course: Medicine (24.7.3%, Occupational Therapy (23.0%, Nutrition (15.9%, Physical Therapy (9.8%, and Speech Therapy (9.1%. Computer simulation programs predominated (42.5% in all five courses. The resources were provided mainly by MSRP-USP (56.3%, with additional funding coming from other sources based on individual initiatives. The same pattern was observed for maintenance. There was great interest in centralizing the resources in the new Simulation Laboratory in order to facilitate maintenance, but there was concern about training and access to the material. CONCLUSIONS: 1 The MSRP-USP simulation resources show low complexity and are mainly limited to computer programs; 2 Use of simulation varies according to course, and is most prevalent in Medicine; 3 Resources are scattered across several locations, and their acquisition and maintenance depend on individual initiatives rather than central coordination or curricular guidelines

  8. Clinical medical sciences for undergraduate dental students in the United Kingdom and Ireland - a curriculum.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Mighell, A J

    2011-08-01

    The technical aspects of dentistry need to be practised with insight into the spectrum of human diseases and illnesses and how these impact upon individuals and society. Application of this insight is critical to decision-making related to the planning and delivery of safe and appropriate patient-centred healthcare tailored to the needs of the individual. Provision for the necessary training is included in undergraduate programmes, but in the United Kingdom and Ireland there is considerable variation between centres without common outcomes. In 2009 representatives from 17 undergraduate dental schools in the United Kingdom and Ireland agreed to move towards a common, shared approach to meet their own immediate needs and that might also be of value to others in keeping with the Bologna Process. To provide a clear identity the term \\'Clinical Medical Sciences in Dentistry\\' was agreed in preference to other names such as \\'Human Disease\\' or \\'Medicine and Surgery\\'. The group was challenged to define consensus outcomes. Contemporary dental education documents informed, but did not drive the process. The consensus curriculum for undergraduate Clinical Medical Sciences in Dentistry teaching agreed by the participating centres is reported. Many of the issues are generic and it includes elements that are likely to be applicable to others. This document will act as a focus for a more unified approach to the outcomes required by graduates of the participating centres and act as a catalyst for future developments that ultimately aim to enhance the quality of patient care.

  9. Science and the Nonscience Major: Addressing the Fear Factor in the Chemical Arena Using Forensic Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labianca, Dominick A.

    2007-01-01

    This article describes an approach to minimizing the "fear factor" in a chemistry course for the nonscience major, and also addresses relevant applications to other science courses, including biology, geology, and physics. The approach emphasizes forensic science and affords students the opportunity to hone their analytical skills in an…

  10. Benefits and Limitations of Online Instruction in Natural Science Undergraduate Liberal Arts Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liddicoat, Joseph; Roberts, Godfrey; Liddicoat, Kendra; Porzecanski, Ana Luz; Mendez, Martin; McMullen, David

    2013-04-01

    Online courses in the Natural Sciences are taught three ways at New York University to undergraduate students majoring in the liberal arts and professional programs - synchronous courses in which students communicate online with the instructor and classmates in real time, asynchronous courses when faculty present course material for students to access and learn at their leisure, and hybrid or blended courses when part is taught asynchronously and part is taught face-to-face in a classroom with all students present. We have done online courses each way - Global Ecology (synchronous); Stars, Planets, and Life (synchronous and asynchronous); Darwin to DNA: An Overview of Evolution (asynchronous); Biodiversity Conservation (asynchronous); and Biology of Hunger and Population (blended). We will present the advantages and challenges we experienced teaching courses online in this fashion. Besides the advantages listed in the description for this session, another can be programmed learning that allows a set of sequential steps or a more complex branching of steps that allows students to repeat lessons multiple times to master the material. And from an academic standpoint, course content and assessment can be standardized, making it possible for each student to learn the same material. Challenges include resistance to online learning by a host of stakeholders who might be educators, students, parents, and the community. Equally challenging might be the readiness of instructors and students to teach and learn online. Student integrity issues such as plagiarism and cheating are a concern in a course taught online (Thormann and Zimmerman, 2012), so we will discuss our strategies to mitigate them.

  11. Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Pathways into Geoscience (IUSE: GEOPATHS) - A National Science Foundation Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B.; Patino, L. C.

    2016-12-01

    Preparation of the future professional geoscience workforce includes increasing numbers as well as providing adequate education, exposure and training for undergraduates once they enter geoscience pathways. It is important to consider potential career trajectories for geoscience students, as these inform the types of education and skill-learning required. Recent reports have highlighted that critical thinking and problem-solving skills, spatial and temporal abilities, strong quantitative skills, and the ability to work in teams are among the priorities for many geoscience work environments. The increasing focus of geoscience work on societal issues (e.g., climate change impacts) opens the door to engaging a diverse population of students. In light of this, one challenge is to find effective strategies for "opening the world of possibilities" in the geosciences for these students and supporting them at the critical junctures where they might choose an alternative pathway to geosciences or otherwise leave altogether. To address these and related matters, The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) has supported two rounds of the IUSE: GEOPATHS Program, to create and support innovative and inclusive projects to build the future geoscience workforce. This program is one component in NSF's Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) initiative, which is a comprehensive, Foundation-wide effort to accelerate the quality and effectiveness of the education of undergraduates in all of the STEM fields. The two tracks of IUSE: GEOPATHS (EXTRA and IMPACT) seek to broaden and strengthen connections and activities that will engage and retain undergraduate students in geoscience education and career pathways, and help prepare them for a variety of careers. The long-term goal of this program is to dramatically increase the number and diversity of students earning undergraduate degrees or enrolling in graduate programs in geoscience fields, as well as

  12. The Effects of Case-Based Instruction on Undergraduate Biology Students' Understanding of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burniston, Amy Lucinda

    Undergraduate science education is currently seeing a dramatic pedagogical push towards teaching the philosophies underpinning science as well as an increase in strategies that employ active learning. Many active learning strategies stem from constructivist ideals and have been shown to affect a student's understanding of how science operates and its impact on society- commonly referred to as the nature of science (NOS). One particular constructivist teaching strategy, case-based instruction (CBI), has been recommended by researchers and science education reformists as an effective instructional strategy for teaching NOS. Furthermore, when coupled with explicit-reflective instruction, CBI has been found to significantly increasing understanding of NOS in elementary and secondary students. However, few studies aimed their research on CBI and NOS towards higher education. Thus, this study uses a quasi-experimental, nonequivalent group design to study the effects of CBI on undergraduate science students understandings of NOS. Undergraduate biology student's understanding of NOS were assessed using the Views of Science Education (VOSE) instrument pre and post CBI intervention in Cellular and Molecular Biology and Human Anatomy and Physiology II. Data analysis indicated statistically significant differences between students NOS scores in experimental versus control sections for both courses, with experimental groups obtaining higher posttest scores. The results of this study indicate that undergraduate male and female students have similarly poor understandings of NOS and the use of historical case based instruction can be used as a means to increase undergraduate understanding of NOS.

  13. Psychological Distress and Sources of Stressors amongst Medical and Science Undergraduate Students in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali S Radeef

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study aims to compare the prevalence of psychological distress between medical and science undergraduate students and to assess the sources of stressors that are attributing to it. Methods: A sample of 697 undergraduate students participated in this study, in which 501 were medical students and the remaining 196 were Science students. Psychological distress was assessed using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire. The students were given a list of possible sources of stress which were chosen depending on previous studies. Results: The overall prevalence of psychological distress was 32.6%. Science students showed a significantly higher rate and mean score of psychological distress than medical students, and the mean score was significantly higher during the clinical phase rather than the pre-clinical phase in medical students. Overall, female students had a significantly higher mean score than males, however although the mean score was higher in females it was only significant in the pre-clinical phase. In addition to academic and psychological stressors, factors such as reduced holidays, lack of time for relaxation, and limitation of leisure/entertainment time were among the top ten stressors reported by the students. Conclusions: Psychological distress is common among university students, and it is higher among science students than medical students. Academic and psychological factors can be considered as sources of stressors which may precipitate psychological distress among college students.

  14. Collaborative, Early-undergraduate-focused REU Programs at Savannah State University have been Vital to Growing a Demographically Diverse Ocean Science Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilligan, M. R.; Cox, T. M.; Hintz, C. J.

    2011-12-01

    Formal support for undergraduates to participate in marine/ocean science research at Savannah State University (SSU), a historically-Black unit of the University System of Georgia, began in 1989 with funding from the National Science Foundation for an unsolicited proposal (OCE-8919102, 34,935). Today SSU, which has offered B.S degrees since 1979 and M.S. degrees since 2001 in Marine Sciences, is making major contributions nationally to demographic diversity in ocean sciences. 33% of Master's degrees in marine/ocean sciences earned by African Americans in the U.S. from 2004-2007 were earned at SSU. 10% of African American Master's and Doctoral students in marine/ ocean sciences in 2007 were either enrolled in the Master's program at SSU or were former SSU students enrolled in Doctoral programs elsewhere. Collaborative REU programs that focus on early (freshman and sophomore) undergraduate students have been a consistent and vital part of that success. In the most recent iteration of our summer REU program we used six of the best practices outlined in the literature to increase success and retention of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields: early intervention, strong mentoring, research experience, career counseling, financial support, workshops and seminars. The early intervention with strong mentoring has proven successful in several metrics: retention in STEM majors (96%), progression to graduate school (50%), and continuation to later research experiences (75%). Research mentors include faculty at staff at SSU, the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary and Georgia Tech-Savannah. Formal collaborative and cooperative agreements, externally-funded grants, and contracts in support of student research training have proven to be critical in providing resources for growth and improvement marine science curricular options at the University. Since 1981 the program has had four formal partnerships and 36 funded grant awards

  15. Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons): Undergraduate Education Through Interdisciplinary, Team-Based, Real-World Problem Solving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuominen, Mark

    2013-03-01

    Attitude, Skills, Knowledge (ASK) - In this order, these are fundamental characteristics of scientific innovators. Through first-hand practice in using science to unpack and solve complex real-world problems, students can become self-motivated scientific leaders. This presentation describes the pedagogy of a recently developed interdisciplinary undergraduate science education program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst focused on addressing global challenges with scientific solutions. Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) is an overarching concentration program that supplements the curricula provided within each student's chosen major. iCons is a platform for students to perform student-led research in interdisciplinary collaborative teams. With a schedule of one course per year over four years, the cohort of students move through case studies, analysis of real-world problems, development of potential solutions, integrative communication, laboratory practice, and capstone research projects. In this presentation, a track emphasizing renewable energy science is used to illustrate the iCons pedagogical methods. This includes discussion of a third-year laboratory course in renewable energy that is educationally scaffolded: beginning with a boot camp in laboratory techniques and culminating with student-designed research projects. Among other objectives, this course emphasizes the practice of using reflection and redesign, as a means of generating better solutions and embedding learning for the long term. This work is supported in part by NSF grant DUE-1140805.

  16. A behavioral science/behavioral medicine core curriculum proposal for Japanese undergraduate medical education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsumi, Akizumi

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral science and behavioral medicine have not been systematically taught to Japanese undergraduate medical students. A working group under the auspices of Japanese Society of Behavioral Medicine developed an outcome-oriented curriculum of behavioral science/behavioral medicine through three processes: identifying the curriculum contents, holding a joint symposium with related societies, and defining outcomes and proposing a learning module. The behavioral science/behavioral medicine core curriculum consists of 11 units of lectures and four units of practical study. The working group plans to improve the current core curriculum by devising formative assessment methods so that students can learn and acquire attitude as well as the skills and knowledge necessary for student-centered clinical practice.

  17. Going from lectures to expeditions: Creating a virtual voyage in undergraduate ocean science education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, D.; Garfield, N.; Locke, J.; Anglin, J.; Karl, H.; Edwards, B.

    2003-04-01

    The WWW provides for new collaborations in distributed learning in higher education. The lead author has developed a highly successful online course at the undergraduate level with an enrollment of more than 300 non-science majors each year, We are currently initiating a new focus for the course by emphasizing sea-going research, primarily in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, through the development of a virtual oceanographic voyage over the WWW. The "virtual voyage" courseware combines elements of experiential learning with anytime, anywhere access of the WWW to stimulate inquiry-based learning in the ocean sciences. The first leg of the voyage is currently being synthesized from contemporary ocean research sponsored by a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, including NSF, NOAA, and the USGS. The initial portion of this effort involves transforming portions of USGS Circular 1198, Beyond the Golden Gate -- Oceanography, Geology, Biology, and Environmental Issues in the Gulf of the Farallones, into an interactive expedition by which students participate as scientists aboard a research vessel departing from San Francisco. Virtual experiments on the voyage are patterned after research cruises over the past decade in two national marine sanctuaries and include the technologies of data acquisition and data analysis, as well as providing insight into the methodologies of working marine scientists. Real-time data for monitoring the marine environment are embedded into several modules; for example, students will analyze data from offshore buoys and satellite imagery to assess ocean conditions prior to departing from port. Multibeam sonar is used to create seafloor maps near the Golden Gate Bridge and sediment cores provide evidence of sea-level change in the region. Environmental studies in the region include locating canisters of low-level radioactive waste and assessing potential sites for the disposal for dredged materials from the San Francisco Bay. Upon completion

  18. Conceptions of the Nature of Science Held by Undergraduate Pre-Service Biology Teachers in South-West Nigeria

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adedoyin, A. O.; Bello, G.

    2017-01-01

    This study investigated the conceptions of the nature of science held by pre-service undergraduate biology teachers in South-West, Nigeria. Specifically, the study examined the influence of their gender on their conceptions of the nature of science. The study was a descriptive research of the survey method. The population for the study comprised…

  19. Women, Men, and Academic Performance in Science and Engineering: The Gender Difference in Undergraduate Grade Point Averages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnert, Gerhard; Fox, Mary Frank

    2012-01-01

    Using longitudinal and multi-institutional data, this article takes an innovative approach in its analyses of gender differences in grade point averages (GPA) among undergraduate students in biology, the physical sciences, and engineering over a 16-year period. Assessed are hypotheses about (a) the gender ecology of science/engineering and (b) the…

  20. A flexible e-learning resource promoting the critical reading of scientific papers for science undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letchford, Julie; Corradi, Hazel; Day, Trevor

    2017-11-01

    An important aim of undergraduate science education is to develop student skills in reading and evaluating research papers. We have designed, developed, and implemented an on-line interactive resource entitled "Evaluating Scientific Research literature" (ESRL) aimed at students from the first 2 years of the undergraduate program. In this article, we describe the resource, then use student data collected from questionnaire surveys to evaluate the resource within 2 years of its launch. Our results add to those reported previously and indicate that ESRL can enable students to start evaluating research articles when used during their undergraduate program. We conclude maximal learning is likely to occur when the resource can be embedded in the curriculum such that students have a clearly articulated context for the resource's activities, can see their relevance in relation to assessed assignments and can be encouraged to think deeply about the activities in conversation with one another and/or with staff. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(6):483-490, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  1. Insights for undergraduates seeking an advanced degree in wildlife and fisheries sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaemingk, Mark A.; Dembkowski, Daniel J.; Meyer, Hilary A.; Gigliotti, Larry M.

    2013-01-01

    In today's job market, having a successful career in the fisheries and wildlife sciences is becoming more dependent on obtaining an advanced degree. As a result, competition for getting accepted into a graduate program is fierce. Our objective for this study was to provide prospective graduate students some insights as to what qualifications or attributes would best prepare them for obtaining a graduate position (M.S.) and to excel once they are enrolled in a graduate program. A survey was sent to 50 universities within the National Association of University Fisheries and Wildlife Programs (NAUFWP) where both faculty and undergraduate students were asked questions relating to graduate school. Faculty rated the importance of various criteria and attributes of graduate school, and students answered the questions according to how they believed faculty members would respond. Overall, undergraduate students shared many of the same graduate school viewpoints as those held by faculty members. However, viewpoints differed on some topics related to admittance and the most important accomplishment of a graduate student while enrolled in a graduate program. These results indicate that undergraduate students may be better prepared for graduate school—and they may understand how to be successful once they are enrolled in a program—than was initially thought.

  2. Undergraduate Research Involving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students in Interdisciplinary Science Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Todd Pagano

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Scientific undergraduate research in higher education often yields positive outcomes for student and faculty member participants alike, with underrepresented students often showing even more substantial gains (academic, professional, and personal as a result of the experience. Significant success can be realized when involving deaf and hard-of-hearing (d/hh undergraduate students, who are also vastly underrepresented in the sciences, in interdisciplinary research projects. Even d/hh Associate degree level students and those in the first two years of their postsecondary careers can contribute to, and benefit from, the research process when faculty mentors properly plan/design projects. We discuss strategies, including the dissemination/communication of research results, for involving these students in research groups with different communication dynamics and share both findings of our research program and examples of successful chemical and biological research projects that have involved d/hh undergraduate students. We hope to stimulate a renewed interest in encouraging diversity and involving students with disabilities into higher education research experiences globally and across multiple scientific disciplines, thus strengthening the education and career pipeline of these students.

  3. Astrology Beliefs among Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugarman, Hannah; Impey, Chris; Buxner, Sanlyn; Antonellis, Jessie

    2011-01-01

    A survey of the science knowledge and attitudes toward science of nearly 10000 undergraduates at a large public university over a 20-year period included several questions addressing student beliefs in astrology and other forms of pseudoscience. The results from our data reveal that a large majority of students (78%) considered astrology "very" or…

  4. The quadruple bottom line: the advantages of incorporating Green Chemistry into the undergraduate chemistry major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodner, George M.

    2017-08-01

    When the author first became involved with the Green Chemistry movement, he noted that his colleagues in industry who were involved in one of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute® industrial roundtables emphasized the take-home message they described as the "triple bottom line." They noted that introducing Green Chemistry in industrial settings had economic, social, and environmental benefits. As someone who first went to school at age 5, and has been "going to school" most days for 65 years, it was easy for the author to see why introducing Green Chemistry into academics had similar beneficial effects within the context of economic, social and environmental domains at the college/university level. He was prepared to understand why faculty who had taught traditional courses often saw the advantage of incorporating Green Chemistry into the courses they teach. What was not as obvious is why students who were encountering chemistry for the first time were often equally passionate about the Green Chemistry movement. Recent attention has been paid, however, to a model that brings clarity to the hitherto vague term of "relevance" that might explain why integrating Green Chemistry into the undergraduate chemistry classroom can achieve a "quadruple bottom-line" for students because of potentially positive effects of adding a domain of "relevance" to the existing economic, social, and environmental domains.

  5. Analytical Study of Self-Motivations among a Southwest Public University Nonpolitical Science Major Students in Required Political Science Courses

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    Gasim, Gamal; Stevens, Tara; Zebidi, Amira

    2012-01-01

    All undergraduate students are required by state law to take six credited hours in political science. This study will help us identify if differences exist in self-determination among students enrolled in American Public Policy and American Government at a large, Southwestern public university. Because some types of motivation are associated with…

  6. Citizen Science: The Small World Initiative Improved Lecture Grades and California Critical Thinking Skills Test Scores of Nonscience Major Students at Florida Atlantic University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caruso, Joseph P; Israel, Natalie; Rowland, Kimberly; Lovelace, Matthew J; Saunders, Mary Jane

    2016-03-01

    Course-based undergraduate research is known to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics student achievement. We tested "The Small World Initiative, a Citizen-Science Project to Crowdsource Novel Antibiotic Discovery" to see if it also improved student performance and the critical thinking of non-science majors in Introductory Biology at Florida Atlantic University (a large, public, minority-dominant institution) in academic year 2014-15. California Critical Thinking Skills Test pre- and posttests were offered to both Small World Initiative (SWI) and control lab students for formative amounts of extra credit. SWI lab students earned significantly higher lecture grades than control lab students, had significantly fewer lecture grades of D+ or lower, and had significantly higher critical thinking posttest total scores than control students. Lastly, more SWI students were engaged while taking critical thinking tests. These results support the hypothesis that utilizing independent course-based undergraduate science research improves student achievement even in nonscience students.

  7. Understanding the Changing Dynamics of the Gender Gap in Undergraduate Engineering Majors: 1971-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sax, Linda J.; Kanny, M. Allison; Jacobs, Jerry A.; Whang, Hannah; Weintraub, Dayna S.; Hroch, Amber

    2016-01-01

    In this paper we examine the level and determinants of entering college students' plans to major in engineering. While the overall level of interest in engineering has fluctuated between 1971 and 2011, a very large gender gap in freshman interest remains. We find that the percent of first-year women who plan to major in engineering is roughly the…

  8. Geography, Resources, and Environment of Latin America: An Undergraduate Science Course focused on Attracting Hispanic students to Science and on Educating Non-Hispanics about Latin America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pujana, I.; Stern, R. J.; Ledbetter, C. E.

    2004-12-01

    With NSF-CCLI funding, we have developed, taught, and evaluated a new lower-division science course for non-majors, entitled "Geography, Resources, and Environment of Hispanic America" (GRELA). This is an adaptation of a similar course, "Geology and Development of Modern Africa" developed by Barbara Tewksbury (Hamilton College), to attract African American students to science by highlighting cultural ties with their ancestral lands. We think that a similar approach focusing on Latin America may attract Hispanic undergraduates, at the same time that it increases awareness among non-Hispanic students about challenges facing our neighbors to the south. GRELA is an interdisciplinary exploration of how the physical and biological environment of Mexico, Central America, and South America have influenced the people who live there. The course consists of 20 lectures and requires the student to present a report partnering with correspondents in Latin American universities. GRELA begins with an overview of Latin American physical and cultural geography and geologic evolution followed by a series of modules that relate the natural resources and environment of Latin America to the history, economy, and culture of the region. This is followed by an exploration of pre-Columbian cultures. The use of metals by pre-Columbian, colonial, and modern cultures is presented next. We then discuss hydrocarbon resources, geothermal energy, and natural hazards of volcanoes and earthquakes. The last half of the course focuses on Earth System Science themes, including El Nino, glaciers, the Amazon river and rainforest, and coral reefs. The final presentation concerns population growth and water resources along the US-Mexico border. Grades are based on two midterms, one final, and a project which requires that groups of students communicate with scientists in Latin America to explore some aspect of geography, natural resources, or the environment of a Latin American region of common interest

  9. A motivational account of the undergraduate experience in science: brief measures of students' self-system appraisals, engagement in coursework, and identity as a scientist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skinner, Ellen; Saxton, Emily; Currie, Cailin; Shusterman, Gwen

    2017-11-01

    As part of long-standing efforts to promote undergraduates' success in science, researchers have investigated the instructional strategies and motivational factors that promote student learning and persistence in science coursework and majors. This study aimed to create a set of brief measures that educators and researchers can use as tools to examine the undergraduate motivational experience in science classes. To identify key motivational processes, we drew on self-determination theory (SDT), which holds that students have fundamental needs - to feel competent, related, and autonomous - that fuel their intrinsic motivation. When educational experiences meet these needs, students engage more energetically and learn more, cumulatively contributing to a positive identity as a scientist. Based on information provided by 1013 students from 8 classes in biology, chemistry, and physics, we constructed conceptually focused and psychometrically sound survey measures of three sets of motivational factors: (1) students' appraisals of their own competence, autonomy, and relatedness; (2) the quality of students' behavioural and emotional engagement in academic work; and (3) students' emerging identities as scientists, including their science identity, purpose in science, and science career plans. Using an iterative confirmatory process, we tested short item sets for unidimensionality and internal consistency, and then cross-validated them. Tests of measurement invariance showed that scales were generally comparable across disciplines. Most importantly, scales and final course grades showed correlations consistent with predictions from SDT. These measures may provide a window on the student motivational experience for educators, researchers, and interventionists who aim to improve the quality of undergraduate science teaching and learning.

  10. Differences between Lab Completion and Non-Completion on Student Performance in an Online Undergraduate Environmental Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsi, Gianluca

    2011-12-01

    Web-based technology has revolutionized the way education is delivered. Although the advantages of online learning appeal to large numbers of students, some concerns arise. One major concern in online science education is the value that participation in labs has on student performance. The purpose of this study was to assess the relationships between lab completion and student academic success as measured by test grades, scientific self-confidence, scientific skills, and concept mastery. A random sample of 114 volunteer undergraduate students, from an online Environmental Science program at the American Public University System, was tested. The study followed a quantitative, non-experimental research design. Paired sample t-tests were used for statistical comparison between pre-lab and post-lab test grades, two scientific skills quizzes, and two scientific self-confidence surveys administered at the beginning and at the end of the course. The results of the paired sample t-tests revealed statistically significant improvements on all post-lab test scores: Air Pollution lab, t(112) = 6.759, p virtual reality platforms and digital animations. Future research is encouraged to investigate possible correlations between socio-demographic attributes and academic success of students enrolled in online science programs in reference to lab completion.

  11. A quantitative analysis of factors that influence and predict students' intention to major in and complete an undergraduate program in STEM or non-STEM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xuemei

    2005-11-01

    The goal of this study was to explore and understand the factors that influence students' intention to major in and complete an undergraduate program in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline, in a non-STEM field, and how students' gender directly and indirectly affects their success in college. A quantitative study of three thousand four (3004) ACT-tested students who entered a Midwestern, land-grant university as freshmen in fall, 1999 was conducted based on their ACT Assessment information and their enrollment and graduation status after five years. A wide variety of variables were considered and logistic regression, factor analysis, and path analysis were used to analyze the data. The results show that students who intended to major in or completed STEM programs generally have better academic qualifications than their counterparts who intended to major in non-STEM fields. Students who intended to major in or completed STEM programs came from lower income families and smaller communities than those who intended to major in or graduated from non-STEM programs. In this study, gender's direct effect on students' college achievement is eleven times the total of gender's indirect effects through several major factors for students in both STEM fields and non-STEM fields. Perhaps nature has favored females when students' achievement is measured as their college GPA. The results also show that the overall high dropout rate is strongly associated with students' inadequate preparation in high school and family income. Out-of-school accomplishment in community service is a negative influence on their completion of a college degree. ACT scores are not necessary for prediction of college graduation.

  12. Rebuilding the foundations: major renovations to the mental health component of an undergraduate nursing curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spence, Deborah; Garrick, Helen; McKay, Marie

    2012-10-01

    Concerns relating to the adequacy of nurses' preparation for the care of people with mental illness prompted significant revision of the mental health component in a Bachelor of Health Science nursing programme in New Zealand that prepares approximately 200 students per year. Working collaboratively with clinical providers, university staff developed and introduced three courses (equivalent to 450 hours of learning) specifically focused on mental health science, inpatient practice, and primary community mental health practice. This paper provides an overview of the new courses and reports the findings of an appreciative inquiry evaluation of this curriculum innovation. © 2012 The Authors. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing © 2012 Australian College of Mental Health Nurses Inc.

  13. Comparing the Impact of an Astronomy Course and a Science and Society Seminar on Undergraduate Students' Attitudes toward Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flohic, Hélène M. L. G.

    2017-01-01

    A common challenge among university professors is how to best design undergraduate courses to successfully enhance students' attitudes. To compare which curriculum was more efficient at fostering a positive attitude towards science in general, I studied the impact of two different general education science courses on the attitudes of college…

  14. Perceptions on the importance of gerontological education by teachers and students of undergraduate health sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Correa-Muñoz Elsa

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The main challenge of higher education institutions throughout the world is to develop professionals capable of understanding and responding to the current social priorities of our countries. Given the utmost importance of addressing the complex needs of an increasingly elderly population in Mexico, the National Autonomous University of Mexico has systematically incorporated modules dealing with primary gerontological health care into several of its undergraduate programs in health sciences. The objective of this study was to analyze teacher's and student's perceptions about the current educational practices on gerontology. Methods A cross-sectional study was carried out with a sample of 26 teachers and 122 undergraduate students. Subjects were administered interviews and responded survey instrument. Results A vast proportion of the teachers (42% reported students' attitudes towards their academic training as the most important factor affecting learning in the field of gerontology, whereas students reported that the main problems of education in gerontology were theoretical (32% and methodological (28%. In addition, 41% of students considered education on ageing matters as an essential element for their professional development, as compared to 19% of teachers (p Conclusion Our findings suggest that the teachers' perceptions about the low importance of education on ageing matters for the professional practice of health sciences could be a negative factor for gerontology teaching.

  15. Source of stressors and emotional disturbances among undergraduate science students in Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Sabri Radeef, Ghasak Ghazi Faisal, Syed Masroor Ali, MaungKoHajee Mohamed Ismail

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Higher education is considered as a stressful period in students’ life which they have to cope with since they are facing a variety of demands such as living away from their families, a heavily loaded curriculum, and inefficiency in both mentor- mentee and health education programs. This will make them more vulnerable to emotional disturbances such as stress, anxiety and depression. Methodology: A total of 194 undergraduate students from Kulliyyah (Faculty of Science, International Islamic University Malaysia participated in questionnaire-based study using the Depression Anxiety, Stress Scale (DASS-21 to assess the severity of emotional disturbances Results: The overall prevalence of depression, anxiety and stress was 64.4%, 84.5% and 56.7% respectively. Regarding the severity of the symptoms, it was found that 13.9%, 51.5 % and 12.9% of the students have clinically significant depression, anxiety and stress respectively. Young students aged 21 years and below had a statistically significant association with depression, anxiety and stress. While first year students had significant association with depression. Regarding the source of stressors, the top ten stressors decided by the students were mainly academic and personal factors. Conclusion: Emotional disturbances in the form of depression, anxiety and stress are existing in high rate among undergraduate science students that require early intervention. Factors including feeling of incompetence, lack of motivation to learn and difficulty of class work can be considered as source of stressors that may precipitate for depression anxiety and stress.

  16. Student and Faculty Outcomes of Undergraduate Science Research Projects by Geographically Dispersed Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawton Shaw

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Senior undergraduate research projects are important components of most undergraduate science degrees. The delivery of such projects in a distance education format is challenging. Athabasca University (AU science project courses allow distance education students to complete research project courses by working with research supervisors in their local area, coordinated at a distance by AU faculty. This paper presents demographics and course performance for 155 students over five years. Pass rates were similar to other distance education courses. Research students were surveyed by questionnaire, and external supervisors and AU faculty were interviewed, to examine the outcomes of these project courses for each group. Students reported high levels of satisfaction with the course, local supervisors, and faculty coordinators. Students also reported that the experience increased their interest in research, and the probability that they would pursue graduate or additional certification. Local supervisors and faculty affirmed that the purposes of project courses are to introduce the student to research, provide opportunity for students to use their cumulative knowledge, develop cognitive abilities, and independent thinking. The advantages and challenges associated with this course model are discussed.

  17. Successful implementation of inquiry-based physiology laboratories in undergraduate major and nonmajor courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casotti, G; Rieser-Danner, L; Knabb, M T

    2008-12-01

    Recent evidence has demonstrated that inquiry-based physiology laboratories improve students' critical- and analytical-thinking skills. We implemented inquiry-based learning into three physiology courses: Comparative Vertebrate Physiology (majors), Human Physiology (majors), and Human Anatomy and Physiology (nonmajors). The aims of our curricular modifications were to improve the teaching of physiological concepts, teach students the scientific approach, and promote creative and critical thinking. We assessed our modifications using formative (laboratory exams, oral presentations, and laboratory reports) and summative evaluations (surveys, laboratory notebook, and an end of semester project). Students appreciated the freedom offered by the new curriculum and the opportunity to engage in the inquiry process. Results from both forms of evaluation showed a marked improvement due to the curricular revisions. Our analyses indicate an increased confidence in students' ability to formulate questions and hypotheses, design experiments, collect and analyze data, and make conclusions. Thus, we have successfully incorporated inquiry-based laboratories in both major and nonmajor courses.

  18. Engaging Non-Science Majors Through Citizen Science Projects In Inquiry-Based Introductory Geoscience Laboratory Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, R. R.; Hall, C.; Colgan, M. W.; Rhodes, E.

    2010-12-01

    Although inquiry-based/problem-based methods have been successfully incorporated in undergraduate lecture classes, a survey of commonly used laboratory manuals indicates that few non-major geoscience laboratory classes use these strategies. The Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences faculty members have developed a successful introductory Environmental Geology Laboratory course for undergraduate non-majors that challenges traditional teaching methodology as illustrated in most laboratory manuals. The Environmental Geology lab activities employ active learning methods to engage and challenge students. Crucial to establishing an open learning environment is capturing the attention of non-science majors from the moment they enter the classroom. We use catastrophic ‘gloom and doom’ current events to pique the imagination with images, news stories, and videos. Once our students are hooked, we can further the learning process with use of other teaching methods: an inquiry-based approach that requires students take control of their own learning, a cooperative learning approach that requires the participation of all team members in peer learning, and a problem/case study learning approach that primarily relies on activities distilled from current events. The final outcome is focused on creating innovative methods to communicate the findings to the general public. With the general public being the audience for their communiqué, students are less intimated, more focused, and more involved in solving the problem. During lab sessions, teams of students actively engage in mastering course content and develop essential communication skills while exploring real-world scenarios. These activities allow students to use scientific reasoning and concepts to develop solutions for scenarios such as volcanic eruptions, coastal erosion/sea level rise, flooding or landslide hazards, and then creatively communicate their solutions to the public. For example, during a two

  19. Intending to Stay: Images of Scientists, Attitudes Toward Women, and Gender as Influences on Persistence among Science and Engineering Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyer, Mary

    Contemporary research on gender and persistence in undergraduate education in science and engineering has routinely focused on why students leave their majors rather than asking why students stay. This study compared three common ways of measuring persistence-commitment to major, degree aspirations, and commitment to a science or engineering career-and emphasized factors that would encourage students to persist, including positive images of scientists and engineers, positive attitudes toward gender equity in science and engineering, and positive classroom experiences. A survey was administered in classrooms to a total of 285 female and male students enrolled in two required courses for majors. The results indicate that the different measures of persistence were sensitive to different influences but that students' gender did not interact with their images, attitudes, and experiences in predicted ways. The study concludes that an individual student's gender may be a more important factor in explaining why some female students leave their science and engineering majors than in explaining why others stay.

  20. Family Matters: Familial Support and Science Identity Formation for African American Female STEM Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Ashley Dawn

    2013-01-01

    This research seeks to understand the experiences of African American female undergraduates in STEM. It investigates how familial factors and science identity formation characteristics influence persistence in STEM while considering the duality of African American women's status in society. This phenomenological study was designed using critical…

  1. Science and the major racket sports: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lees, Adrian

    2003-09-01

    The major racket sports include badminton, squash, table tennis and tennis. The growth of sports science and the commercialization of racket sports in recent years have focused attention on improved performance and this has led to a more detailed study and understanding of all aspects of racket sports. The aim here, therefore, is to review recent developments of the application of science to racket sports. The scientific disciplines of sports physiology and nutrition, notational analysis, sports biomechanics, sports medicine, sports engineering, sports psychology and motor skills are briefly considered in turn. It is evident from these reviews that a great deal of scientific endeavour has been applied to racket sports, but this is variable across both the racket sports and the scientific disciplines. A scientific approach has helped to: implement training programmes to improve players' fitness; guide players in nutritional and psychological preparation for play; inform players of the strategy and tactics used by themselves and their opponents; provide insight into the technical performance of skills; understand the effect of equipment on play; and accelerate the recovery from racket-arm injuries. Racket sports have also posed a unique challenge to scientists and have provided vehicles for developing scientific methodology. Racket sports provide a good model for investigating the interplay between aerobic and anaerobic metabolism and the effect of nutrition, heat and fatigue on performance. They have driven the development of mathematical solutions for multi-segment interactions within the racket arm during the performance of shots, which have contributed to our understanding of the mechanisms of both performance and injury. They have provided a unique challenge to sports engineers in relation to equipment performance and interaction with the player. Racket sports have encouraged developments in notational analysis both in terms of analytical procedures and the

  2. Exploring Undergraduate Students' Ethical Perceptions in Barbados: Differences by Gender, Academic Major and Religiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alleyne, Philmore; Persaud, Nadini

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine whether there were differences in students' ethical perceptions based on gender, academic major and religiosity. Design/methodology/approach: A self-administered survey was conducted of 132 students at a university in Barbados, to determine ethical perceptions on five moral constructs: justice,…

  3. The Impact of Leadership Roles and Internships on Undergraduate Business Major Field Test (MFT) Scores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Chris; Yates, Dan; Song, Joon Young

    2014-01-01

    It is often the goal or mission of higher education to prepare graduates for leadership roles in organizations and the community. Even if we are to assume that leadership skills can be developed, determining the appropriate ways to teach and measure leadership is often debated. Our study used quantitative data from the ETS Business Major Field…

  4. Evidence of The Importance of Philosophy of Science Course On Undergraduate Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suyono

    2018-01-01

    This study aimed to describe academic impact of Philosophy of Science course in change of students’ conceptions on the Nature of science (NOS) before and after attending the course. This study followed one group pretest-posttest design. Treatment in this study was Philosophy of Science course for one semester. Misconception diagnostic tests of the NOS had been developed by Suyono et al. (2015) equipped with Certainty of Response Index (CRI). It consists of 15 concept questions about the NOS. The number of students who were tested on Chemistry Education Program (CEP) and Chemistry Program (CP) respectively 42 and 45 students. This study shows that after the learning of Philosophy of Science course happened: (1) the decrease of the number of misconception students on the NOS from 47.47 to 19.20% in CEP and from 47.47 to 18.18% in CP and (2) the decrease in the number of concepts that understood as misconception by the large number of students from 11 to 2 concepts on the CEP and from 10 to 2 concepts on CP. Therefore, the existence of Philosophy of Science course has a positive academic impact on students from both programs on undergraduate level.

  5. Undergraduate Science Research: A Comparison of Influences and Experiences between Premed and Non–Premed Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacifici, Lara Brongo; Thomson, Norman

    2011-01-01

    Most students participating in science undergraduate research (UR) plan to attend either medical school or graduate school. This study examines possible differences between premed and non–premed students in their influences to do research and expectations of research. Questionnaire responses from 55 premed students and 80 non–premed students were analyzed. No differences existed in the expectations of research between the two groups, but attitudes toward science and intrinsic motivation to learn more about science were significantly higher for non–premed students. Follow-up interviews with 11 of the students, including a case study with one premed student, provided explanation for the observed differences. Premed students, while not motivated to learn more about science, were motivated to help people, which is why most of them are pursuing medicine. They viewed research as a way to help them become doctors and to rule out the possibility of research as a career. Non–premed students participated in research to learn more about a specific science topic and gain experience that may be helpful in graduate school research. The difference in the reasons students want to do UR may be used to tailor UR experiences for students planning to go to graduate school or medical school. PMID:21633068

  6. Undergraduate science research: a comparison of influences and experiences between premed and non-premed students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacifici, Lara Brongo; Thomson, Norman

    2011-01-01

    Most students participating in science undergraduate research (UR) plan to attend either medical school or graduate school. This study examines possible differences between premed and non-premed students in their influences to do research and expectations of research. Questionnaire responses from 55 premed students and 80 non-premed students were analyzed. No differences existed in the expectations of research between the two groups, but attitudes toward science and intrinsic motivation to learn more about science were significantly higher for non-premed students. Follow-up interviews with 11 of the students, including a case study with one premed student, provided explanation for the observed differences. Premed students, while not motivated to learn more about science, were motivated to help people, which is why most of them are pursuing medicine. They viewed research as a way to help them become doctors and to rule out the possibility of research as a career. Non-premed students participated in research to learn more about a specific science topic and gain experience that may be helpful in graduate school research. The difference in the reasons students want to do UR may be used to tailor UR experiences for students planning to go to graduate school or medical school.

  7. A unique degree program for pre-pharmacy education: An undergraduate degree in pharmaceutical sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jafari, Mahtab

    2018-02-01

    Within the coming decade, the demand for well-trained pharmacists is expected to only increase, especially with the aging of the United States (US) population. To help fill this growing demand, the University of California, Irvine (UCI) aims to offer a unique pre-pharmacy degree program and has developed a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences to help achieve this goal. In this commentary, we share our experience with our curriculum and highlight its features in an effort to encourage other institutions to enhance the learning experience of their pre-pharmacy students. The efforts of the UCI Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences has resulted in UCI being consistently ranked as one of the top feeder institutions by the Pharmacy College Application Service (PharmCAS) in recent years. The UCI Pharmaceutical Sciences Bachelor of Science offers a unique pre-pharmacy educational experience in an effort to better prepare undergraduates for the rigors of the doctorate of pharmacy curriculum. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. An Evaluation of Research Ethics in Undergraduate Health Science Research Methodology Programs at a South African University.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coetzee, Tanya; Hoffmann, Willem A; de Roubaix, Malcolm

    2015-10-01

    The amended research ethics policy at a South African University required the ethics review of undergraduate research projects, prompting the need to explore the content and teaching approach of research ethics education in health science undergraduate programs. Two qualitative data collection strategies were used: document analysis (syllabi and study guides) and semi-structured interviews with research methodology coordinators. Five main themes emerged: (a) timing of research ethics courses, (b) research ethics course content, (c) sub-optimal use of creative classroom activities to facilitate research ethics lectures, (d) understanding the need for undergraduate project research ethics review, and (e) research ethics capacity training for research methodology lecturers and undergraduate project supervisors. © The Author(s) 2015.

  9. Assessment of Teaching Methods and Critical Thinking in a Course for Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speck, Angela; Ruzhitskaya, L.; Whittington, A. G.

    2014-01-01

    Ability to think critically is a key ingredient to the scientific mindset. Students who take science courses may or may not be predisposed to critical thinking - the ability to evaluate information analytically. Regardless of their initial stages, students can significantly improve their critical thinking through learning and practicing their reasoning skills, critical assessments, conducting and reflecting on observations and experiments, building their questioning and communication skills, and through the use of other techniques. While, there are several of teaching methods that may help to improve critical thinking, there are only a few assessment instruments that can help in evaluating the efficacy of these methods. Critical thinking skills and improvement in those skills are notoriously difficult to measure. Assessments that are based on multiple-choice questions demonstrate students’ final decisions but not their thinking processes. In addition, during the course of studies students may develop subject-based critical thinking while not being able to extend the skills to the general critical thinking. As such, we wanted to design and conduct a study on efficacy of several teaching methods in which we would learn how students’ improve their thinking processes within a science discipline as well as in everyday life situations. We conducted a study among 20 astronomy, physics and geology majors-- both graduate and undergraduate students-- enrolled in our Solar System Science course (mostly seniors and early graduate students) at the University of Missouri. We used the Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay test to assess students’ general critical thinking and, in addition, we implemented our own subject-based critical thinking assessment. Here, we present the results of this study and share our experience on designing a subject-based critical thinking assessment instrument.

  10. Understanding the Views of the Nature of Science of Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hypolite, Karen L.

    2012-01-01

    Much of the nature of science research has been focused on high school students. High school students are primarily the target of such research to aid and to guide them in making informed decisions about possible career choices in the sciences (Bell, Blair, Crawford, & Lederman, 2002). Moreover, during review of the literature, little to no…

  11. Hands across the divide: Finding spaces for student-centered pedagogy in the undergraduate science classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spier-Dance, Lesley

    This study explored college science students' and instructors' experiences with student-generated and performed analogies. The objectives of the study were to determine whether the use of student-generated analogies could provide students with opportunities to develop robust understanding of difficult science concepts, and to examine students' and instructors' perspectives on the utilization of these analogies. To address my objectives, I carried out a case study at a university-college in British Columbia. I examined the use of analogies in undergraduate biology and chemistry courses. Working with three instructors, I explored the use of student-generated analogies in five courses. I carried out in-depth analyses for one biology case and one chemistry case. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, researcher journal logs and students' responses to assessment questions. My findings suggest that involvement in the analogy exercise was associated with gains in students' conceptual understanding. Lower-achieving students who participated in the analogy activity exhibited significant gains in understanding of the science concept, but were unable to transfer their knowledge to novel situations. Higher-achieving students who participated in the activity were better able to transfer their knowledge of the analogy-related science topic to novel situations. This research revealed that students exhibited improved understanding when their analogies clearly represented important features of the target science concept. Students actively involved in the analogy activity exhibited gains in conceptual understanding. They perceived that embodied performative aspects of the activity promoted engagement, which motivated their learning. Participation in the analogy activity led to enhanced social interaction and a heightened sense of community within the classroom. The combination of social and performative elements provided motivational learning

  12. Understandings of Nature of Science and Multiple Perspective Evaluation of Science News by Non-science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Jessica Shuk Ching; Wong, Alice Siu Ling; Yung, Benny Hin Wai

    2015-10-01

    Understandings of nature of science (NOS) are a core component of scientific literacy, and a scientifically literate populace is expected to be able to critically evaluate science in the media. While evidence has remained inconclusive on whether better NOS understandings will lead to critical evaluation of science in the media, this study aimed at examining the correlation therein. Thirty-eight non-science majors, enrolled in a science course for non-specialists held in a local community college, evaluated three health news articles by rating the extent to which they agreed with the reported claims and providing as many justifications as possible. The majority of the participants were able to evaluate and justify their viewpoint from multiple perspectives. Students' evaluation was compared with their NOS conceptions, including the social and cultural embedded NOS, the tentative NOS, the peer review process and the community of practice. Results indicated that participants' understanding of the tentative NOS was significantly correlated with multiple perspective evaluation of science news reports of socioscientific nature (r = 0.434, p media of socioscientific nature. However, the null result for other target NOS aspects in this study suggested a lack of evidence to assume that understanding the social dimensions of science would have significant influence on the evaluation of science in the media. Future research on identifying the reasons for why and why not NOS understandings are applied in the evaluation will move this field forward.

  13. Pilot study of a budget-tailored culinary nutrition education program for undergraduate food science students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerrison, Dorothy Adair

    The primary objective of this pilot study is to provide evidence that a budget-tailored culinary nutrition program is both appropriate and applicable to undergraduate food science students both in everyday life as well as their future health careers. Two validated programs were combined into one program in order to evaluate their combined effects: Cooking With a Chef and Cooking Matters at the Store. The secondary objective of this pilot study is to evaluate the components and reliability of a questionnaire created specifically for this pilot study. A review of past literature was written, which included culinary nutrition as a source of primary prevention, the importance of incorporating cost with culinary nutrition, and the importance of incorporating cost with culinary nutrition. Based on the literature review, it was determined that a budget-tailored culinary nutrition program was appropriate and applicable to undergraduate food science students interested in pursuing health-related careers. The pilot study design was a semi-crossover study: all four groups received the program, however, two groups were first treated as the control groups. All fifty-four participants received 5 sessions of culinary nutrition information from Cooking With a Chef, collaboratively delivered by a nutrition educator and a chef, and one session of information about shopping healthy on a budget from Cooking Matters at the Store in the form of a grocery store tour led by the nutrition educator. Three questionnaires were administered to the participants that evaluated culinary nutrition and price knowledge, cooking attitudes, and opinions of the programs' relevance to participants' everyday lives and careers. Two of the questionnaires, including a questionnaire developed specifically for the pilot study, were delivered as a pre- and post-test while the third questionnaire was delivered as a post-test. Eight random participants also partook in a focus group session led by the nutrition

  14. The Employment Outlook for Social Science Majors in the South.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galambos, Eva C.

    This assessment of the future job market for social science graduates is made both generically and separately for certain disciplines. The definition of the social sciences follows the USOE definition and includes: anthropology, archeology, economics, history, geography, political science, sociology, criminology, international relations, urban…

  15. Practice education learning environments: the mismatch between perceived and preferred expectations of undergraduate health science students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Ted; Williams, Brett; McKenna, Lisa; Palermo, Claire; McCall, Louise; Roller, Louis; Hewitt, Lesley; Molloy, Liz; Baird, Marilyn; Aldabah, Ligal

    2011-11-01

    Practical hands-on learning opportunities are viewed as a vital component of the education of health science students, but there is a critical shortage of fieldwork placement experiences. It is therefore important that these clinical learning environments are well suited to students' perceptions and expectations. To investigate how undergraduate students enrolled in health-related education programs view their clinical learning environments and specifically to compare students' perception of their 'actual' clinical learning environment to that of their 'preferred/ideal' clinical learning environment. The Clinical Learning Environment Inventory (CLEI) was used to collect data from 548 undergraduate students (55% response rate) enrolled in all year levels of paramedics, midwifery, radiography and medical imaging, occupational therapy, pharmacy, nutrition and dietetics, physiotherapy and social work at Monash University via convenience sampling. Students were asked to rate their perception of the clinical learning environment at the completion of their placements using the CLEI. Satisfaction of the students enrolled in the health-related disciplines was closely linked with the five constructs measured by the CLEI: Personalization, Student Involvement, Task Orientation, Innovation, and Individualization. Significant differences were found between the student's perception of their 'actual' clinical learning environment and their 'ideal' clinical learning environment. The study highlights the importance of a supportive clinical learning environment that places emphasis on effective two-way communication. A thorough understanding of students' perceptions of their clinical learning environments is essential. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Elementary Teachers' Perceptions of Their Professional Teaching Competencies: Differences between Teachers of Math/Science Majors and Non-Math/Science Majors in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Li-Chen; Chao, Li-ling; Cheng, Pi-Yun; Tuan, Hsiao-Lin; Guo, Chorng-Jee

    2018-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to probe the differences of perceived professional teaching competence between elementary school math/science teachers in Taiwan who are majored in math/science and those who are not. A researcher-developed Math/Science Teachers' Professional Development Questionnaire was used in a nationwide survey, using a two-stage…

  17. The Effects of Project Based Learning on Undergraduate Students' Achievement and Self-Efficacy Beliefs towards Science Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilgin, Ibrahim; Karakuyu, Yunus; Ay, Yusuf

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of the Project-Based Learning (PBL) method on undergraduate students' achievement and its association with these students' self-efficacy beliefs about science teaching and pinions about PBL. The sample of the study consisted of two randomly chosen classes from a set of seven classes enrolled…

  18. Analysis of controversial items in the theoretical design of the undergraduate's thesis at the Cuban University of Informatics Sciences (UIS.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rolando Quintana Aput

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available The present paper encloses the analysis of some troubles related to the development of theoretical design concerning the undergraduate thesis at the Cuban University of Informatics Sciences (UIS. This analysis proves to be decisive due to the existing demand for improving professionals training in the fields of investigation related to computing world.

  19. The Experimental Teaching Reform in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology for Undergraduate Students in Peking University Health Science Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaohan; Sun, Luyang; Zhao, Ying; Yi, Xia; Zhu, Bin; Wang, Pu; Lin, Hong; Ni, Juhua

    2015-01-01

    Since 2010, second-year undergraduate students of an eight-year training program leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) have been required to enter the "Innovative talent training project." During that time, the students joined a research lab and…

  20. The academic and nonacademic characteristics of science and nonscience majors in Yemeni high schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anaam, Mahyoub Ali

    The purposes of this study were: (a) to identify the variables associated with selection of majors; (b) to determine the differences between science and nonscience majors in general, and high and low achievers in particular, with respect to attitudes toward science, integrated science process skills, and logical thinking abilities; and (c) to determine if a significant relationship exists between students' majors and their personality types and learning styles. Data were gathered from 188 twelfth grade male and female high school students in Yemen, who enrolled in science (45 males and 47 females) and art and literature (47 males and 49 females) tracks. Data were collected by the following instruments: Past math and science achievement (data source taken from school records), Kolb's Learning Styles Inventory (1985), Integrated Science Process Skills Test, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Attitude Toward Science in School Assessment, Group Assessment of Logical Thinking, Yemeni High School Students Questionnaire. The Logistic Regression Model and the Linear Discriminant Analysis identified several variables that are associated with selection of majors. Moreover, some of the characteristics of science and nonscience majors that were revealed by these models include the following: Science majors seem to have higher degrees of curiosity in science, high interest in science at high school level, high tendency to believe that their majors will help them to find a potential job in the future, and have had higher achievement in science subjects, and have rated their math teachers higher than did nonscience majors. In contrast, nonscience majors seem to have higher degrees of curiosity in nonscience subjects, higher interest in science at elementary school, higher anxiety during science lessons than did science majors. In addition, General Linear Models allow that science majors generally demonstrate more positive attitudes towards science than do nonscience majors and they

  1. Courses in Modern Physics for Non-science Majors, Future Science Teachers, and Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zollman, Dean

    2001-03-01

    For the past 15 years Kansas State University has offered a course in modern physics for students who are not majoring in physics. This course carries a prerequisite of one physics course so that the students have a basic introduction in classical topics. The majors of students range from liberal arts to engineering. Future secondary science teachers whose first area of teaching is not physics can use the course as part of their study of science. The course has evolved from a lecture format to one which is highly interactive and uses a combination of hands-on activities, tutorials and visualizations, particularly the Visual Quantum Mechanics materials. Another course encourages biology students to continue their physics learning beyond the introductory course. Modern Miracle Medical Machines introduces the basic physics which underlie diagnosis techniques such as MRI and PET and laser surgical techniques. Additional information is available at http://www.phys.ksu.edu/perg/

  2. So much more than just a list: exploring the nature of critical questioning in undergraduate sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrosa-de-Jesus, Helena; Moreira, Aurora; Lopes, Betina; Watts, Mike

    2014-05-01

    Background: Critical thinking is one of the very highest orders of cognitive abilities and a key competency in higher education. Asking questions is an important component of rich learning experiences, structurally embedded in the operations of critical thinking. Our clear sense is that critical thinking and, within that, critical questioning, is heavily context dependent, in the sense that is applied, used by critical learners in a contextualised way. Purpose: Our research deals with enhancing science undergraduates' critical questioning. We are interested in understanding and describing the nature and development of students' critical questioning. The purpose is to conceptualise critical questioning as a competency, into three domains - knowledge, skills and attitudes/dispositions. We have no interest in a taxonomic category of context-free question-types called 'critical questions'. In contrast, our view is that 'being a critical questioner' trades heavily on context. Sources of evidence: Four cases are considered as illuminative of the dimensions of science undergraduates' critical questioning. Data were collected in natural learning environments through non-participant observation, audio-taping teacher-students interactions and semi-structured interviews. Students' written material resulting from diverse learning tasks was also collected. Main argument: Our supposition is that one vehicle for achieving university students as critical thinkers is to enable them not just to ask critical questions, but to be critical questioners. We relate critical questioning to three domains: (1) context, (2) competency and (3) delivery, and propose a model based on illuminating examples of the in-classroom action. Conclusions: The dimensions of the competency-context-delivery model provide a framework for describing successful student critical questioning, showing that students' capacity to be critical can be developed. It is possible, in our view, to generate critical

  3. The effect of parental education, prior achievement, self-efficacy, goal orientation, and effort on undergraduate science performance of Latinos and Caucasians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stansbury, Sydney Lynn

    Compared with majority students, underrepresented minorities have demonstrated weaker undergraduate science performance. Previous research has attributed the weaker performance to socioeconomic factors that influence poorer precollege preparation. Studies also have found that, compared with majority students, underrepresented minorities are less confident about their science skills and more interested in extrinsic rewards of science careers. Social Cognitive Theory posits that low self-efficacy coupled with high extrinsic goal orientation diminishes cognitive engagement, resulting in weak performance. Applying motivational characteristics of underrepresented minority students to a Social Cognitive Model may explain why their performance is weaker than that of Caucasians. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the degree to which motivation variables account for the difference between underrepresented minority and majority students' undergraduate science performance. The study was conducted at a large, predominantly Caucasian, private university located in an urban setting in the Southwest. Two hundred twenty-two students--154 Caucasians and 68 Latinos--enrolled in a general chemistry course participated. Students were administered the Motivation for Learning Questionnaire, designed specifically for this study, consisting of scales measuring the following variables: ethnicity, level of parental education, and effort exertion; self-efficacy, effort regulation, intrinsic goal orientation, and extrinsic goal orientation, measures from the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1991); and ability orientation, a measure from the Patterns of Adaptive Learning Survey (Midgley, Maehr, & Urdan, 1995). Financial aid information, chemistry and math placement test scores, and chemistry grades were obtained from other on-campus departments. Results demonstrated that the hypotheses were only partially confirmed by the

  4. Downscaling Climate Science to the Classroom: Diverse Opportunities for Teaching Climate Science in Diverse Ways to Diverse Undergraduate Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, R. M.; Gill, T. E.; Quesada, D.; Hedquist, B. C.

    2015-12-01

    Climate literacy and climate education are important topics in current socio-political debate. Despite numerous scientific findings supporting global climate changes and accelerated greenhouse warming, there is a social inertia resisting and slowing the rate at which many of our students understand and absorb these facts. A variety of reasons, including: socio-economic interests, political and ideological biases, misinformation from mass media, inappropriate preparation of science teachers, and lack of numancy have created serious challenges for public awareness of such an important issue. Different agencies and organizations (NASA, NOAA, EPA, AGU, APS, AMS and others) have created training programs for educators, not involved directly in climatology research, in order to learn climate science in a consistent way and then communicate it to the public and students. Different approaches on how to deliver such information to undergraduate students in diverse environments is discussed based on the author's experiences working in different minority-serving institutions across the nation and who have attended AMS Weather and Climate Studies training workshops, MSI-REACH, and the School of Ice. Different parameters are included in the analysis: demographics of students, size of the institutions, geographical locations, target audience, programs students are enrolled in, conceptual units covered, and availability of climate-related courses in the curricula. Additionally, the feasibility of incorporating a laboratory and quantitative analysis is analyzed. As a result of these comparisons it seems that downscaling of climate education experiences do not always work as expected in every institution regardless of the student body demographics. Different geographical areas, student body characteristics and type of institution determine the approach to be adopted as well as the feasibility to introduce different components for weather and climate studies. Some ideas are shared

  5. On the Strategies of Graduation Thesis Writing Teaching of Translation Major Undergraduates Based on Eco-Translatology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wang

    2017-01-01

    Graduation thesis is an indispensible procedure for each undergraduate, which is crucial for successful graduation, employment, further study and even further development. However, due to most undergraduates' ignorance of academic writing and the deficiency of current thesis writing course, thesis writing ability can hardly be enhanced and…

  6. Coordinating the undergraduate medical (MBBS basic sciences programme in a Nepalese medical school

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shankar PR

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available KIST Medical College follows the curriculum of the Institute ofMedicine, Tribhuvan University. The programme aims toproduce socially responsible and competent physicians whoare willing and able to meet the existing and emergingchallenges of the national and international healthcaresystem. The first cohort of undergraduate medical students(MBBS students was admitted in November 2008 and threecohorts including the one admitted in 2008 have beenadmitted at the time of writing. The basic science subjects aretaught in an integrated, organ-system-based manner withcommunity medicine during the first two years. I wasappointed as the MBBS Phase I programme coordinator inSeptember 2008 and in this article I share my experiences ofrunning the basic sciences programme and also offersuggestions for running an efficient academic programme. Themanuscript will be of special interest to readers runningundergraduate medical programmes. The reader canunderstand our experiences in running the programme inadverse circumstances, learning to achieve greater integrationamong basic science, community medicine and clinicaldepartments, obtain information about a communitydiagnosis programme and know about running specialmodules on the medical humanities and pharmaceuticalpromotion.

  7. Connecting self-efficacy and views about the nature of science in undergraduate research experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quan, Gina M.; Elby, Andrew

    2016-12-01

    Undergraduate research can support students' more central participation in physics. We analyze markers of two coupled shifts in participation: changes in students' views about the nature of science coupled to shifts in self-efficacy toward physics research. Students in the study worked with faculty and graduate student mentors on research projects while also participating in a seminar where they learned about research and reflected on their experiences. In classroom discussions and in clinical interviews, students described gaining more nuanced views about the nature of science, specifically related to who can participate in research and what participation in research looks like. This shift was coupled to gains in self-efficacy toward their ability to contribute to research; they felt like their contributions as novices mattered. We present two case studies of students who experienced coupled shifts in self-efficacy and views about nature-of-science shifts, and a case study of a student for whom we did not see either shift, to illustrate both the existence of the coupling and the different ways it can play out. After making the case that this coupling occurs, we discuss some potential underlying mechanisms. Finally, we use these results to argue for more nuanced interpretations of self-efficacy measurements.

  8. ESA is now a major player in global space science

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

    cosmos after its February 1997 refurbishment. Europe's astronomers make outstanding use of their right to make observations with Hubble, guaranteed by ESA's participation. ESA's table d'h^te for space scientists To provide world-class opportunities in space for Europe's scientific community is one of ESA's primary duties. The successes summarized here are not a matter of luck, but of decades of sustained planning and effort. Although ESA's science budget is small as compared with NASA=s equivalent programme, and is even being squeezed, yet every one of ESA's missions is first in its class. * 3- The scientists of ESA's member states draw up the table d'h^te, with a balanced menu of research opportunities in Solar System exploration and in astronomy. ESA coordinates the technological and scientific efforts across Europe needed to accomplish the missions, after many years of preparation and sometimes adversity. One of ESA's strengths is that it sticks to its promises, and maintains a balance with several small missions, remaining alert to new tasks for short-term projects. Besides the spacecraft mentioned earlier, ESA is actively working on: * Rosetta. As the successor to the very successful comet mission Giotto, which intercepted Halley's Comet in 1986 and Comet Grigg-Skjellerup in 1992, Rosetta will confirm ESA's role as the world leader in comet science. To be launched in 2003, Rosetta will rendezvous with Comet Wirtanen, and fly in close orbit around it as it makes its closest approach to the Sun ten years later. * Integral. Adapted from the XMM spacecraft to save money, Integral will go into orbit in 2001 and renew ESA's role in gamma-ray astronomy, pioneered in its COS-B mission some twenty years ago. Gamma-rays reveal the most violent events in the Universe, including the gamma-ray bursts that are exciting astronomers greatly at present. * FIRST and Planck Surveyor. FIRST is a long-standing major project to extend the scope of infrared space astronomy to wavelengths

  9. Computer-based Astronomy Labs for Non-science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A. B. E.; Murray, S. D.; Ward, R. A.

    1998-12-01

    We describe and demonstrate two laboratory exercises, Kepler's Third Law and Stellar Structure, which are being developed for use in an astronomy laboratory class aimed at non-science majors. The labs run with Microsoft's Excel 98 (Macintosh) or Excel 97 (Windows). They can be run in a classroom setting or in an independent learning environment. The intent of the labs is twofold; first and foremost, students learn the subject matter through a series of informational frames. Next, students enhance their understanding by applying their knowledge in lab procedures, while also gaining familiarity with the use and power of a widely-used software package and scientific tool. No mathematical knowledge beyond basic algebra is required to complete the labs or to understand the computations in the spreadsheets, although the students are exposed to the concepts of numerical integration. The labs are contained in Excel workbook files. In the files are multiple spreadsheets, which contain either a frame with information on how to run the lab, material on the subject, or one or more procedures. Excel's VBA macro language is used to automate the labs. The macros are accessed through button interfaces positioned on the spreadsheets. This is done intentionally so that students can focus on learning the subject matter and the basic spreadsheet features without having to learn advanced Excel features all at once. Students open the file and progress through the informational frames to the procedures. After each procedure, student comments and data are automatically recorded in a preformatted Lab Report spreadsheet. Once all procedures have been completed, the student is prompted for a filename in which to save their Lab Report. The lab reports can then be printed or emailed to the instructor. The files will have full worksheet and workbook protection, and will have a "redo" feature at the end of the lab for students who want to repeat a procedure.

  10. Understanding the Complex Relationship between Critical Thinking and Science Reasoning among Undergraduate Thesis Writers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, Jason E; Thompson, Robert J; Schiff, Leslie A; Reynolds, Julie A

    2018-01-01

    Developing critical-thinking and scientific reasoning skills are core learning objectives of science education, but little empirical evidence exists regarding the interrelationships between these constructs. Writing effectively fosters students' development of these constructs, and it offers a unique window into studying how they relate. In this study of undergraduate thesis writing in biology at two universities, we examine how scientific reasoning exhibited in writing (assessed using the Biology Thesis Assessment Protocol) relates to general and specific critical-thinking skills (assessed using the California Critical Thinking Skills Test), and we consider implications for instruction. We find that scientific reasoning in writing is strongly related to inference , while other aspects of science reasoning that emerge in writing (epistemological considerations, writing conventions, etc.) are not significantly related to critical-thinking skills. Science reasoning in writing is not merely a proxy for critical thinking. In linking features of students' writing to their critical-thinking skills, this study 1) provides a bridge to prior work suggesting that engagement in science writing enhances critical thinking and 2) serves as a foundational step for subsequently determining whether instruction focused explicitly on developing critical-thinking skills (particularly inference ) can actually improve students' scientific reasoning in their writing. © 2018 J. E. Dowd et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2018 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  11. Developing the Emotional Intelligence of Undergraduate Music Education Majors: An Exploratory Study Using Bradberry and Greaves' (2009) "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGinnis, Emily J.

    2018-01-01

    Research focused on the relationship of emotional intelligence (EI) to academic and professional success in education, and whether and how it might be taught and learned, is inconclusive. The purpose of this study was to examine the degree to which undergraduate music education majors experienced a change in EI after implementing strategies from…

  12. Linguistic Knowledge Aspects in Academic Reading: Challenges and Deployed Strategies by English-Major Undergraduates at a Jordanian Institution of Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albashtawi, Abeer H.; Jaganathan, Paramaswari; Singh, Manjet

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the linguistic knowledge aspect in academic reading, the challenges and the deployed strategies by English major undergraduates at a Jordanian institution of higher education. The importance of the study is attributed to the importance of the academic reading at university which is closely related to the academic…

  13. German 450: Introduction to Business Operations in Germany. Initiating the Integration Process into the International Business Environment for German Majors at the Undergraduate and Graduate Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Claudia A.

    The redesign of a course on German business, taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is described. The course, intended for both undergraduate and graduate German majors, initially described and defined German institutions and common business practices and explored differences in historical and cultural backgrounds. Course revision…

  14. Investigating the Target Language Usage in and outside Business English Classrooms for Non-English Major Undergraduates at a Chinese University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Qing

    2017-01-01

    This article reports an investigative study on the target language use in and outside business English classrooms for non-English major undergraduates in a Chinese university context. The aims of the study are to identify the actual situation of target language use in business English teaching and to suggest ways for improvements. The study uses…

  15. Developing "Green" Business Plans: Using Entrepreneurship to Teach Science to Business Administration Majors and Business to Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letovsky, Robert; Banschbach, Valerie S.

    2011-01-01

    Biology majors team with business administration majors to develop proposals for "green" enterprise for a business plan competition. The course begins with a series of student presentations so that science students learn about the fundamentals of business, and business students learn about environmental biology. Then mixed biology-business student…

  16. Using Infiniscope Exploratory Activities in an Online Astronomy Lab Course for Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knierman, Karen; Anbar, Ariel; Tamer, A. Joseph; Hunsley, Diana; Young, Patrick A.; Center for Education Through eXploration

    2018-01-01

    With the growth of online astronomy courses, it has become necessary to design different strategies for students to engage meaningfully with astronomy content. In contrast to some of the previously designed “cookbook”-style lab exercises, the strategy of these Infiniscope activities is to provide an experience where the students explore and discover the content for themselves. The Infiniscope project was created by ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration and NASA’s Science Mission Directorate as part of the NASA Exploration Connection project. As part of this project, online activities on topics such as asteroids and Kuiper Belt objects, eclipses, and Kepler’s Laws were designed and created for middle school (grades 6-8) and informal education settings. This poster discusses adapting these activities to the undergraduate non-science major setting. In fall 2017, the Infiniscope activities, such as Small Worlds and Kepler’s Laws, will be incorporated into an Arizona State University online astronomy course, AST 113, which is the laboratory component for the Introduction to Solar System Astronomy course sequence. This course typically enrolls about 800-900 students per semester with a combination of students who are online only as well as those who also take in person classes. In this type of class, we cannot have any in-person required sessions and all content must be delivered online asynchronously. The use of the Infiniscope exploratory exercises will provide students with the ability to use NASA data in a hands-on manner to discover the solar system for themselves.

  17. How Is Science Being Taught? Measuring Evidence-Based Teaching Practices across Undergraduate Science Departments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drinkwater, Michael J.; Matthews, Kelly E.; Seiler, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    While there is a wealth of research evidencing the benefits of active-learning approaches, the extent to which these teaching practices are adopted in the sciences is not well known. The aim of this study is to establish an evidential baseline of teaching practices across a bachelor of science degree program at a large research-intensive Australian university. Our purpose is to contribute to knowledge on the adoption levels of evidence-based teaching practices by faculty within a science degree program and inform our science curriculum review in practical terms. We used the Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI) to measure the use of evidence-based teaching approaches in 129 courses (units of study) across 13 departments. We compared the results with those from a Canadian institution to identify areas in need of improvement at our institution. We applied a regression analysis to the data and found that the adoption of evidence-based teaching practices differs by discipline and is higher in first-year classes at our institution. The study demonstrates that the TPI can be used in different institutional contexts and provides data that can inform practice and policy. PMID:28232589

  18. How Is Science Being Taught? Measuring Evidence-Based Teaching Practices across Undergraduate Science Departments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drinkwater, Michael J; Matthews, Kelly E; Seiler, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    While there is a wealth of research evidencing the benefits of active-learning approaches, the extent to which these teaching practices are adopted in the sciences is not well known. The aim of this study is to establish an evidential baseline of teaching practices across a bachelor of science degree program at a large research-intensive Australian university. Our purpose is to contribute to knowledge on the adoption levels of evidence-based teaching practices by faculty within a science degree program and inform our science curriculum review in practical terms. We used the Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI) to measure the use of evidence-based teaching approaches in 129 courses (units of study) across 13 departments. We compared the results with those from a Canadian institution to identify areas in need of improvement at our institution. We applied a regression analysis to the data and found that the adoption of evidence-based teaching practices differs by discipline and is higher in first-year classes at our institution. The study demonstrates that the TPI can be used in different institutional contexts and provides data that can inform practice and policy. © 2017 M. J. Drinkwater et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  19. A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout

    OpenAIRE

    Ralph Stinebrickner; Todd R. Stinebrickner

    2014-01-01

    Taking advantage of unique longitudinal data, we provide the first characterization of what college students believe at the time of entrance about their final major, relate these beliefs to actual major outcomes, and provide an understanding of why students hold the initial beliefs about majors that they do. The data collection and analysis are based directly on a conceptual model in which a student's final major is best viewed as the end result of a learning process. We find that students en...

  20. Argument-Driven Inquiry: Using the Laboratory to Improve Undergraduates' Science Writing Skills through Meaningful Science Writing, Peer-Review, and Revision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Joi Phelps; Sampson, Victor

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents preliminary evidence supporting the use of peer review in undergraduate science as a means to improve student writing and to alleviate barriers, such as lost class time, by incorporation of the peer-review process into the laboratory component of the course. The study was conducted in a single section of an undergraduate…

  1. An Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Space Physics Course: Understanding the Process of Science Through One Field's Colorful History

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Ramon E.

    1996-01-01

    Science education in this country is in its greatest period of ferment since the post-Sputnik frenzy a generation ago. In that earlier time, however, educators' emphasis was on producing more scientists and engineers. Today we recognize that all Americans need a good science background. The ability to observe, measure, think quantitatively, and reach logical conclusions based on available evidence is a set of skills that everyone entering the workforce needs to acquire if our country is to be competitive in a global economy. Moreover, as public policy increasingly crystallizes around scientific issues, it is critical that citizens be educated in science so that they may provide informed debate and on these issues. In order to develop this idea more fully, I proposed to teach a historically based course about space physics as an honors course at the University of Maryland-College Park (UMCP). The honors program at UMCP was established to foster broad-based undergraduate courses that utilize innovative teaching techniques to provide exemplary education to a select group of students. I designed an introductory course that would have four basic goals: to acquaint students with geomagnetic and auroral phenomena and their relationship to the space environment; to examine issues related to the history of science using the evolution of the field as an example; to develop familiarity with basic skills such as describing and interpreting observations, analyzing scientific papers, and communicating the results of their own research; and to provide some understanding of basic physics, especially those aspect that play a role in the near-earth space environment.

  2. Non-Science Majors' Critical Evaluation of Websites in a Biotechnology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halverson, Kristy L.; Siegel, Marcelle A.; Freyermuth, Sharyn K.

    2010-12-01

    Helping students develop criteria for judgment and apply examination skills is essential for promoting scientific literacy. With the increasing availability of the Internet, it is even more essential that students learn how to evaluate the science they gather from online resources. This is particularly true because publishing information on the web is not restricted to experts, and content quality can vary greatly across websites. The responsibility of evaluating websites falls upon the user. Little research has examined undergraduates' evaluation of web sites in science classes. The purpose of this study was to investigate on which websites college students selected and how they evaluated the websites used when developing individual positions about stem-cell research. We used a qualitative approach in search of patterns in undergraduates' website selection and evaluation criteria. We found that students used a variety of web resources from eleven types of websites to complete their independent research report. Students also used eleven evaluation criteria to evaluate these sources, some useful (e.g., credibility) and some not useful (e.g., readability). We found that university students struggled with critically evaluating online resources. Undergraduates need prompts to learn how to critically evaluate the science content provided within websites. This type of scaffold can facilitate useful evaluation and promote critical thinking required for becoming scientifically literate.

  3. Teaching microbiology to undergraduate students in the humanities and the social sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oren, Aharon

    2015-10-01

    This paper summarizes my experiences teaching a 28-hour course on the bacterial world for undergraduate students in the humanities and the social sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This course was offered in the framework of a program in which students must obtain credit points for courses offered by other faculties to broaden their education. Most students had little biology in high school and had never been exposed to the basics of chemistry. Using a historical approach, highlighting the work of pioneers such as van Leeuwenhoek, Koch, Fleming, Pasteur, Winogradsky and Woese, I covered a broad area of general, medical, environmental and evolutionary microbiology. The lectures included basic concepts of organic and inorganic chemistry necessary to understand the principles of fermentations and chemoautotrophy, and basic molecular biology to explain biotechnology using transgenic microorganisms and molecular phylogeny. Teaching the basics of microbiology to intelligent students lacking any background in the natural sciences was a rewarding experience. Some students complained that, in spite of my efforts, basic concepts of chemistry remained beyond their understanding. But overall the students' evaluation showed that the course had achieved its goal. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Engaging Earth- and Environmental-Science Undergraduates Through Weather Discussions and an eLearning Weather Forecasting Contest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, David M.; Anderson, Stuart; Seo-Zindy, Ryo

    2013-06-01

    For students who major in meteorology, engaging in weather forecasting can motivate learning, develop critical-thinking skills, improve their written communication, and yield better forecasts. Whether such advances apply to students who are not meteorology majors has been less demonstrated. To test this idea, a weather discussion and an eLearning weather forecasting contest were devised for a meteorology course taken by third-year undergraduate earth- and environmental-science students. The discussion consisted of using the recent, present, and future weather to amplify the topics of the week's lectures. Then, students forecasted the next day's high temperature and the probability of precipitation for Woodford, the closest official observing site to Manchester, UK. The contest ran for 10 weeks, and the students received credit for participation. The top students at the end of the contest received bonus points on their final grade. A Web-based forecast contest application was developed to register the students, receive their forecasts, and calculate weekly standings. Students who were successful in the forecast contest were not necessarily those who achieved the highest scores on the tests, demonstrating that the contest was possibly testing different skills than traditional learning. Student evaluations indicate that the weather discussion and contest were reasonably successful in engaging students to learn about the weather outside of the classroom, synthesize their knowledge from the lectures, and improve their practical understanding of the weather. Therefore, students taking a meteorology class, but not majoring in meteorology, can derive academic benefits from weather discussions and forecast contests. Nevertheless, student evaluations also indicate that better integration of the lectures, weather discussions, and the forecasting contests is necessary.

  5. The Content and Integrative Component of Capstone Experiences: An Analysis of Political Science Undergraduate Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hummer, Jill Abraham

    2014-01-01

    In 1991, the APSA Task Force on Political Science recommended elements of a curricular structure that would best promote student learning. The report stated that there should be a capstone experience at the end of the senior year and that the capstone should require students to integrate their whole learning experience in the major. This article…

  6. Impact of Undergraduates' Stereotypes of Scientists on Their Intentions to Pursue a Career in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    Women remain disproportionately underrepresented in certain science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors and occupations. Stereotypes of scientists may be contributing factors in this phenomenon. However, this relationship has not yet been empirically examined. This is partly because of the dearth of literature addressing the…

  7. A Vocabulary Learning Tool for L2 Undergraduates Reading Science and Technology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chihcheng; Ou Yang, Fang-Chuan

    2013-01-01

    Students of English as a second language who major in science and technology use English-language textbooks to ensure that they can read English materials upon graduation. Research indicates that teachers spend little time helping these students on the linguistic complexity of such textbooks. Vocabulary, grammar, and article structure are elements…

  8. How to engage undergraduate students in Soil Science: some strategies to enhance their motivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zornoza, Raúl; Lozano-García, Beatriz; Acosta, Jose A.; Martínez-Martínez, Silvia; Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Faz, Angel

    2017-04-01

    Teaching soil science can be a challenge in those degrees where students are not familiar with the soil system and do not understand the importance of soil science for their future career. This is the case of students of Biology, Agronomy or Environmental Science, who normally consider soil as a mere substrate for vegetation development, with no interest about how soil determines productivity and quality of terrestrial ecosystems. Thus, students lack of initial motivation to study Soil Science, and just attend lectures and practical lessons as mandatory procedure to get the degree. To engage undergraduate students from Biology, Agronomy and Environmental Sciences in Soil Science, we developed a strategy to enhance their motivation by means of making them participants of the selection of the soils and analyses used for their training. By means of dichotomous keys, students, grouped in pairs, first select the main purpose of their study from different options (land productivity, soil biodiversity, soil fertility, effectiveness of restoration, effect of land use, effect of management, etc). Once objective is decided, we give them some information about sampling strategies, so that they select how soil sampling is going to be performed, and the number of samples to be taken. In terms of the initial objective, they also decide from a given list the properties they should measure. In a practical basis, from the list of selected properties to be measured, professors decide the ones they can really develop in terms of timing, resources and space demand. After that, they are aware about the fact that they have an experimental design developed by them to achieve the goal they meant. Under this perspective, their motivation is enhanced since students are the ones deciding what to study in terms of their personal and professional interests, so that learning is more effective. The negative aspect of this strategy is that it involves many hours of tutorials for the professor

  9. Science and technology planning in LDCs: major policy issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wionczek, M S

    1979-05-01

    Science in the less-developed countries (LDCs) should be underplanned rather than overplanned. Furthermore, the planning should be directed to the outer fringes of the scientific endeavor and to its infrastructure and not to the substance of scientific research itself. Planning of applied research and technological development in the LDC is another story. It cannot be done without entering into the substantive problems of applied research and technological development. Attempts to set the broad overall national targets for science and technology (S and T) expenditures -in terms of the proportion of the (GNP) or the per capita income- which do not consider the science and technology system's financial and human resources absorption capacity, are useless. 8 references.

  10. Debates of science vs. religion in undergraduate general education cosmology courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez-Aleman, Ramon

    2015-04-01

    Recent advances in theoretical physics such as the discovery of the Higgs boson or the BICEP2 data supporting inflation can be part of the general science curriculum of non-science majors in a cosmology course designed as part of the General Education component. Yet to be a truly interdisciplinary experience one must deal with the religious background and faith of most of our students. Religious faith seems to be important in their lives, but the philosophical outlook of sciences like cosmology or evolutionary biology is one in which God is an unnecessary component in explaining the nature and origin of the universe. We will review recent advances in cosmology and suggestions on how to establish a respectful and intelligent science vs. religion debate in a transdisciplinary general education setting.

  11. Career Preparation and the Political Science Major: Evidence from Departments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Todd A.; Knotts, H. Gibbs; Schiff, Jen

    2012-01-01

    We know little about the amount of career preparation offered to students in political science departments. This lack of information is particularly troubling given the state of the current job market and the growth of applied degree programs on university campuses. To address this issue, this article presents the results of a December 2010 survey…

  12. At the Crossroads of Art and Science: A New Course for University Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blatt, S. Leslie

    2004-03-01

    How much did Seurat know about the physics, physiology, and perceptual science of color mixing when he began his experiments in pointillism? Did Vermeer have a camera obscura built into his studio to create the perfect perspective and luminous effects of his canvases? Early in the 20th century, consequences of the idea that "no single reference point is to be preferred above any other" were worked out in physics by Einstein (special and general relativity), in art by Picasso (early cubism), and in music by Schoenberg (12-tone compositions); did this same paradigm-shifting concept arise, in three disparate fields, merely by coincidence? We are developing a new course, aimed primarily at non-science majors, that addresses questions like these through a combination of hands-on experiments on the physics of light, investigations in visual perception, empirical tests of various drawing and painting techniques, and field trips to nearby museums. We will show a few examples of the kinds of art/science intersections our students will be exploring, and present a working outline for the course.

  13. An investigation of communication patterns and strategies between international teaching assistants and undergraduate students in university-level science labs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gourlay, Barbara Elas

    This research project investigates communication between international teaching assistants and their undergraduate students in university-level chemistry labs. During the fall semester, introductory-level chemistry lab sections of three experienced non-native speaking teaching assistants and their undergraduate students were observed. Digital audio and video recordings documented fifteen hours of lab communication, focusing on the activities and interactions in the first hour of the chemistry laboratory sessions. In follow-up one-on-one semi-structured interviews, the participants (undergraduates, teaching assistants, and faculty member) reviewed interactions and responded to a 10-item, 7-point Likert-scaled interview. Interactions were classified into success categories based on participants' opinions. Quantitative and qualitative data from the observations and interviews guided the analysis of the laboratory interactions, which examined patterns of conversational listening. Analysis of laboratory communication reveals that undergraduates initiated nearly two-thirds of laboratory communication, with three-fourths of interactions less than 30 seconds in duration. Issues of gender and topics of interaction activity were also explored. Interview data identified that successful undergraduate-teaching assistant communication in interactive science labs depends on teaching assistant listening comprehension skills to interpret and respond successfully to undergraduate questions. Successful communication in the chemistry lab depended on the coordination of visual and verbal sources of information. Teaching assistant responses that included explanations and elaborations were also seen as positive features in the communicative exchanges. Interaction analysis focusing on the listening comprehension demands placed on international teaching assistants revealed that undergraduate-initiated questions often employ deixis (exophoric reference), requiring teaching assistants to

  14. Profiles of Motivated Self-Regulation in College Computer Science Courses: Differences in Major versus Required Non-Major Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shell, Duane F.; Soh, Leen-Kiat

    2013-12-01

    The goal of the present study was to utilize a profiling approach to understand differences in motivation and strategic self-regulation among post-secondary STEM students in major versus required non-major computer science courses. Participants were 233 students from required introductory computer science courses (194 men; 35 women; 4 unknown) at a large Midwestern state university. Cluster analysis identified five profiles: (1) a strategic profile of a highly motivated by-any-means good strategy user; (2) a knowledge-building profile of an intrinsically motivated autonomous, mastery-oriented student; (3) a surface learning profile of a utility motivated minimally engaged student; (4) an apathetic profile of an amotivational disengaged student; and (5) a learned helpless profile of a motivated but unable to effectively self-regulate student. Among CS majors and students in courses in their major field, the strategic and knowledge-building profiles were the most prevalent. Among non-CS majors and students in required non-major courses, the learned helpless, surface learning, and apathetic profiles were the most prevalent. Students in the strategic and knowledge-building profiles had significantly higher retention of computational thinking knowledge than students in other profiles. Students in the apathetic and surface learning profiles saw little instrumentality of the course for their future academic and career objectives. Findings show that students in STEM fields taking required computer science courses exhibit the same constellation of motivated strategic self-regulation profiles found in other post-secondary and K-12 settings.

  15. A Social Capital Perspective on the Mentoring of Undergraduate Life Science Researchers: An Empirical Study of Undergraduate–Postgraduate–Faculty Triads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikens, Melissa L.; Sadselia, Sona; Watkins, Keiana; Evans, Mara; Eby, Lillian T.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Undergraduate researchers at research universities are often mentored by graduate students or postdoctoral researchers (referred to collectively as “postgraduates”) and faculty, creating a mentoring triad structure. Triads differ based on whether the undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty member interact with one another about the undergraduate’s research. Using a social capital theory framework, we hypothesized that different triad structures provide undergraduates with varying resources (e.g., information, advice, psychosocial support) from the postgraduates and/or faculty, which would affect the undergraduates’ research outcomes. To test this, we collected data from a national sample of undergraduate life science researchers about their mentoring triad structure and a range of outcomes associated with research experiences, such as perceived gains in their abilities to think and work like scientists, science identity, and intentions to enroll in a PhD program. Undergraduates mentored by postgraduates alone reported positive outcomes, indicating that postgraduates can be effective mentors. However, undergraduates who interacted directly with faculty realized greater outcomes, suggesting that faculty interaction is important for undergraduates to realize the full benefits of research. The “closed triad,” in which undergraduates, postgraduates, and faculty all interact directly, appeared to be uniquely beneficial; these undergraduates reported the highest gains in thinking and working like a scientist. PMID:27174583

  16. An analysis of the information technology discipline in archival sciences undergraduate courses of universities from the south of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nelma Camêlo Araujo

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The present article is part of a research conducted at universities of the south of Brazil that offers disciplines of Information Technology in Archival Sciences undergraduate courses. The research objective to identify through the educational project of these courses the subjects which have emphasis in the Information Technology, as well as to identify the teachers’ perception about the condition of these subjects in enabling the student for the challenges of the work market

  17. Using assessments to investigate and compare the nature of learning in undergraduate science courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Momsen, Jennifer; Offerdahl, Erika; Kryjevskaia, Mila; Montplaisir, Lisa; Anderson, Elizabeth; Grosz, Nate

    2013-06-01

    Assessments and student expectations can drive learning: students selectively study and learn the content and skills they believe critical to passing an exam in a given subject. Evaluating the nature of assessments in undergraduate science education can, therefore, provide substantial insight into student learning. We characterized and compared the cognitive skills routinely assessed by introductory biology and calculus-based physics sequences, using the cognitive domain of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. Our results indicate that both introductory sequences overwhelmingly assess lower-order cognitive skills (e.g., knowledge recall, algorithmic problem solving), but the distribution of items across cognitive skill levels differs between introductory biology and physics, which reflects and may even reinforce student perceptions typical of those courses: biology is memorization, and physics is solving problems. We also probed the relationship between level of difficulty of exam questions, as measured by student performance and cognitive skill level as measured by Bloom's taxonomy. Our analyses of both disciplines do not indicate the presence of a strong relationship. Thus, regardless of discipline, more cognitively demanding tasks do not necessarily equate to increased difficulty. We recognize the limitations associated with this approach; however, we believe this research underscores the utility of evaluating the nature of our assessments.

  18. Teaching Map Concepts in Social Science Education; an Evaluation with Undergraduate Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bugdayci, Ilkay; Zahit Selvi, H.

    2017-12-01

    One of the most important aim of the geography and social science courses is to gain the ability of reading, analysing and understanding maps. There are a lot of themes related with maps and map concepts in social studies education. Geographical location is one of the most important theme. Geographical location is specified by geographical coordinates called latitude and longitude. The geographical coordinate system is the primary spatial reference system of the earth. It is always used in cartography, in geography, in basic location calculations such as navigation and surveying. It’s important to support teacher candidates, to teach maps and related concepts. Cartographers also have important missions and responsibilities in this context. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the knowledge of undergraduate students, about the geographical location. For this purpose, a research has been carried out on questions and activities related to geographical location and related concepts. The details and results of the research conducted by the students in the study are explained.

  19. [Use of psychoactive drugs by health sciences undergraduate students at the Federal University in Amazonas, Brazil].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Ana Cyra dos Santos; Parente, Rosana Cristina Pereira; Picanço, Neila Soares; Conceição, Denis Alvaci; Costa, Karen Regina Carim da; Magalhães, Igor Rafael dos Santos; Siqueira, João Cladirson Alves

    2006-03-01

    A survey was conducted with 521 undergraduate health sciences students from the Federal University in Amazonas, Manaus, Brazil. Lifetime alcohol consumption was reported by 87.7% students, as compared to 30.7% for tobacco, with the latter reported more frequently by males (39.7%). The most common illicit drugs were solvents (11.9%), marijuana (9.4%), amphetamines and anxiolytics (9.2% each), cocaine (2.1%), and hallucinogens (1.2%). The main reason for illicit drug use was curiosity. Lifetime use of anabolic steroids was reported by 2.1% of the students. Alcohol abuse in the previous 30 days was reported by 12.4% of the students. Events following drinking included: fights (4.7%), accidents (2.4%), classroom absenteeism (33.7%), and job absenteeism (11.8%). Another important finding was that 47.3% of students drove after drinking. Opinions on drug abuse and patterns agree with those from similar studies in other regions of Brazil.

  20. Making Data Management Accessible in the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reisner, Barbara A.; Vaughan, K. T. L.; Shorish, Yasmeen L.

    2014-01-01

    In the age of "big data" science, data management is becoming a key information literacy skill for chemistry professionals. To introduce this skill in the undergraduate chemistry major, an activity has been developed to familiarize undergraduates with data management. In this activity, students rename and organize cards that represent…

  1. Human sciences in the first semester of the dental undergraduate course at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Röding, K

    1999-08-01

    The first 9 weeks of the dental undergraduate education at the Karolinska Institutet comprises a transition course, designed to introduce students to university studies leading to professional qualifications in patient-related health sciences. 1 week has been set aside for the theme Man and Society, highlighting the importance of the human sciences for the development of behavioural skills necessary for achieving professionalism and a holistic patient concept. Some essential ethical questions are addressed: intercultural communication, empathy, professional demeanour and the development of professional competence, and group dynamics. In this context, more specific subjects are considered, such as the emergence of the multicultural society and its implications for health services, interpersonal skills and patient communication in the health and medical fields. There are several reasons for including this theme, which forms the basis for the ethical and communicative strands throughout the entire curriculum. As 30-40% of freshmen dental students are of non-Swedish origin, it is essential to include cultural awareness seminars. Another reason is that within the EU, cultural and communicative skills are recognised proficiencies for health professionals; it is also acknowledged that effective delivery of health care may be impeded by misunderstandings in communication and conflict in ethical beliefs. Group discussions are scheduled during the week in order to allow the students to discuss their own experiences related to the theme. The students are also given a written assignment in relation to one of the seminars; the report is assessed as a part of the examination. The week is concluded by a plenum discussion summarising the group discussions. To date, 4 course evaluations, with a response rate of 92.5%, show that 97.3% of the students were positive to the theme as a whole or to specific seminars held during the week, especially intercultural communication, ethics and

  2. Knowledge of healthy foods does not translate to healthy snack consumption among exercise science undergraduates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McArthur, Laura H; Valentino, Antonette; Holbert, Donald

    2017-06-01

    This cross-sectional survey study compared the on- and off-campus snack choices and related correlates of convenience samples of exercise science (ES) ( n = 165, M = 45%, F = 55%) and non-exercise science (NES) ( n =160, M = 43%, F = 57%) undergraduates. The hypothesis posed was that knowledge of healthy foods will not translate to healthier snack consumption by the ES students, and that the snack choices and related correlates of ES and NES students will be similar. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires completed in classrooms (ES sample) and at high-traffic locations on-campus (NES sample). Chi-square and t-test analyses compared ES and NES students on snack correlates. Snacks consumed most often by the ES and NES students on-campus were health bars/squares ( n = 56 vs. n = 48) and savory snacks ( n = 55 vs. n = 71), and off-campus were savory snacks ( n = 60 vs. n = 71) and fruits ( n = 41 vs. n = 34). Over half of both samples believed their snack choices were a mix of unhealthy and healthy. Fruits were considered healthier snacks and chips less healthy by both samples, and fruits were the most often recommended snack. About 20% believed these choices would impact their health unfavorably, and about two thirds self-classified in the action stages for healthy snacking. Since knowledge about healthy food choices did not translate to healthy snack selection, these students would benefit from interventions that teach selection and preparation of healthy snacks on a restricted budget.

  3. Writing-to-learn in undergraduate science education: a community-based, conceptually driven approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, Julie A; Thaiss, Christopher; Katkin, Wendy; Thompson, Robert J

    2012-01-01

    Despite substantial evidence that writing can be an effective tool to promote student learning and engagement, writing-to-learn (WTL) practices are still not widely implemented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, particularly at research universities. Two major deterrents to progress are the lack of a community of science faculty committed to undertaking and applying the necessary pedagogical research, and the absence of a conceptual framework to systematically guide study designs and integrate findings. To address these issues, we undertook an initiative, supported by the National Science Foundation and sponsored by the Reinvention Center, to build a community of WTL/STEM educators who would undertake a heuristic review of the literature and formulate a conceptual framework. In addition to generating a searchable database of empirically validated and promising WTL practices, our work lays the foundation for multi-university empirical studies of the effectiveness of WTL practices in advancing student learning and engagement.

  4. Undergraduate Science Coursework: Teachers' Goal Statements and How Students Experience Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Rijst, Roeland M.; Visser-Wijnveen, Gerda J.; Verloop, Nico; Van Driel, Jan H.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the relation between teachers' goal statements and students' experiences about the position of research in undergraduate coursework can give use insight into ways to integrate research and teaching and foster undergraduate research. In this study, we examined to what extent teachers' goal statements agreed with students' experiences…

  5. Referencing Science: Teaching Undergraduates to Identify, Validate, and Utilize Peer-Reviewed Online Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berzonsky, William A.; Richardson, Katherine D.

    2008-01-01

    Accessibility of online scientific literature continues to expand due to the advent of scholarly databases and search engines. Studies have shown that undergraduates favor using online scientific literature to address research questions, but they often do not have the skills to assess the validity of research articles. Undergraduates generally are…

  6. Ideas and Approaches for Teaching Undergraduate Research Methods in the Health Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peachey, Andrew A.; Baller, Stephanie L.

    2015-01-01

    Training in research methodology is becoming more commonly expected within undergraduate curricula designed to prepare students for entry into graduate allied health programs. Little information is currently available about pedagogical strategies to promote undergraduate students' learning of research methods, and less yet is available discussing…

  7. Assessing Attitudes Towards Science During an Adaptive Online Astrobiology Course: Comparing Online and On-Campus Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perera, Viranga; Mead, Chris; Buxner, Sanlyn; Horodyskyj, Lev; Semken, Steven; Lopatto, David; Anbar, Ariel

    2016-10-01

    General-education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are accepted as essential to a college education. An often cited reason is to train a scientifically literate populace who can think critically and make informed decisions about complex issues such as climate change, health care, and atomic energy. Goals of these STEM courses, therefore, go beyond content knowledge to include generating positive attitudes towards science, developing competence in evaluating scientific information in everyday life and understanding the nature of science. To gauge if such non-content learning outcomes are being met in our course, an online astrobiology course called Habitable Worlds, we administered the Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey to students. The survey was administered before and after completion of the course for three semesters starting with the Fall 2014 semester and ending with the Fall 2015 semester (N = 774). A factor analysis indicated three factors on attitudes: toward science education, toward the interconnectedness of science with non-science fields, and toward the nature of science. Here we present some differences between students enrolled in online degree programs (o-course) and those enrolled in traditional undergraduate programs (i-course). While mean course grades were similar, changes in attitudes toward science differ significantly between o-course and i-course students. The o-course students began the course with more positive attitudes across all three factors than the i-course students. Their attitudes toward science education improved during the course, while the i-course students showed no change. Attitudes toward the other two factors declined in both populations during the course, but declines were smaller among o-course students. These differences may indicate lesser intrinsic motivation among the i-course students. The CURE survey has not been used before in an online course; therefore, we will

  8. My Science Is Better than Your Science: Conceptual Change as a Goal in Teaching Science Majors Interested in Teaching Careers about Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utter, Brian C.; Paulson, Scott A.; Almarode, John T.; Daniel, David B.

    2018-01-01

    We argue, based on a multi-year collaboration to develop a pedagogy course for physics majors by experts in physics, education, and the science of learning, that the process of teaching science majors about education and the science of learning, and evidence-based teaching methods in particular, requires conceptual change analogous to that…

  9. Using local research sites to engage undergraduates in environmental science research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varner, R. K.

    2016-12-01

    For the first time in their undergraduate experience, students in the University of New Hampshire's Techniques in Environmental Science course are immersed in learning approaches to scientific investigation that they can implement as part of their senior capstone research experience or other REU type programs. The course begins with an understanding of the value of note taking in the field and working collaboratively in groups. The students then embark upon a series of field experiences that include using both simple and complex tools for mapping elevation, species composition and above ground biomass estimates in a forest and wetland, carbon cycling through measurement of greenhouse gas exchange at both a wetland and at an organic dairy farm, assessing hydrology and water quality through both ground and surface water measurements at locations on campus, and finally analysis of atmospheric chemistry data collected locally. Over the course of a semester the students learn how to describe their methodology and the importance of their work concisely. Eventually the students are given instrumentation and a field site and learn to ask their own research question and develop their approach to answering it. This course model provides a foundation for students to pursue their capstone research experiences but also for understanding complex environmental questions such as the impact of land use change on water and air quality and carbon cycling and its role in our climate system. Students are provided a unique opportunity to address questions at field sites that are local and are part of larger research programs which allows for a larger context to place their work. This course has also been a framework for the NSF funded REU program- Northern Ecosystems Research for Undergraduates (EAR#1063037). Sallie's Fen, a wetland research site, is used as an initial field setting for students to learn techniques, build their ability to ask research questions and to plan research

  10. Socio-economic predictors of performance in the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puddey, Ian B; Mercer, Annette

    2013-11-29

    Entry from secondary school to Australian and New Zealand undergraduate medical schools has since the late 1990's increasingly relied on the Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) as one of the selection factors. The UMAT consists of 3 sections - logical reasoning and problem solving (UMAT-1), understanding people (UMAT-2) and non-verbal reasoning (UMAT-3). One of the goals of using this test has been to enhance equity in the selection of students with the anticipation of an increase in the socioeconomic diversity in student cohorts. However there has been limited assessment as to whether UMAT performance itself might be influenced by socioeconomic background. Between 2000 and 2012, 158,909 UMAT assessments were completed. From these, 118,085 cases have been identified where an Australian candidate was sitting for the first time during that period. Predictors of the total UMAT score, UMAT-1, UMAT-2 and UMAT-3 scores were entered into regression models and included gender, age, school type, language used at home, deciles for the Index of Relative Socioeconomic Advantage and Disadvantage score, the Accessibility/Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA), self-identification as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin (ATSI) and current Australian state or territory of abode. A lower UMAT score was predicted by living in an area of relatively higher social disadvantage and lower social advantage. Other socioeconomic indicators were consistent with this observation with lower scores in those who self-identified as being of ATSI origin and higher scores evident in those from fee-paying independent school backgrounds compared to government schools. Lower scores were seen with increasing age, female gender and speaking any language other than English at home. Divergent effects of rurality were observed, with increased scores for UMAT-1 and UMAT-2, but decreasing UMAT-3 scores with increasing ARIA score. Significant state-based differences

  11. Transforming Spatial Reasoning Skills in the Upper-Level Undergraduate Geoscience Classroom Through Curricular Materials Informed by Cognitive Science Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ormand, C. J.; Shipley, T. F.; Dutrow, B. L.; Goodwin, L. B.; Hickson, T. A.; Tikoff, B.; Atit, K.; Gagnier, K. M.; Resnick, I.

    2014-12-01

    Spatial visualization is an essential skill in the STEM disciplines, including the geosciences. Undergraduate students, including geoscience majors in upper-level courses, bring a wide range of spatial skill levels to the classroom. Students with weak spatial skills may be unable to understand fundamental concepts and to solve geological problems with a spatial component. However, spatial thinking skills are malleable. As a group of geoscience faculty members and cognitive psychologists, we have developed a set of curricular materials for Mineralogy, Sedimentology & Stratigraphy, and Structural Geology courses. These materials are designed to improve students' spatial skills, and in particular to improve students' abilities to reason about spatially complex 3D geological concepts and problems. Teaching spatial thinking in the context of discipline-based exercises has the potential to transform undergraduate STEM education by removing one significant barrier to success in the STEM disciplines. The curricular materials we have developed are based on several promising teaching strategies that have emerged from cognitive science research on spatial thinking. These strategies include predictive sketching, making visual comparisons, gesturing, and the use of analogy. We have conducted a three-year study of the efficacy of these materials in strengthening the spatial skills of students in upper-level geoscience courses at three universities. Our methodology relies on a pre- and post-test study design, with several tests of spatial thinking skills administered at the beginning and end of each semester. In 2011-2012, we used a "business as usual" approach to gather baseline data, measuring how much students' spatial thinking skills improved in response to the existing curricula. In the two subsequent years we have incorporated our new curricular materials, which can be found on the project website: http://serc.carleton.edu/spatialworkbook/activities.html Structural Geology

  12. Learning Science by Engaging Religion: A Novel Two-Course Approach for Biology Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Arri; Huang, Junjian

    2014-01-01

    Many issues in science create individual and societal tensions with important implications outside the classroom. We describe one model that directly addresses such tensions by integrating science and religion in two parallel, integrated courses for science majors. Evaluation of the goals of the project--(1) providing students with strategies to…

  13. A comparative study of traditional lecture methods and interactive lecture methods in introductory geology courses for non-science majors at the college level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hundley, Stacey A.

    In recent years there has been a national call for reform in undergraduate science education. The goal of this reform movement in science education is to develop ways to improve undergraduate student learning with an emphasis on developing more effective teaching practices. Introductory science courses at the college level are generally taught using a traditional lecture format. Recent studies have shown incorporating active learning strategies within the traditional lecture classroom has positive effects on student outcomes. This study focuses on incorporating interactive teaching methods into the traditional lecture classroom to enhance student learning for non-science majors enrolled in introductory geology courses at a private university. Students' experience and instructional preferences regarding introductory geology courses were identified from survey data analysis. The information gained from responses to the questionnaire was utilized to develop an interactive lecture introductory geology course for non-science majors. Student outcomes were examined in introductory geology courses based on two teaching methods: interactive lecture and traditional lecture. There were no significant statistical differences between the groups based on the student outcomes and teaching methods. Incorporating interactive lecture methods did not statistically improve student outcomes when compared to traditional lecture teaching methods. However, the responses to the survey revealed students have a preference for introductory geology courses taught with lecture and instructor-led discussions and students prefer to work independently or in small groups. The results of this study are useful to individuals who teach introductory geology courses and individuals who teach introductory science courses for non-science majors at the college level.

  14. An Engineering Degree Does Not (Necessarily) an Engineer Make: Career Decision Making among Undergraduate Engineering Majors. Research Brief

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtenstein, Gary; Loshbaugh, Heidi G.; Claar, Brittany; Chen, Helen L.; Jackson, Kristyn; Sheppard, Sheri

    2009-01-01

    This paper explores the career-related decision making of seniors enrolled in undergraduate engineering programs at two nationally recognized institutions. This strand of the Academic Pathways Study (APS) research revealed that many engineering students were undecided about their career plans, even late into their senior years and that many were…

  15. Teaching the content and context of science: The effect of using historical narratives to teach the nature of science and science content in an undergraduate introductory geology course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanderlinden, David Winston

    This study reports the use of historically accurate narratives (short stories) to simultaneously teach geology content and the nature of science in an introductory, undergraduate geology course. The stories describe key events involved in the development of geologists' ideas about continental drift/plate tectonics and deep time/the age of the Earth. The design of the stories provides a highly contextualized setting which is designed to promote NOS and geology understanding by explicitly attending students to fundamental concepts and requiring students to reflect on the short story content. Evidence is reported to support the conclusion that students using these short stories constructed a better understanding of (1) the variety of processes involved in the construction of scientific knowledge, (2) the subjective nature of data that allows it to be interpreted differently by different scientists, and (3) the roles that culture and society play in determining the way in which scientific work is conducted and scientific ideas are constructed, while maintaining equal levels of understanding of geology content when compared to students who did not use the short stories. In some cases, students' preconceptions about objectivity in science, the degree to which scientific ideas can be considered as "proven" or "true," and the role of discovery in science appear to have adversely affected their ability to interpret the short story content in the ways intended. In addition, students' misconceptions about differences in how oceanic and continental plates were formed and geologists' use of relative and absolute dating techniques, especially the appropriate uses of radio-isotopic dating, are described. This study has implications for science instructors as they make efforts to efficiently use class time and curriculum resources to teach about the both the content and context of science and for geology instructors as they consider students' misconceptions about plate tectonics

  16. Oceanography in Second Life: Use of a Virtual Reality to Enhance Undergraduate Education in Marine Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villareal, T. A.; Jarmon, L.; Triggs, R.

    2009-12-01

    Shipboard research is a fundamental part of oceanography, but has numerous legal and practical constraints virtually eliminate it as a regular part of large-enrollment programs in marine science. The cost of a properly equipped research vessel alone can prevent student access. While much can be learned by active exploration of archived data by students, the limitations placed on real oceanographic programs by distance, vessel speed, and time are difficult to reproduce in exercises. Pre-cruise planning and collaboration between investigators are likewise a challenge to incorporate. We have used design students in the College of Liberal Arts to construct a oceanographic expedition in Second Life for use in a marine science course (Fall 2009). Second Life is a highly collaborative environment with a variety of tools that allow users to create their own environment and interact with it. Second LIfe is free, highly portable, and inherently amenable to distance or remote teaching. In our application, the research vessel exists as an moving platform with sampling abilities. Software code queries an external MySQL database that contains information from the World Ocean Atlas for the entire ocean, and returns strings of data from standard depths. Students must plan the cruise track to test hypothesis about the ocean, collaborate with other teams to develop the big picture and use standard oceanographic software (Ocean Data Viewer; ODV) to analyze the data. Access to the entire database in ODV then allows comparison to the actual properties and distributions. The effectiveness of this approach is being evaluated by a pre- and post-class surveys and post semester focus group interviews. Similar surveys of the design students that created the environment noted that use of Second Life created a learning experience that was both more immersive and process oriented than traditional college courses. Initial impressions in the marine science class indicate that the strong social

  17. Multidisciplinary leadership training for undergraduate health science students may improve Ugandan healthcare

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Najjuma

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Background. Community-based education research and service (COBERS is a platform for embedding progressive transformative leadership andresearch-related medical education in Uganda. The leadership development programme (LDP developed at Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST, Uganda is a key component of COBERS. Health science students at MUST are equipped by means of the LDP with leadership knowledge and skills, and a positive attitude towards leadership and rural communities. The programme involves employing interactive learner-centred education techniques, with the opportunity to implement these skills in a community setting immediately after the training.Objective. To assess the students’ self-reported perception and effectiveness of the precommunity placement LDP at MUST and its impact during the community clinical placement, and to measure the self-reported improvement of students’ knowledge and their application of leadership skills in the community. The results of the evaluation will improve and build on this educational programme. The study also evaluated the effectiveness of the preplacement leadership training course for undergraduates at MUST, as reported by students.Methods. The programme evaluation of the LDP used quantitative pretest and post-test measures and qualitative data from focus group discussionsto enrich the evaluation. Data were collected from students before and after the 1-week leadership training course using the same self-administeredquestionnaire. Variables were then compared to evaluate the impact of the LDP.Results. Prior to the intervention, only 14% of the participants had ever attended a leadership training session. There was significant self-reportedchange in the task accomplishment skills, interpersonal relationship skills and quality of leadership.Conclusion. The results suggest that the LDP may increase leadership skills among health science students to improve

  18. Teaching programming and modelling skills to first-year earth & environmental science undergraduates: outcomes and lessons learned from a pilot project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, J. A.; Brewer, C.; O'Brien, G.

    2017-12-01

    Computing and programming are rapidly becoming necessary skills for earth and environmental scientists. Scientists in both academia and industry must be able to manipulate increasingly large datasets, create plots and 3-D visualisations of observations, and interpret outputs from complex numerical models, among other tasks. However, these skills are rarely taught as a compulsory part of undergraduate earth science curricula. In 2016, the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of Wollongong began a pilot program to integrate introductory programming and modelling skills into the required first-year core curriculum for all undergraduates majoring in earth and environmental science fields. Using Python, a popular teaching language also widely used by professionals, a set of guided exercises were developed. These exercises use interactive Jupyter Notebooks to introduce students to programming fundamentals and simple modelling problems relevant to the earth system, such as carbon cycling and population growth. The exercises are paired with peer review activities to expose students to the multitude of "correct" ways to solve computing problems. In the last weeks of the semester, students work in groups to creatively adapt their new-found skills to selected problems in earth system science. In this presentation, I will report on outcomes from delivering the new curriculum to the first two cohorts of 120-150 students, including details of the implementation and the impacts on both student aptitude and attitudes towards computing. While the first cohort clearly developed competency, survey results suggested a drop in student confidence over the course of the semester. To address this confidence gap for the second cohort, the in-class activities are now being supplemented with low-stakes open-book review quizzes that provide further practice with no time pressure. Research into the effectiveness of these review quizzes is ongoing and preliminary findings

  19. Cross-disciplinary thermoregulation and sweat analysis laboratory experiences for undergraduate Chemistry and Exercise Science students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulligan, Gregory; Taylor, Nichole; Glen, Mary; Tomlin, Dona; Gaul, Catherine A

    2011-06-01

    Cross-disciplinary (CD) learning experiences benefit student understanding of concepts and curriculum by offering opportunities to explore topics from the perspectives of alternate fields of study. This report involves a qualitative evaluation of CD health sciences undergraduate laboratory experiences in which concepts and students from two distinct disciplines [chemistry (CHEM) and exercise physiology (EPHE)] combined to study exercise thermoregulation and sweat analysis. Twenty-eight senior BSc Kinesiology (EPHE) students and 42 senior BSc CHEM students participated as part of their mutually exclusive, respective courses. The effectiveness of this laboratory environment was evaluated qualitatively using written comments collected from all students as well as from formal focus groups conducted after the CD laboratory with a representative cohort from each class (n = 16 CHEM students and 9 EPHE students). An open coding strategy was used to analyze the data from written feedback and focus group transcripts. Coding topics were generated and used to develop five themes found to be consistent for both groups of students. These themes reflected the common student perceptions that the CD experience was valuable and that students enjoyed being able to apply academic concepts to practical situations as well as the opportunity to interact with students from another discipline of study. However, students also reported some challenges throughout this experience that stemmed from the combination of laboratory groups from different disciplines with limited modification to the design of the original, pre-CD, learning environments. The results indicate that this laboratory created an effective learning opportunity that fostered student interest and enthusiasm for learning. The findings also provide information that could inform subsequent design and implementation of similar CD experiences to enhance engagement of all students and improve instructor efficacy.

  20. Continuous Flow Science in an Undergraduate Teaching Laboratory: Photocatalytic Thiol-Ene Reaction Using Visible Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santandrea, Jeffrey; Kairouz, Vanessa; Collins, Shawn K.

    2018-01-01

    An undergraduate teaching laboratory experiment involving a continuous flow, photocatalytic thiol-ene reaction using visible-light irradiation is described that allows students to explore concepts of green chemistry, photochemistry, photocatalysis, and continuous flow chemistry.

  1. Undergraduate Convexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritzen, Niels

    Based on undergraduate teaching to students in computer science, economics and mathematics at Aarhus University, this is an elementary introduction to convex sets and convex functions with emphasis on concrete computations and examples. Starting from linear inequalities and Fourier-Motzkin elimin...

  2. QUALITATIVE INDICATORS OF EFFICIENCY OF TECHNOLOGIES DEVELOPING ESP COMPETENCE IN STUDENTS MAJORING IN SCIENCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Наталія Микитинко

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The article is dedicated to identifying and diagnosing qualitative indicators of efficiency of technologies developing ESP competence in students majoring in Sciences, namely: indicators of objective and subjective assessment  of students’ ESP competence, students’ motivation regarding professional choice, organizational features of professional training, its contents, the most popular learning activities, use of active methods of study in educational process. The paradigm of experimental research of efficiency of technologies developing ESP competence in students majoring in Sciences has been defined. Based on the interpretation of the qualitative indicators the hypothesis of efficiency of technologies developing ESP competence in students majoring in Sciences has been proven.

  3. A New Approach to Teaching Science to Elementary Education Majors in Response to the NGSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brevik, C.; Daniels, L.; McCoy, C.

    2015-12-01

    The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) place an equal emphasis on science process skills and science content. The goal is to have K-12 students "doing" science, not just "learning about" science. However, most traditional college science classes for elementary education majors place a much stronger emphasis on science content knowledge with the hands-on portion limited to a once-a-week lab. The two models of instruction are not aligned. The result is that many elementary school teachers are unprepared to offer interactive science with their students. Without additional coaching, many teachers fall back on the format they learned in college - lecture, handouts, homework. If we want teachers to use more hands-on methods in the classroom, these techniques should be taught to elementary education majors when they are in college. Dickinson State University has begun a collaboration between the Teacher Education Department and the Department of Natural Sciences. The physical science course for elementary education majors has been completely redesigned to focus equally on the needed science content and the science process skills emphasized by the NGSS. The format of the course has been adjusted to more closely mirror a traditional K-5 classroom; the course meets for 50 minutes five days a week. A flipped-classroom model has been adopted to ensure no content is lost, and hands-on activities are done almost every day as new concepts are discussed. In order to judge the effectiveness of these changes, a survey tool was administered to determine if there was a shift in the students' perception of science as an active instead of a passive field of study. The survey also measured the students' comfort-level in offering a hands-on learning environment in their future classrooms and their confidence in their ability to effectively teach science concepts to elementary students. Results from the first year of the study will be presented.

  4. The CLEAN Workshop Series: Promoting Effective Pedagogy for Teaching Undergraduate Climate Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, K. B.; Bruckner, M. Z.; Manduca, C. A.; Buhr, S. M.

    2012-12-01

    To prepare students to understand a changing climate, it is imperative that we equip educators with the best possible tools and methods for reaching their audience. As part of the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) professional development efforts, two workshops for undergraduate faculty were held in 2012. These workshops used a variety of activities to help faculty learn about recent climate research, take part in demonstrations of successful activities for teaching climate topics, and collaborate to create new teaching materials. The workshops also facilitated professional networking among participants. Both workshops were held online, eliminating the need for travel, encouraging participants without travel funds to attend, and allowing international collaborations and presentations. To create an authentic experience, the workshop used several technologies such as the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing platform, SERC's web-based collaboration tools and online discussion threads, and conference calls. The workshop Communicating Climate Science in the Classroom, held in April 2012, explored practices for communicating climate science and policy in the classroom and provided strategies to improve student understanding of this complex and sensitive topic. Workshop presentations featured public opinion research on Americans' perceptions of climate change, tactics for identifying and resolving student misconceptions, and methods to address various "backfire effects" that can result from attempts to correct misinformation. Demonstrations of teaching approaches included a role-playing simulation of emissions negotiations, Princeton's climate stabilization wedges game, and an activity that allows students to use scientific principles to tackle misinformation. The workshop Teaching Climate Complexity was held in May 2012. Teaching the complexities of climate science requires an understanding of many facets of the Earth system and a robust pedagogic

  5. Gender and Belonging in Undergraduate Computer Science: A Comparative Case Study of Student Experiences in Gateway Courses. WCER Working Paper No. 2016-2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benbow, Ross J.; Vivyan, Erika

    2016-01-01

    Building from findings showing that undergraduate computer science continues to have the highest attrition rates proportionally for women within postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines--a phenomenon that defies basic social equity goals in a high status field--this paper seeks to better understand how student…

  6. Founders' Weekend. North Country Workshop on Science, Technology and the Undergraduate Curriculum. Proceedings (Potsdam, New York, November 9-10, 1984).

    Science.gov (United States)

    State Univ. of New York, Potsdam. Coll. at Potsdam.

    Proceedings of the North Country Workshop on Science, Technology, and the Undergraduate Curriculum are presented. The Sloan Foundation's call for reform of the liberal arts and coverage of mathematics, science, and technology is noted in welcoming remarks by State University of New York, Potsdam, President Humphrey Tonkin. Stephen H. Cutcliffe…

  7. Developing Food Science Core Competencies in Vietnam: The Role of Experience and Problem Solving in an Industry-Based Undergraduate Research Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeGrand, Karen; Yamashita, Lina; Trexler, Cary J.; Vu, Thi Lam An; Young, Glenn M.

    2017-01-01

    Although many educators now recognize the value of problem-based learning and experiential learning, undergraduate-level food science courses that reflect these pedagogical approaches are still relatively novel, especially in East and Southeast Asia. Leveraging existing partnerships with farmers in Vietnam, a food science course for students at…

  8. Are We Teaching Them Anything?: A Model for Measuring Methodology Skills in the Political Science Major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siver, Christi; Greenfest, Seth W.; Haeg, G. Claire

    2016-01-01

    While the literature emphasizes the importance of teaching political science students methods skills, there currently exists little guidance for how to assess student learning over the course of their time in the major. To address this gap, we develop a model set of assessment tools that may be adopted and adapted by political science departments…

  9. Survey of Mathematics and Science Requirements for Production-Oriented Agronomy Majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aide, Michael; Terry, Danny

    1996-01-01

    Analyzes course requirements to determine the amount of required mathematics and science for production-oriented agronomy majors. Reports that mathematics requirements center around college algebra and statistics; science requirements generally include chemistry, biology, plant physiology, and genetics; and land-grant institutions have a…

  10. Life in the Universe - Astronomy and Planetary Science Research Experience for Undergraduates at the SETI Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiar, J.; Phillips, C. B.; Rudolph, A.; Bonaccorsi, R.; Tarter, J.; Harp, G.; Caldwell, D. A.; DeVore, E. K.

    2016-12-01

    The SETI Institute hosts an Astrobiology Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Beginning in 2013, we partnered with the Physics and Astronomy Dept. at Cal Poly Pomona, a Hispanic-serving university, to recruit underserved students. Over 11 years, we have served 155 students. We focus on Astrobiology since the Institute's mission is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Our REU students work with mentors at the Institute - a non-profit organization located in California's Silicon Valley-and at the nearby NASA Ames Research Center. Projects span research on survival of microbes under extreme conditions, planetary geology, astronomy, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), extrasolar planets and more. The REU program begins with an introductory lectures by Institute scientists covering the diverse astrobiology subfields. A week-long field trip to the SETI Institute's Allen Telescope Array (Hat Creek Radio Astronomy Observatory in Northern California) and field experiences at hydrothermal systems at nearby Lassen Volcanic National Park immerses students in radio astronomy and SETI, and extremophile environments that are research sites for astrobiologists. Field trips expose students to diverse environments and allow them to investigate planetary analogs as our scientists do. Students also participate in local trips to the California Academy of Sciences and other nearby locations of scientific interest, and attend the weekly scientific colloquium hosted by the SETI Institute at Microsoft, other seminars and lectures at SETI Institute and NASA Ames. The students meet and present at a weekly journal club where they hone their presentation skills, as well as share their research progress. At the end of the summer, the REU interns present their research projects at a session of the Institute's colloquium. As a final project, students prepare a 2-page formal abstract and 15-minute

  11. Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Science in an Adaptive Online Astrobiology Course: Comparing Online and On-Campus Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Perera, V.; Mead, C.; Horodyskyj, L.; Semken, S. C.; Lopatto, D.; Anbar, A. D.

    2016-12-01

    General-education Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are considered essential to a college education, in part, to train students to think critically and to make informed decisions about complex scientific issues such as climate change and public health. Therefore, the goals of these STEM courses go beyond content knowledge to include generating positive attitudes towards science, developing competence in evaluating scientific information in everyday life, and understanding the nature of science. The Classroom Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE) survey is frequently used to measure these attitudes, but it has not previously been used in an online, general education course. In this work, we administered the CURE survey for three semesters (N = 774) before and after completion of an online astrobiology course called Habitable Worlds. We compare students taking this course as part of fully-online degree programs (o-course) with those taking it as part of traditional undergraduate programs (i-course). More females and older students were among the o-course group, while overall the course had more white students than the Arizona State University average. Mean course grades were similar between the two groups but attitudes toward science differred significantly. O-course students began the course with more positive attitudes than i-course students, and o-course students also showed more positive changes at the end of the course. These differences suggest lesser intrinsic motivation among the i-course students. Additionally, pre-course attitudes correlated with final course grade for o-course students, but not for i-course students, which implies that success among o-course students is influenced by different factors than i-course students. Thus, effective student support strategies may differ for online-only students. Future work will include student interviews to better calibrate the CURE survey to online science courses.

  12. The Gender Differences: Hispanic Females and Males Majoring in Science or Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Susan Wightman

    Documented by national statistics, female Hispanic students are not eagerly rushing to major in science or engineering. Using Seidman's in-depth interviewing method, 22 Hispanic students, 12 female and 10 male, majoring in science or engineering were interviewed. Besides the themes that emerged with all 22 Hispanic students, there were definite differences between the female and male Hispanic students: role and ethnic identity confusion, greater college preparation, mentoring needed, and the increased participation in enriched additional education programs by the female Hispanic students. Listening to these stories from successful female Hispanic students majoring in science and engineering, educators can make changes in our school learning environments that will encourage and enable more female Hispanic students to choose science or engineering careers.

  13. Student Perceptions of the Cell Biology Laboratory Learning Environment in Four Undergraduate Science Courses in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Juan, Joaquin; Pérez-Cañaveras, Rosa M.; Segovia, Yolanda; Girela, Jose Luis; Martínez-Ruiz, Noemi; Romero-Rameta, Alejandro; Gómez-Torres, Maria José; Vizcaya-Moreno, M. Flores

    2016-01-01

    Cell biology is an academic discipline that organises and coordinates the learning of the structure, function and molecular composition of cells in some undergraduate biomedical programs. Besides course content and teaching methodologies, the laboratory environment is considered a key element in the teaching of and learning of cell biology. The…

  14. How (and Whether) to Teach Undergraduates about the Replication Crisis in Psychological Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chopik, William J.; Bremner, Ryan H.; Defever, Andrew M.; Keller, Victor N.

    2018-01-01

    Over the past 10 years, crises surrounding replication, fraud, and best practices in research methods have dominated discussions in the field of psychology. However, no research exists examining how to communicate these issues to undergraduates and what effect this has on their attitudes toward the field. We developed and validated a 1-hr lecture…

  15. Research and Teaching: Blooming, SOLO Taxonomy, and Phenomenography as Assessment Strategies in Undergraduate Science Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Genevieve; Martin, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Three alternative approaches to assessment of exam responses were applied in an undergraduate biochemistry course. First, phenomenography was used to categorize written exam responses into an inclusive hierarchy. Second, responses to the same question were similarly categorized according to the Structure of Observed Learning Outcome (SOLO)…

  16. Implementation and Assessment of Undergraduate Experiences in SOAP: An Atmospheric Science Research and Education Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopper, Larry J., Jr.; Schumacher, Courtney; Stachnik, Justin P.

    2013-01-01

    The Student Operational Aggie Doppler Radar Project (SOAP) involved 95 undergraduates in a research and education program to better understand the climatology of storms in southeast Texas from 2006-2010. This paper describes the structure, components, and implementation of the 1-credit-hour research course, comparing first-year participants'…

  17. Advising Undergraduates in a Department of Soil Science and/or Agronomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Gerhard B.

    1987-01-01

    Offers suggestions to advisers of undergraduate students in agriculture. Recommends that advisers be competent, concerned, compassionate, and provide an open-door attitude toward their advisees. Suggests that students be guided toward good study habits and participation in intern programs. (TW)

  18. Undergraduate Research in Earth Science Classes: Engaging Students in the First Two Years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mogk, D. W.; Wysession, M. E.; Beauregard, A.; Reinen, L. A.; Surpless, K.; O'Connell, K.; McDaris, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    The recent PCAST report (2012), Engage to Excel, calls for a major shift in instructional modes in introductory (geo)science courses by "replacing standard laboratory courses with discovery-based research courses". An increased emphasis is recommended to engage students in experiments with the possibility of true discovery and expanded use of scientific research courses in the first two years. To address this challenge, the On the Cutting Edge program convened a workshop of geoscience faculty to explore the many ways that true research experiences can be built into introductory geoscience courses. The workshop goals included: consideration of the opportunities, strategies and methods used to provide research experiences for students in lower division geoscience courses; examination of ways to develop students' "geoscience habits of mind" through participation in authentic research activities; exploration of ways that student research projects can be designed to contribute to public science literacy with applications to a range of issues facing humanity; and development of strategies to obtain funding for these research projects, to make these programs sustainable in departments and institutions, and to scale-up these programs so that all students may participate. Access to Earth data, information technology, lab and field-based instrumentation, and field experiences provide unprecedented opportunities for students to engage in authentic research at early stages in their careers. Early exposure to research experiences has proven to be effective in the recruitment of students to the geoscience disciplines, improved retention and persistence in degree programs, motivation for students to learn and increase self-efficacy, improved attitudes and values about science, and overall increased student success. Workshop outcomes include an online collection of tested research projects currently being used in geoscience classes, resources related to effective design

  19. A Social Capital Perspective on the Mentoring of Undergraduate Life Science Researchers: An Empirical Study of Undergraduate-Postgraduate-Faculty Triads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aikens, Melissa L.; Sadselia, Sona; Watkins, Keiana; Evans, Mara; Eby, Lillian T.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Undergraduate researchers at research universities are often mentored by graduate students or postdoctoral researchers (referred to collectively as "postgraduates") and faculty, creating a mentoring triad structure. Triads differ based on whether the undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty member interact with one another about the…

  20. A Model for Undergraduate and High School Student Research in Earth and Space Sciences: The New York City Research Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scalzo, F.; Johnson, L.; Marchese, P.

    2006-05-01

    The New York City Research Initiative (NYCRI) is a research and academic program that involves high school students, undergraduate and graduate students, and high school teachers in research teams that are led by college/university principal investigators of NASA funded projects and/or NASA scientists. The principal investigators are at 12 colleges/universities within a 50-mile radius of New York City (NYC and surrounding counties, Southern Connecticut and Northern New Jersey), as well as the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS). This program has a summer research institute component in Earth Science and Space Science, and an academic year component that includes the formulation and implementation NASA research based learning units in existing STEM courses by high school and college faculty. NYCRI is a revision and expansion of the Institute on Climate and Planets at GISS and is funded by NASA MURED and the Goddard Space Flight Center's Education Office.

  1. The Art of Astronomy: A New General Education Course for Non-Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilachowski, Catherine A.; van Zee, Liese

    2017-01-01

    The Art of Astronomy is a new general education course developed at Indiana University. The topic appeals to a broad range of undergraduates and the course gives students the tools to understand and appreciate astronomical images in a new way. The course explores the science of imaging the universe and the technology that makes the images possible. Topics include the night sky, telescopes and cameras, light and color, and the science behind the images. Coloring the Universe: An Insider's Look at Making Spectacular Images of Space" by T. A. Rector, K. Arcand, and M. Watzke serves as the basic text for the course, supplemented by readings from the web. Through the course, students participate in exploration activities designed to help them first to understand astronomy images, and then to create them. Learning goals include an understanding of scientific inquiry, an understanding of the basics of imaging science as applied in astronomy, a knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum and how observations at different wavelengths inform us about different environments in the universe, and an ability to interpret astronomical images to learn about the universe and to model and understand the physical world.

  2. Bridging the Gap: Embedding Communication Courses in the Science Undergraduate Curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandciu, Eric; Stewart, Jaclyn J.; Stoodley, Robin; Birol, Gülnur; Han, Andrea; Fox, Joanne A.

    2015-01-01

    The authors describe a model for embedding science communication into the science curriculum without displacing science content. They describe the rationale, development, design, and implementation of two courses taught by science faculty addressing these criteria. They also outline the evaluation plan for these courses, which emphasize broad…

  3. Undergraduate Convexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritzen, Niels

    Based on undergraduate teaching to students in computer science, economics and mathematics at Aarhus University, this is an elementary introduction to convex sets and convex functions with emphasis on concrete computations and examples. Starting from linear inequalities and Fourier-Motzkin elimin......Based on undergraduate teaching to students in computer science, economics and mathematics at Aarhus University, this is an elementary introduction to convex sets and convex functions with emphasis on concrete computations and examples. Starting from linear inequalities and Fourier......-Motzkin elimination, the theory is developed by introducing polyhedra, the double description method and the simplex algorithm, closed convex subsets, convex functions of one and several variables ending with a chapter on convex optimization with the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions, duality and an interior point...... algorithm....

  4. Male Saudi Arabian freshman science majors at Jazan University: Their perceptions of parental educational practices on their science achievements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alrehaly, Essa D.

    Examination of Saudi Arabian educational practices is scarce, but increasingly important, especially in light of the country's pace in worldwide mathematics and science rankings. The purpose of the study is to understand and evaluate parental influence on male children's science education achievements in Saudi Arabia. Parental level of education and participant's choice of science major were used to identify groups for the purpose of data analysis. Data were gathered using five independent variables concerning parental educational practices (attitude, involvement, autonomy support, structure and control) and the dependent variable of science scores in high school. The sample consisted of 338 participants and was arbitrarily drawn from the science-based colleges (medical, engineering, and natural science) at Jazan University in Saudi Arabia. The data were tested using Pearson's analysis, backward multiple regression, one way ANOVA and independent t-test. The findings of the study reveal significant correlations for all five of the variables. Multiple regressions revealed that all five of the parents' educational practices indicators combined together could explain 19% of the variance in science scores and parental attitude toward science and educational involvement combined accounted for more than 18% of the variance. Analysis indicates that no significant difference is attributable to parental involvement and educational level. This finding is important because it indicates that, in Saudi Arabia, results are not consistent with research in Western or other Asian contexts.

  5. Resources to Transform Undergraduate Geoscience Education: Activities in Support of Earth, Oceans and Atmospheric Sciences Faculty, and Future Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, J. G.; Singer, J.

    2013-12-01

    The NSF offers funding programs that support geoscience education spanning atmospheric, oceans, and Earth sciences, as well as environmental science, climate change and sustainability, and research on learning. The 'Resources to Transform Undergraduate Geoscience Education' (RTUGeoEd) is an NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM (TUES) Type 2 special project aimed at supporting college-level geoscience faculty at all types of institutions. The project's goals are to carry out activities and create digital resources that encourage the geoscience community to submit proposals that impact their courses and classroom infrastructure through innovative changes in instructional practice, and contribute to making transformative changes that impact student learning outcomes and lead to other educational benefits. In the past year information sessions were held during several national and regional professional meetings, including the GSA Southeastern and South-Central Section meetings. A three-day proposal-writing workshop for faculty planning to apply to the TUES program was held at the University of South Florida - Tampa. During the workshop, faculty learned about the program and key elements of a proposal, including: the need to demonstrate awareness of prior efforts within and outside the geosciences and how the proposed project builds upon this knowledge base; need to fully justify budget and role of members of the project team; project evaluation and what matters in selecting a project evaluator; and effective dissemination practices. Participants also spent time developing their proposal benefitting from advice and feedback from workshop facilitators. Survey data gathered from workshop participants point to a consistent set of challenges in seeking grant support for a desired educational innovation, including poor understanding of the educational literature, of available funding programs, and of learning assessment and project evaluation. Many also noted

  6. The use of statistics in real and simulated investigations performed by undergraduate health sciences' students

    OpenAIRE

    Pimenta, Rui; Nascimento, Ana; Vieira, Margarida; Costa, Elísio

    2010-01-01

    In previous works, we evaluated the statistical reasoning ability acquired by health sciences’ students carrying out their final undergraduate project. We found that these students achieved a good level of statistical literacy and reasoning in descriptive statistics. However, concerning inferential statistics the students did not reach a similar level. Statistics educators therefore claim for more effective ways to learn statistics such as project based investigations. These can be simulat...

  7. Recruitment of Early STEM Majors into Possible Secondary Science Teaching Careers: The Role of Science Education Summer Internships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borgerding, Lisa A.

    2015-01-01

    A shortage of highly qualified math and science teachers pervades the U.S. public school system. Clearly, recruitment of talented STEM educators is critical. Previous literature offers many suggestions for how STEM teacher recruitment programs and participant selection should occur. This study investigates how early STEM majors who are not already…

  8. Research and Teaching: Using Twitter in a Nonscience Major Science Class Increases Journal of College Science Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halpin, Patricia A.

    2016-01-01

    Nonscience majors often rely on general internet searches to locate science information. This practice can lead to misconceptions because the returned search information can be unreliable. In this article the authors describe how they used the social media site Twitter to address this problem in a general education course, BSCI 421 Diseases of the…

  9. A descriptive study of Myers-Briggs personality types of professional music educators and music therapists with comparisons to undergraduate majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steele, Anita Louise; Young, Sylvester

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of the current study was to determine personality types and demographic characteristics of professional music educators and music therapists. The researchers also sought to determine if personality types of professionals were consistent with undergraduate majors in those fields and personal characteristics as suggested by The Music Education National Conference (MENC) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). The research of Steele and Young (2008) found strong similarities and some differences between undergraduate music education and music therapy students. The possibility that basic types extend across the life span may strengthen understanding of job satisfaction, stress, burn out and other factors affecting retention. Participants were a voluntary convenience sample of 253 music educators (n=110) and music therapists (n=143). The highest preference for music educators was Extrovert-Intuition-Feeling-Judgment (ENFJ) and the highest preference for music therapists was Introvert-Intuition-Feeling-Judgment (INFJ). The difference in the collective type of each group was their "outlook on life", which was either Extrovert or Introvert. However, both groups were the same in their secondary type functions of "NFJ". A comparison of findings with the Steele and Young (2008) study suggested small changes in personality type over time. Caution must be exercised in generalizing findings; however this descriptive investigation may serve as the basis for future studies, which should help foster a stable work force in these professions.

  10. Enjoy writing your science thesis or dissertation! a step-by-step guide to planning and writing a thesis or dissertation for undergraduate and graduate science students

    CERN Document Server

    Fisher, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    This book is a step by step illustrated guide to planning and writing dissertations and theses for undergraduate and graduate science students. Topics covered include advice on writing each section of a thesis as well as general discussions on collecting and organizing references, keeping records, presenting data, interacting with a supervisor and avoiding academic misconduct. Recommendations about how to use word processors and other software packages effectively are included, as well as advice on the use of other resources. A concise summary of important points of English grammar is given, along with appendices listing frequently confused words and wordy phrases to avoid. Further appendices are provided, including one on Si units. The aim is to provide an easy-to-read guide that gives students practical advice about all aspects of writing a science thesis or dissertation, starting from writing a thesis plan and finishing with the viva and corrections to the thesis.

  11. Variations in Primary Teachers’ Responses and Development during Three Major Science In- Service Programmes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony Pell

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reports on how different types of teachers responded to in-service aimed at developing investigative-based science education (IBSE in primary schools, and the extent to which they applied their new skills in the classroom. Common items from evaluation questionnaires allowed data to be combined from three major in-service programmes. Using complete data sets from 120 teachers, cluster analysis enabled three teacher types to be identified: a small group of ‘science unsures’, with low attitude scores and little confidence, who showed no response to the innovation; ‘holistic improvers’, who showed the largest improvement in science teaching confidence; and ‘high level, positive progressives’, who were very positive to science teaching throughout and showed gains in confidence in teaching physics and chemistry, as well as in demonstrating the relevance of science to their pupils. Taking account of these teacher types alongside interviews and observations, nine developmental stages in how teachers apply their new expertise in the classroom and the whole school are suggested. Major factorsinfluencing application in the classroom are the teachers’ initial science knowledge and pedagogical expertise, and motivating feedback to teachers when pupils responded positively to the innovation. Assessing teachers’ initial level of subject knowledge and science pedagogical expertise to inform the approach and amount of in-service provision is important. Subsequent mentoring as well as support from the school principal when teachers first try IBSE with pupils promotes successful implementation in the classroom.

  12. Undergraduate Students' Earth Science Learning: Relationships among Conceptions, Approaches, and Learning Self-Efficacy in Taiwan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Kuan-Ming; Lee, Min-Hsien; Tsai, Chin-Chung; Chang, Chun-Yen

    2016-01-01

    In the area of science education research, studies have attempted to investigate conceptions of learning, approaches to learning, and self-efficacy, mainly focusing on science in general or on specific subjects such as biology, physics, and chemistry. However, few empirical studies have probed students' earth science learning. This study aimed to…

  13. [Supply and demand of clinical practice fields for training undergraduate health sciences students in Peru, 2005-2009].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alva, Javier; Verastegui, George; Velasquez, Edgar; Pastor, Reyna; Moscoso, Betsy

    2011-06-01

    To describe the supply and demand of clinical fields for undergraduate students of Peru. A descriptive study was considering as supply of clinical fields the total number of existing hospital beds in Peru. The demand was calculated using the total number of alumni registered in health science carrers following the clinical years or the internship. We calculated the number of beds per student and the coverage of clinical fields nationally and in some selected regions (Lima, Arequipa, La Libertad and Lambayeque). In 2009, Peru had 34,539 hospital beds, 78.5% of which pertained to the public sector and 48.4% are from Lima. We estimated that in 2008 44,032 alumni needed clinical fields, 70% from private universities, which grew 65% since 2005. The coverage of clinical fields, considering only interns from four carreers (medicine, nursery, obstetrics and dentistry) was only 31.5% at the national level. The number of beds per student oscillated between 0.5 in La Libertad to 0.82 in Lima with a national mean of 0.45. The supply of clinical fields for teaching undergraduates is insufficient to satisfy the demand, which continues to grow because of private universities, and hence requires urgent regulation.

  14. Using Internet-Based Robotic Telescopes to Engage Non-Science Majors in Astronomical Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berryhill, K. J.; Coble, K.; Slater, T. F.; McLin, K. M.; Cominsky, L. R.

    2013-12-01

    Responding to national science education reform documents calling for students to have more opportunities for authentic research experiences, several national projects have developed online telescope networks to provide students with Internet-access to research grade telescopes. The nature of astronomical observation (e.g., remote sites, expensive equipment, and odd hours) has been a barrier in the past. Internet-based robotic telescopes allow scientists to conduct observing sessions on research-grade telescopes half a world away. The same technology can now be harnessed by STEM educators to engage students and reinforce what is being taught in the classroom, as seen in some early research in elementary schools (McKinnon and Mainwaring 2000 and McKinnon and Geissinger 2002), middle/high schools (Sadler et al. 2001, 2007 and Gehret et al. 2005) and undergraduate programs (e.g., McLin et al. 2009). This project looks at the educational value of using Internet-based robotic telescopes in a general education introductory astronomy course at the undergraduate level. Students at a minority-serving institution in the midwestern United States conducted observational programs using the Global Telescope Network (GTN). The project consisted of the use of planetarium software to determine object visibility, observing proposals (with abstract, background, goals, and dissemination sections), peer review (including written reviews and panel discussion according to NSF intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria), and classroom presentations showing the results of the observation. The GTN is a network of small telescopes funded by the Fermi mission to support the science of high energy astrophysics. It is managed by the NASA E/PO Group at Sonoma State University and is controlled using SkyNet. Data includes course artifacts (proposals, reviews, panel summaries, presentations, and student reflections) for six semesters plus student interviews. Using a grounded theory approach

  15. Advanced placement math and science courses: Influential factors and predictors for success in college STEM majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoepner, Cynthia Colon

    President Obama has recently raised awareness on the need for our nation to grow a larger pool of students with knowledge in science mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM). Currently, while the number of women pursuing college degrees continues to rise, there remains an under-representation of women in STEM majors across the country. Although research studies offer several contributing factors that point to a higher attrition rate of women in STEM than their male counterparts, no study has investigated the role that high school advanced placement (AP) math and science courses play in preparing students for the challenges of college STEM courses. The purpose of this study was to discover which AP math and science courses and/or influential factors could encourage more students, particularly females, to consider pursuing STEM fields in college. Further, this study examined which, if any, AP math or science courses positively contribute to a student's overall preparation for college STEM courses. This retrospective study combined quantitative and qualitative research methods. The survey sample consisted of 881 UCLA female and male students pursuing STEM majors. Qualitative data was gathered from four single-gender student focus groups, two female groups (15 females) and two male groups (16 males). This study examined which AP math and science courses students took in high school, who or what influenced them to take those courses, and which particular courses influenced student's choice of STEM major and/or best prepared her/him for the challenges of STEM courses. Findings reveal that while AP math and science course-taking patterns are similar of female and male STEM students, a significant gender-gap remains in five of the eleven AP courses. Students report four main influences on their choice of AP courses; self, desire for math/science major, higher grade point average or class rank, and college admissions. Further, three AP math and science courses were

  16. Journal of Undergraduate Research, Volume VIII, 2008

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stiner, K. S.; Graham, S.; Khan, M.; Dilks, J.; Mayer, D.

    2008-01-01

    Th e Journal of Undergraduate Research (JUR) provides undergraduate interns the opportunity to publish their scientific innovation and to share their passion for education and research with fellow students and scientists. Fields in which these students worked include: Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Engineering; Environmental Science; General Sciences; Materials Sciences; Medical and Health Sciences; Nuclear Sciences; Physics; Science Policy; and Waste Management.

  17. Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences Can Make Scientific Research More Inclusive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bangera, Gita; Brownell, Sara E.

    2014-01-01

    Current approaches to improving diversity in scientific research focus on graduating more science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors, but graduation with a STEM undergraduate degree alone is not sufficient for entry into graduate school. Undergraduate independent research experiences are becoming more or less a prerequisite…

  18. Research and Teaching: An Investigation of the Evolution of High School and Undergraduate Student Researchers' Understanding of Key Science Ethics Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabrouk, Patricia Ann

    2013-01-01

    High school and undergraduate research students were surveyed over the 10-week period of their summer research programs to investigate their understanding of key concepts in science ethics and whether their understanding changed over the course of their summer research experiences. Most of the students appeared to understand the issues relevant to…

  19. "I Know This Is Supposed to Be More Like the Real World, but . . .": Student Perceptions of a PBL Implementation in an Undergraduate Materials Science Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Holly R.; Tawfik, Andrew A.; Jonassen, David H.; Winholtz, Robert A.; Khanna, Sanjeev

    2012-01-01

    This qualitative case study examines the initial implementation of a problem-based version of an undergraduate course in materials science for the purpose of identifying areas of improvement to the curriculum prior to a planned second implementation. The course was designed around problems that students work in small teams to solve under the…

  20. Living in a material world: Development and evaluation of a new materials science course for non-science majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brust, Gregory John

    This study was designed to discover if there is a difference in the scientific attitudes and process skills between a group of students who were instructed with Living in a Material World and groups of students in non-science majors sections of introductory biology, chemistry, and geology courses at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Each of the four courses utilized different instructional techniques. Students' scientific attitudes were measured with the Scientific Attitudes Inventory (SAI II) and their knowledge of science process skills were measured with the Test of Integrated Process Skills (TIPS II). The Group Assessment of Logical Thinking (GALT) was also administered to determine if the cognitive levels of students are comparable. A series of four questionnaires called Qualitative Course Assessments (QCA) were also administered to students in the experimental course to evaluate subtle changes in their understanding of the nature and processes of science and attitudes towards science. Student responses to the QCA questionnaires were triangulated with results of the qualitative instruments, and students' work on the final project. Results of the GALT found a significant difference in the cognitive levels of students in the experimental course (PSC 190) and in one of the control group, the introductory biology (BSC 107). Results of the SAI II and the TIPS II found no significant difference between the experimental group and the control groups. Qualitative analyses of students' responses to selected questions from the TIPS II, selected items on the SAI II, QCA questionnaires, and Materials that Fly project reports demonstrate an improvement in the understanding of the nature and processes of science and a change to positive attitude toward science of students in the experimental group. Students indicated that hands-on, inquiry-based labs and performance assessment were the most effective methods for their learning. These results indicate that science

  1. Designing and Implementing a Computational Methods Course for Upper-level Undergraduates and Postgraduates in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, E.; L'Ecuyer, T. S.; Douglas, A.; Hansen, Z.

    2017-12-01

    In the modern computing age, scientists must utilize a wide variety of skills to carry out scientific research. Programming, including a focus on collaborative development, has become more prevalent in both academic and professional career paths. Faculty in the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin—Madison recognized this need and recently approved a new course offering for undergraduates and postgraduates in computational methods that was first held in Spring 2017. Three programming languages were covered in the inaugural course semester and development themes such as modularization, data wrangling, and conceptual code models were woven into all of the sections. In this presentation, we will share successes and challenges in developing a research project-focused computational course that leverages hands-on computer laboratory learning and open-sourced course content. Improvements and changes in future iterations of the course based on the first offering will also be discussed.

  2. Effectiveness of mathematics education in secondary schools to meet the local universities missions in producing quality engineering and science undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakar Hasan, Abu; Fatah Abdul, Abdul; Selamat, Zalilah

    2018-01-01

    Critical claims by certain quarters that our local undergraduates are not performing well in Mathematics, Statistics and Numerical Methods needs a serious thinking and actions. Yearly examinations results from the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM equivalent to A-Level) and Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM equivalent to O-Level) levels have been splendid whereby it is either increasing or decreasing in a very tight range. A good foundation in mathematics and additional mathematics will tremendously benefit these students when they enter their university education especially in engineering and science courses. This paper uses SPM results as the primary data, questionnaires as secondary, and apply the Fish Bones technique for analysis. The outcome shows that there is a clear correlation between the causes and effect.

  3. The Big Crunch: A Hybrid Solution to Earth and Space Science Instruction for Elementary Education Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cervato, Cinzia; Kerton, Charles; Peer, Andrea; Hassall, Lesya; Schmidt, Allan

    2013-01-01

    We describe the rationale and process for the development of a new hybrid Earth and Space Science course for elementary education majors. A five-step course design model, applicable to both online and traditional courses, is presented. Assessment of the course outcomes after two semesters indicates that the intensive time invested in the…

  4. Advanced Placement Math and Science Courses: Influential Factors and Predictors for Success in College STEM Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoepner, Cynthia Colon

    2010-01-01

    President Obama has recently raised awareness on the need for our nation to grow a larger pool of students with knowledge in science mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM). Currently, while the number of women pursuing college degrees continues to rise, there remains an under-representation of women in STEM majors across the country.…

  5. Transforming Elementary Science Teacher Education by Bridging Formal and Informal Science Education in an Innovative Science Methods Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riedinger, Kelly; Marbach-Ad, Gili; McGinnis, J. Randy; Hestness, Emily; Pease, Rebecca

    2011-01-01

    We investigated curricular and pedagogical innovations in an undergraduate science methods course for elementary education majors at the University of Maryland. The goals of the innovative elementary science methods course included: improving students' attitudes toward and views of science and science teaching, to model innovative science teaching…

  6. Interactive mobile learning: a pilot study of a new approach for sport science and medical undergraduate students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce-Low, S S; Burnet, S; Arber, K; Price, D; Webster, L; Stopforth, M

    2013-12-01

    Mobile learning has increasingly become interwoven into the fabric of learning and teaching in the United Kingdom higher education sector, and as technological issues become addressed, this phenomena has accelerated. The aim of the study was to examine whether learning using a mobile learning device (Samsung NC10 Netbook) loaded with interactive exercises promoted learning compared with a traditional library exercise. Using a randomized trial, 55 students from an undergraduate sports science course (n = 28) and medical course (n = 27) volunteered to participate in this study. A mixed-model design ANOVA was used to examine the percent change in test score after a 3-wk intervention. Results showed that there was a significant difference between the two courses (P science and medical students. The sports science group demonstrated proportionally greater increases in test performance when exposed to the mobile interactive intervention compared with the traditional library approach. Qualitative data suggest an increased level of engagement with the Netbooks due to the stimulating interactive content. In conclusion, the Netbooks were an effective additional learning tool, significantly enhancing knowledge and understanding in students. Further research should ensure that participants are assessed for preferred learning styles, the subjective task value of expectancy value, and readiness for mobile learning to ascertain if this has an effect on the potential for using mobile learning and interactivity.

  7. A Vocabulary Learning Tool for L2 Undergraduates Reading Science and Technology Textbooks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Chihcheng; Yang, Fang-Chuan Ou

    2013-05-01

    Students of English as a second language who major in science and technology use English-language textbooks to ensure that they can read English materials upon graduation. Research indicates that teachers spend little time helping these students on the linguistic complexity of such textbooks. Vocabulary, grammar, and article structure are elements of this complexity, but to many students, these elements can be akin to locked doors. This study presents MyVLS-Reader, which focuses on unlocking the first of these doors-vocabulary-while assisting in reading. With explicit vocabulary learning, students learn and memorize individual vocabulary, but the context is lost if the depth of learning discards context. In implicit vocabulary learning, students acquire vocabulary through repeated exposure to contexts, but repeated encounters with new words are required. Few e-learning systems combine both vocabulary-learning approaches. MyVLS-Reader achieves such synergy by (1) using a keyword setting to provide context-matched vocabulary explanation while reading and (2) embedding multiple learning choices, such as keyword setting, the review and memorization of explicit vocabulary, and the option to ask instructors. This study includes two rounds of evaluations: (1) an evaluation of the learning achievements of control and treatment groups and (2) a quantitative and qualitative investigation of perceptions regarding the use of MyVLS-Reader. The evaluation results indicate that the treatment group developed a better vocabulary than the control group in significantly less time. The use of MyVLS-Reader also slightly improved higher-order thinking skills. This result suggests that MyVLS-Reader can effective assist students in building their vocabulary while reading.

  8. Using the Theme of Mass Extinctions to Teach Science to Non-Science Major College and University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boness, D. A.

    2013-12-01

    The general public is heavily exposed to "news" and commentary---and arts and entertainment---that either inadvertently misrepresents science or even acts to undermine it. Climate change denial and evolution denial is well funded and pervasive. Even university-educated people get little exposure to the aims, methods, debates, and results of scientific inquiry because unless they earn degrees in science they typically only take one or two introductory science courses at the university level. This presentation reports the development of a new, non-science major Seattle University course on mass extinctions throughout earth history. Seattle University is an urban, Jesuit Catholic university. The topic of mass extinctions was chosen for several reasons: (1) To expose the students to a part of current science that has rich historical roots yet by necessity uses methods and reasoning from geology, geophysics, oceanography, physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy. This multidisciplinary course provides some coverage of sciences that the student would not typically ever see beyond secondary school. (2) To enable the students to learn enough to follow some of the recent and current debates within science (e.g., mass extinctions by asteroid impact versus massive volcanism, ocean anoxia, and ocean acidification), with the students reading some of the actual literature, such as articles in Science, Nature, or Nature Geoscience. (3) To emphasize the importance of "deep time" as evolutionary biological processes interact with massive environmental change over time scales from hundreds of millions of years down to the seconds and hours of an asteroid or comet strike. (4) To show the effects of climate change in the past, present, and future, due to both natural and anthropogenic causes. (5) To help the student critically evaluate the extent to which their future involves a human-caused mass extinction.

  9. Intending to stay: Positive images, attitudes, and classroom experiences as influences on students' intentions to persist in science and engineering majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyer, Mary Beth

    2000-10-01

    Contemporary research on persistence in undergraduate education in science and engineering has focused primarily on identifying the structural, social, and psychological barriers to participation by students in underrepresented groups. As a result, there is a wealth of data to document why students leave their majors, but there is little direct empirical data to support prevailing presumptions about why students stay. Moreover, researchers have used widely differing definitions and measures of persistence, and they have seldom explored field differences. This study compared three ways of measuring persistence. These constituted three criterion variables: commitment to major, degree aspirations, and commitment to a science/engineering career. The study emphasized social factors that encourage students to persist, including four predictor variables---(1) positive images of scientists/engineers, (2) positive attitudes toward gender and racial equality, (3) positive classroom experiences, and (4) high levels of social integration. In addition, because researchers have repeatedly documented the degree to which women are more likely than men to drop out of science and engineering majors, the study examined the potential impact of gender in relation to these predictor variables. A survey was administered in the classroom to a total of 285 students enrolled in a required course for either a biological sciences and or an engineering major. Predictor variables were developed from standard scales, including the Images of Science/Scientists Scale, the Attitudes toward Women Scale, the Women in Science Scale, and the Perceptions of Prejudice Scale. Based on logistic regression models, results indicate that positive images of scientists and engineers was significantly related to improving the odds of students having a high commitment to major, high degree aspirations, and high commitment to career. There was also evidence that positive attitudes toward gender and racial equality

  10. Female and male Hispanic students majoring in science or engineering: Their stories describing their educational journeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Susan Wightman

    National statistics clearly demonstrate an underrepresentation of minorities in the fields of science and engineering. Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, and Asians do not typically choose science or engineering as their college major; therefore, there is a very small representation of these minorities in the science and engineering labor force. The decision not to major in science and engineering may begin as soon as the child can begin to recognize role models in the media. News stories, magazine articles, television programs, teachers, parents, administrators, and other agencies have painted the picture of a scientist or engineer as being dominantly a White male. Schools have continued society's portrayal by using curriculum, textbooks, role models, instructional strategies, and counseling that continues to encourage the White male to succeed in science and engineering, but discourages the minority students, male and female, from succeeding in these fields. In this qualitative study, 22 Hispanic students, 12 female and 10 male, who are majoring in science or engineering, were interviewed using Seidman's in-depth interviewing technique. These students were shadowed in their college science or engineering classes; their high school and college transcripts were analyzed; and, a focus group was brought together at the end of the interviewing process in order to allow interaction between the participants. The goal was to explore the educational journeys of the 22 Hispanic students. What made a difference in the journeys of these 22 students so that they could succeed in majors that have historically discouraged minority students? Seven themes emerged: family support, honors program, challenging and interactive curriculum, college preparation in high school courses, caring and kind teachers, small class size, and small communities. Gender comparison of the educational journeys documents these differences between the females and males: college preparation, mentoring

  11. Standards-based teaching and educational digital libraries as innovations: Undergraduate science faculty in the adoption process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridgway, Judith Sulkes

    This study describes undergraduate science faculty in terms of their feelings of preparedness for and their use of standards-based teaching methods, their stages of concern related to Educational Digital Libraries (EDLs), and their adoption and diffusion of both innovations. These innovations may have a synergistic relationship that may result in enhanced adoption of both. The investigation began with a series of group meetings with life science, chemistry, physics, and geology faculty from a 2-year and a 4-year institution. Faculty were introduced to dimensions of standards-based teaching and examples of EDLs. Faculty completed the Demographics and Experience Questionnaire, the Standards-Based Teaching Instrument, and the Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ). Semi-structured interviews containing literature-based questions were conducted with one faculty member from each discipline from the 2-year and 4-year institutions. Document analyses were performed on mission/goal web-based statements for the institutions and their science departments. Triangulated data were used to construct individual faculty case studies based on four facets: background, standards-based teaching profile, EDLs profile, and rate of innovation diffusion. The individual case studies were used to perform cross-case analyses by type of institution, discipline, and locus of control. Individual case studies and cross-case analyses suggest the following conclusions: (a) faculty felt prepared to use and frequently used textbooks as a reference, (b) feelings of preparedness and frequency of use of standards-based teaching categories may be related to discipline, (c) all faculty had relatively high awareness and informational EDL concerns, and (d) faculty central to the locus of control were more likely to use methods to develop student conceptual understanding, use inquiry methods, and be agents of change. A grounded theoretical model connects study results with literature related to educational

  12. Science Seeker: A New Model for Teaching Information Literacy to Entry-Level Biology Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petzold, Jacquelyn; Winterman, Brian; Montooth, Kristi

    2010-01-01

    In order to integrate library instruction seamlessly into an introductory biology course, two librarians collaborated with a biology faculty member to create a three-part series of instruction sessions known as the Science Seeker. The Science Seeker taught students about the structure of scientific information by tracing the path that discoveries…

  13. Stem Cells and Society: An Undergraduate Course Exploring the Intersections among Science, Religion, and Law

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierret, Chris; Friedrichsen, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    The intersection of science and our society has led to legal and ethical issues in which we all play a part. To support development of scientific literacy, college science courses need to engage students in difficult dialogues around ethical issues. We describe a new course, Stem Cells and Society, in which students explore the basic biology of…

  14. Technology to Advance High School and Undergraduate Students with Disabilities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leddy, Mark H.

    2010-01-01

    Americans with disabilities are underemployed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at higher rates than their nondisabled peers. This article provides an overview of the National science Foundation's Research in Disabilities Education (RDE) program, of technology use by students with disabilities (SWD) in STEM, and of…

  15. Linking Essential Learning Outcomes and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Competency in Health Science Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Carole-Rae; Garcia, Luis Ivan; Slusser, Margaret M.; Konowitz, Sharon; Yep, Jewelry

    2017-01-01

    Assessing student learning outcomes and determining achievement of the Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCEP) Core Competency of Values/Ethics in a generic pre-professional Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BSHS) program is challenging. A course level Student Learning Outcome (SLO) is: "….articulate the impact of personal…

  16. Powerful Partnerships: The Worth of Embedding Masters Level Library Science Students in Undergraduate Classes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becnel, Kim; Moeller, Robin A.; Pope, Jon C.

    2016-01-01

    While experiential learning is recognized as an important pedagogical approach in Library and Information Science education, logistical hurdles can make implementing meaningful experiential projects challenging, especially in online courses. This paper will describe a project in which Library Science instructors were able to overcome common…

  17. Establishing the Empirical Relationship Between Non-Science Majoring Undergraduate Learners' Spatial Thinking Skills and Their Conceptual Astronomy Knowledge. (Spanish Title: Estableciendo Una Relación Empírica Entre el Razonamiento Espacial de los Estudiantes de Graduación de Carreras no Científicas y su Conocimento Conceptual de la Astronomía.) Estabelecendo Uma Relação Empírica Entre o RacioCínio Espacial dos Estudantes de Graduação EM Carreiras Não Científicas e Seu Conhecimento Conceitual da Astronomia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyer, Inge; Slater, Stephanie J.; Slater, Timothy F.

    2013-12-01

    The astronomy education community has tacitly assumed that learning astronomy is a conceptual domain resting upon spatial thinking skills. As a first step to formally identify an empirical relationship, undergraduate students in a non-major introductory astronomy survey class at a mediumsized, Ph.D. granting, mid-western US university were given pre- and post-astronomy conceptual diagnostics and spatial reasoning diagnostics, Instruments used were the "Test Of Astronomy Standards" and "What Do You Know?" Using only fully matched data for analysis, our sample consisted of 86 undergraduate non-science majors. Students' normalized gains for astronomy surveys were low at .26 and .13 respectively. Students' spatial thinking was measured using an instrument designed specifically for this study. Correlations between the astronomy instruments' pre- to post-course gain scores and the spatial assessment instrument show moderate to strong relationships suggesting the relationship between spatial reasoning and astronomy ability can explain about 25% of the variation in student achievement. La comunidad de educación en astronomía ha supuesto de forma tácita que el aprendizaje de la astronomía consiste en un dominio conceptual fundamentado en el razonamiento espacial. Como un primer paso para identificar formalmente una relación empírica entre estas dos cosas, utilizamos como muestra los estudantes de graduación de carreras no científicas de un curso experimental en una universidad norteamericana del medioeste de porte mediano con programa de Doctorado em curso, en el cual estos estudiantes se sometieron a un diagnóstico de razonamiento espacial y conceptos astronómicos antes e después del mismo. Las herramientas utilizadas fueron el Test Of Astronomy Standards (TOAST) y el cuestionario What do you know? Utilizando solo los datos completamente consistentes para este análisis, nuestra muestra consistió en 86 estudantes de graduación. Las mejoras, depués de

  18. Connecting undergraduate science education with the needs of today’s graduates [v1; ref status: indexed, http://f1000r.es/4pl

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viviane Callier

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Undergraduate science programs are not providing graduates with the knowledgebase and skills they need to be successful on today’s job market. Curricular changes relevant to today’s marketplace and more opportunities for internships and work experience during students’ secondary education would facilitate a smoother transition to the working world and help employers find graduates that possess both the hard and soft skills needed in the workplace. In this article, we discuss these issues and offer solutions that would generate more marketplace-ready undergraduates.

  19. Magical beliefs and discriminating science from pseudoscience in undergraduate professional students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bernard M. Garrett

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Paranormal beliefs and magical thinking exist in the public, and amongst university students. Researchers have found that media can influence such beliefs. A 2012 study suggested pseudoscientific rationales can influence acceptance of reported paranormal phenomena. Using a paranormal belief survey and controlled experiment this work explores the paranormal beliefs and test the effects of three versions of a supernatural news story on undergraduate professional students. One version of the story presented a simple news article, another the same with a pseudoscientific rationale, and another gave a discrediting scientific critique. Results confirmed that many students do hold magical beliefs but discriminated between scientific and pseudoscientific narratives. However, pre-existing paranormal beliefs were associated with an increased likelihood of students finding paranormal reports scientific, believable and credible. Keywords: Education, Psychology

  20. Magical beliefs and discriminating science from pseudoscience in undergraduate professional students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrett, Bernard M; Cutting, Roger L

    2017-11-01

    Paranormal beliefs and magical thinking exist in the public, and amongst university students. Researchers have found that media can influence such beliefs. A 2012 study suggested pseudoscientific rationales can influence acceptance of reported paranormal phenomena. Using a paranormal belief survey and controlled experiment this work explores the paranormal beliefs and test the effects of three versions of a supernatural news story on undergraduate professional students. One version of the story presented a simple news article, another the same with a pseudoscientific rationale, and another gave a discrediting scientific critique. Results confirmed that many students do hold magical beliefs but discriminated between scientific and pseudoscientific narratives. However, pre-existing paranormal beliefs were associated with an increased likelihood of students finding paranormal reports scientific, believable and credible.

  1. Inclusion of Pedigree-analysis (NUSAP) in undergraduate science education: An example

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dam, Marie Inger; Kjær Jensen, Jon; Jónsson, Jóhann Gunnar

    2009-01-01

    Aalborg University applies a problem-based learning model. Each semester all students form groups. Group members formulate and agree upon a problem they want to address, within their course of study, and write a long report on their findings (length depends on the year of study, the number of group...... members etc.). Key principles for the choice problem is praxis-orientation, interdisciplinarity, and contextualisation. To facilitate inter-disciplinarity two supervisors – a disciplinary and a contextual – might be associated with student groups. A team of seven undergraduate students of Chemistry...... and a contextual part. In the technical part we investigated the theoretical foundation of methane production in landfills and we measured the concentration of methane at different places at the landfill Skrænten in Hjørring. In the contextual part a NUSAP analysis was done on the risk assessment of the gas...

  2. Integration of Cognitive Skills as a Cross-Cutting Theme Into the Undergraduate Medical Curriculum at Tehran University of Medical Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akbar Soltani

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, improvement of thinking skills of students is one of the universally supported aims in the majority of medical schools. This study aims to design longitudinal theme of reasoning, problem-solving and decision-making into the undergraduate medical curriculum at Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS. A participatory approach was applied to design the curriculum during 2009-2011. The project was conducted by the contribution of representatives of both basic and clinical faculty members, students and graduates at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The first step toward integrating cognitive skills into the curriculum was to assemble a taskforce of different faculty and students, including a wide variety of fields with multidisciplinary expertise using nonprobability sampling and the snowball method. Several meetings with the contribution of experts and some medical students were held to generate the draft of expected outcomes. Subsequently, the taskforce also determined what content would fit best into each phase of the program and what teaching and assessment methods would be more appropriate for each outcome. After a pilot curriculum with a small group of second-year medical students, we implemented this program for all first-year students since 2011 at TUMS. Based on findings, the teaching of four areas, including scientific and critical thinking skills (Basic sciences, problem-solving and reasoning (Pathophysiology, evidence-based medicine (Clerkship, and clinical decision-making (Internship were considered in the form of a longitudinal theme. The results of this study could be utilized as a useful pattern for integration of psycho-social subjects into the medical curriculum.

  3. Student Contributions to Citizen Science Programs As a Foundation for Independent and Classroom-Based Undergraduate Research in the Earth Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guertin, L. A.

    2014-12-01

    Environmental monitoring projects on the grounds of a campus can serve as data collection sites for undergraduate research. Penn State Brandywine has utilized students in independent study projects to establish two citizen science programs and to begin collecting data, with the data sets serving as a foundation for authentic inquiry-based exercises in introductory-level Earth science courses. The first citizen science program is The Smithsonian Institution's Global Tree Banding Project, which contributes to research about tree biomass by tracking how trees respond to climate. We are going beyond the requirements of the Smithsonian project. Instead of only taking two measurements each in the spring and fall, undergraduate researchers are taking measurements every two weeks throughout the year. We started taking measurements of ten trees on campus in 2012 will continue until each tree outgrows its tree band. The data is available for download in Google Spreadsheets for students to examine changes in tree diameter within one or between growing seasons, supplemented with temperature and precipitation data (see http://sites.psu.edu/treebanding/). A second citizen science program we have begun on campus is the NASA-funded Digital Earth Watch (DEW) Picture Post Project, allowing students to monitor the environment and share observations through digital photography. We established four Picture Post sites on campus, with students taking weekly photos to establish an environmental baseline of the campus landscape and to document future environmental changes pre- and post-construction. We started taking digital photos on campus in 2014 will continue well past the completion of construction to continue to look for changes. The image database is less than a year old, but the images provide enough information for some early analyses, such as the variations in "greenness" over the seasons. We have created a website that shares the purpose of our participation in the Picture Post

  4. Development, Evaluation and Use of a Student Experience Survey in Undergraduate Science Laboratories: The Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory Student Laboratory Learning Experience Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrie, Simon C.; Bucat, Robert B.; Buntine, Mark A.; Burke da Silva, Karen; Crisp, Geoffrey T.; George, Adrian V.; Jamie, Ian M.; Kable, Scott H.; Lim, Kieran F.; Pyke, Simon M.; Read, Justin R.; Sharma, Manjula D.; Yeung, Alexandra

    2015-07-01

    Student experience surveys have become increasingly popular to probe various aspects of processes and outcomes in higher education, such as measuring student perceptions of the learning environment and identifying aspects that could be improved. This paper reports on a particular survey for evaluating individual experiments that has been developed over some 15 years as part of a large national Australian study pertaining to the area of undergraduate laboratories-Advancing Science by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory. This paper reports on the development of the survey instrument and the evaluation of the survey using student responses to experiments from different institutions in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. A total of 3153 student responses have been analysed using factor analysis. Three factors, motivation, assessment and resources, have been identified as contributing to improved student attitudes to laboratory activities. A central focus of the survey is to provide feedback to practitioners to iteratively improve experiments. Implications for practitioners and researchers are also discussed.

  5. Enhancing Diversity in Undergraduate Science: Self-Efficacy Drives Performance Gains with Active Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Ballen, Cissy J.; Wieman, Carl; Salehi, Shima; Searle, Jeremy B.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2017-01-01

    Efforts to retain underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have shown only limited success in higher education, due in part to a persistent achievement gap between students from historically underrepresented and well-represented backgrounds. To test the hypothesis that active learning disproportionately benefits URM students, we quantified the effects of traditional versus active learning on student academic performance, science self...

  6. Developments in undergraduate wood science education at Stellenbosch University, South Africa

    OpenAIRE

    Rypstra,Tim

    2011-01-01

    In South Africa, Stellenbosch University (SU) is the designated provider of Bachelor, Master and Doctorate level qualifications in Forestry and Wood Products Science. SU provides educational programs to both mechanical (sawmilling, preservation, composite products, furniture, etc.) and the chemical (pulp & paper) processing sectors. To ensure academic quality, SU regularly has her academic programs assessed externally. In 2000, several changes to the then existing 4 year B.Sc. Wood Scienc...

  7. Demographics of undergraduates studying games in the United States: a comparison of computer science students and the general population

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGill, Monica M.; Settle, Amber; Decker, Adrienne

    2013-06-01

    Our study gathered data to serve as a benchmark of demographics of undergraduate students in game degree programs. Due to the high number of programs that are cross-disciplinary with computer science programs or that are housed in computer science departments, the data is presented in comparison to data from computing students (where available) and the US population. Participants included students studying games at four nationally recognized postsecondary institutions. The results of the study indicate that there is no significant difference between the ratio of men to women studying in computing programs or in game degree programs, with women being severely underrepresented in both. Women, blacks, Hispanics/Latinos, and heterosexuals are underrepresented compared to the US population. Those with moderate and conservative political views and with religious affiliations are underrepresented in the game student population. Participants agree that workforce diversity is important and that their programs are adequately diverse, but only one-half of the participants indicated that diversity has been discussed in any of their courses.

  8. Mobilizing the Forgotten Army: Improving Undergraduate Math and Science Education through Professional Development of Graduate Teaching Assistants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerton, Jordan

    Evidence-based best practices for improving undergraduate STEM education abound. Unfortunately, these practices have not been widely adopted, in part because typical dissemination efforts are mediated in a top-down fashion and fail to obtain critical buy-in from key local stakeholders. Here, we present a novel framework to increase nationwide uptake of STEM-education best practices through grassroots propagation of Professional Development programs for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA-PD). Our model pays special attention to overcoming resistance to change by soliciting, from the very start, critical buy-in from departmental chairs, faculty, and GTAs who have direct control over and responsibility for instruction. A key component of our approach involves an annual National GTA Workshop where faculty-GTA leadership teams from many different Physics and Chemistry departments come together to develop best-practices-based GTA-PD improvement plans for their own departments while guided by a core group of nationally recognized expert practitioners in GTA-PD and STEM education. As a pre-condition for participation, each department chair must pledge to facilitate implementation of their leadership team's plan; additional and ongoing support is provided by the core group of experts, together with other teams from the workshop cohort. Our initial pilot efforts point to success via enthusiastic buy-in within each STEM department due to the potential for immediate positive impacts on both undergraduate instruction and the long term research productivity of GTAs. In the future, longitudinal data on the progress of the GTA-PD programs will be gathered and analyzed to provide guidance for improving the success of future GTA-PD programs. Financial support provided by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the American Chemical Society.

  9. China’s rise as a major contributor to science and technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Yu; Zhang, Chunni; Lai, Qing

    2014-01-01

    In the past three decades, China has become a major contributor to science and technology. China now employs an increasingly large labor force of scientists and engineers at relatively high earnings and produces more science and engineering degrees than the United States at all levels, particularly bachelor’s. China’s research and development expenditure has been rising. Research output in China has been sharply increasing since 2002, making China the second largest producer of scientific papers after the United States. The quality of research by Chinese scientists has also been improving steadily. However, China’s rise in science also faces serious difficulties, partly attributable to its rigid, top–down administrative system, with allegations of scientific misconduct trending upward. PMID:24979796

  10. Development and Evaluation of the Tigriopus Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience: Impacts on Students’ Content Knowledge, Attitudes, and Motivation in a Majors Introductory Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olimpo, Jeffrey T.; Fisher, Ginger R.; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices’ development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to “think like a scientist.” Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students’ development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. PMID:27909022

  11. Historical and social contexts for scientific writing and use of passive voice: Toward an undergraduate science literacy course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Dan Xiong

    The passive voice is a major stylistic feature of modern scientific discourse, but such a feature did not dominate scientific writing until the 1890s. It has its roots in the philosophical thoughts of experimental science of Francis Bacon and his followers such as Thomas Sprat and John Locke. In the early seventeenth century. Bacon called for a new science that emphasized collective knowledge of nature. Such a science was a cooperative and public enterprise in which scientists should work as a group to advance knowledge of nature. When science was moving gradually toward a public enterprise from the early seventeenth century, the passive voice gradually replaced the active voice in science writing as a dominant stylistic feature. The passive voice in scientific writing is thus historically and socially conditioned. Scientists take advantage of the linguistic functions of the passive voice to serve their rhetorical and pragmatic purposes such as presenting experiments as they are for others to reproduce and verify the results. It embodies two major conventions of scientific communities: (1) science is a public enterprise and (2) it is also a cooperative venture. Other conventions are related to these two: the collective authority of an scientific community is above the personal authority of any one individual scientist; science is not an infallible force, so any research result needs to be verified by a scientific community before it becomes knowledge; scientists use passive voice to approach their writing to make it appear as if it were objective; and science is a human profession. Therefore, we need to teach science students to use the passive voice, and more importantly, why and when to use it. We should emphasize writing practice to have students' see that they use passives rhetorically to present experimental processes, materials and methods.

  12. Development and Evaluation of the Tigriopus Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience: Impacts on Students' Content Knowledge, Attitudes, and Motivation in a Majors Introductory Biology Course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olimpo, Jeffrey T; Fisher, Ginger R; DeChenne-Peters, Sue Ellen

    2016-01-01

    Within the past decade, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have emerged as a viable mechanism to enhance novices' development of scientific reasoning and process skills in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Recent evidence within the bioeducation literature suggests that student engagement in such experiences not only increases their appreciation for and interest in scientific research but also enhances their ability to "think like a scientist." Despite these critical outcomes, few studies have objectively explored CURE versus non-CURE students' development of content knowledge, attitudes, and motivation in the discipline, particularly among nonvolunteer samples. To address these concerns, we adopted a mixed-methods approach to evaluate the aforementioned outcomes following implementation of a novel CURE in an introductory cell/molecular biology course. Results indicate that CURE participants exhibited more expert-like outcomes on these constructs relative to their non-CURE counterparts, including in those areas related to self-efficacy, self-determination, and problem-solving strategies. Furthermore, analysis of end-of-term survey data suggests that select features of the CURE, such as increased student autonomy and collaboration, mediate student learning and enjoyment. Collectively, this research provides novel insights into the benefits achieved as a result of CURE participation and can be used to guide future development and evaluation of authentic research opportunities. © 2016 J. T. Olimpo et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  13. Undergraduate Convexity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lauritzen, Niels

    -Motzkin elimination, the theory is developed by introducing polyhedra, the double description method and the simplex algorithm, closed convex subsets, convex functions of one and several variables ending with a chapter on convex optimization with the Karush-Kuhn-Tucker conditions, duality and an interior point......Based on undergraduate teaching to students in computer science, economics and mathematics at Aarhus University, this is an elementary introduction to convex sets and convex functions with emphasis on concrete computations and examples. Starting from linear inequalities and Fourier...

  14. The effects of higher-order questioning strategies on nonscience majors' achievement in an introductory environmental science course and their attitudes toward the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eason, Grace Teresa

    The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to determine the effect a higher-order questioning strategy (Bloom, 1956) had on undergraduate non-science majors' attitudes toward the environment and their achievement in an introductory environmental science course, EDS 1032, "Survey of Science 2: Life Science," which was offered during the Spring 2000 term. Students from both treatment and control groups (N = 63), which were determined using intact classes, participated in eight cooperative group activities based on the Biological Sciences Curriculum Studies (BSCS) 5E model (Bybee, 1993). The treatment group received a higher-order questioning method combined with the BSCS 5E model. The control group received a lower-order questioning method, combined with the BSCS 5E model. Two instruments were used to measure students' attitude and achievement changes. The Ecology Issue Attitude (EIA) survey (Schindler, 1995) and a comprehensive environmental science final exam. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory (KLSI, 1985) was used to measure students' learning style type. After a 15-week treatment period, results were analyzed using MANCOVA. The overall MANCOVA model used to test the statistical difference between the collective influences of the independent variables on the three dependent variables simultaneously was found to be not significant at alpha = .05. This differs from findings of previous studies in which higher-order questioning techniques had a significant effect on student achievement (King 1989 & 1992; Blosser, 1991; Redfield and Rousseau, 1981; Gall 1970). At the risk of inflated Type I and Type II error rates, separate univariate analyses were performed. However, none of the research factors, when examined collectively or separately, made any significant contribution to explaining the variability in EIA attitude, EIA achievement, and comprehensive environmental science final examination scores. Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence from student's self

  15. From Data to Policy: An Undergraduate Program in Research and Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuoco, Rebecca; Blum, Arlene; Peaslee, Graham F.

    2012-01-01

    To bridge the gap between science and policy, future scientists should receive training that incorporates policy implications into the design, analysis, and communication of research. We present a student Science and Policy course for undergraduate science majors piloted at the University of California, Berkeley in the summer of 2011. During this…

  16. High school and college introductory science education experiences: A study regarding perceptions of university students persisting in science as a major area of study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredrick, L. Denise

    The focus of this study was to investigate college students' perception of high school and college introductory science learning experiences related to persistence in science as a major area of study in college. The study included students' perceptions of the following areas of science education: (1) teacher interpersonal relationship with students, (2) teacher personality styles, (3) teacher knowledge of the content, (4) instructional methods, and (5) science course content. A survey research design was employed in the investigative study to collect and analyze data. One hundred ninety two students participated in the research study. A survey instrument entitled Science Education Perception Survey was used to collect data. The researcher sought to reject or support three null hypotheses as related to participants' perceptions of high school and college introductory science education experiences. Using binomial regression analysis, this study analyzed differences between students persisting in science and students not persisting in science as a major. The quantitative research indicated that significant differences exist between persistence in science as a major and high school science teacher traits and college introductory science instructional methods. Although these variables were found to be significant predictors, the percent variance was low and should be considered closely before concluded these as strong predictors of persistence. Major findings of the qualitative component indicated that students perceived that: (a) interest in high school science course content and high school science teacher personality and interpersonal relationships had the greatest effect on students' choice of major area of study; (b) interest in college introductory science course content had the greatest effect on students' choice of major area of study; (c) students recalled laboratory activities and overall good teaching as most meaningful to their high school science

  17. Predicting who will major in a science discipline: Expectancy-value theory as part of an ecological model for studying academic communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullins, Ellen S.; Hernandez, Delia; Fuller, Carol; Shiro Tashiro, Jay

    Research on factors that shape recruitment and retention in undergraduate science majors currently is highly fragmented and in need of an integrative research framework. Such a framework should incorporate analyses of the various levels of organization that characterize academic communities (i.e., the broad institutional level, the departmental level, and the student level), and should also provide ways to study the interactions occurring within and between these structural levels. We propose that academic communities are analogous to ecosystems, and that the research paradigms of modern community ecology can provide the necessary framework, as well as new and innovative approaches to a very complex area. This article also presents the results of a pilot study that demonstrates the promise of this approach at the student level. We administered a questionnaire based on expectancy-value theory to undergraduates enrolled in introductory biology courses. Itself an integrative approach, expectancy-value theory views achievement-related behavior as a joint function of the person's expectancy of success in the behavior and the subjective value placed on such success. Our results indicated: (a) significant gender differences in the underlying factor structures of expectations and values related to the discipline of biology, (b) expectancy-value factors significantly distinguished biology majors from nonmajors, and (c) expectancy-value factors significantly predicted students' intent to enroll in future biology courses. We explore the expectancy-value framework as an operationally integrative framework in our ecological model for studying academic communities, especially in the context of assessing the underrepresentation of women and minorities in the sciences. Future research directions as well as practical implications are also discussed.

  18. Essential Ingredients of a Good Research Proposal for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students in the Social Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond Talinbe Abdulai

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available As part of the requirements for the award of degrees in higher education institutions, students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels normally carry out research, which they report in the form of dissertations or theses. The research journey commences with the selection of a research topic and the preparation of a proposal on the selected topic. Experience has shown that students tend to encounter difficulties in writing research proposals for their supervisors because they do not fully comprehend what constitutes a research proposal. The purpose of this article is to take students through a step-by-step process of writing good research proposals by discussing the essential ingredients of a good research proposal. Thus, it is not a didactic piece—the aim is to guide students in research proposal writing. In discussing these ingredients, relevant examples are provided where necessary for ease of understanding. It is expected that on reading this article, students should be able to: (a demonstrate knowledge and understanding of what research is all about and its challenging nature; (b display an enlarged comprehension of research gap(s, problem or question(s, aim, objectives, and hypotheses as well as their distinguishing characteristics; (c demonstrate a good understanding of the relevant elements to be considered in the constituent sections of a good research proposal; and (d comprehend the elements of a research proposal that should feature in the final written dissertation or thesis.

  19. Teaching Development of Foundation Environmental Science Course Using Undergraduate Handbook of Buriram Rajabhat University

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuntida Thammamrat

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study is an attempt to apply the handbook as a tool for teaching foundation of environmental science. The aims of this investigation were 1 to develop a course handbook that fills the standard criteria of 80/80 2 to compare mean derived from pretest and posttest scores 3 to compare student’s attitude toward environmental science from the pretest and posttest scores and 4 to compare student’s environmental scientific skills prior to and after using a study handbook. The key informants were 56 students drawn from 1st- year students of Environmental Science Department of Buriram Rajabhat University in 2558 (B.E academic year. Four instruments of data collection were constructed including 1 the course handbook 2 test of student’s basic knowledge on environmental science, 3 the test of student’s attitude toward environmental science, and 4 the test of student’s environmental scientific skills. The statistics analysis in this study comprised frequency percentage, mean, standard deviation and dependent t – test, which were of used for examining the hypothesis. The findings of this investigation revealed that 1 the efficiency of the handbook entitled “Foundation of environmental science” met the criteria of 80/80 in all aspects with value 83.93/91.81 2 the scores derived from student’s posttest is higher than pretest with .05 statistical significant difference 3 teaching through the handbook enhanced the level of student attitude toward environmental science with .05 statistical significant difference and 4 the environmental scientific skills of the students learning through the handbook are significantly higher than before, at .05 level.

  20. Women in STEM: The Effect of Undergraduate Research on Persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilker, Jodi

    The underrepresentation of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers constitutes a major issue in postsecondary science education. Perseverance of women in STEM is linked to a strong science identity. Experiential learning activities, such as undergraduate research, increase science identity and thus should help keep women in STEM. Most studies on research program development are from 4-year institutions, yet many women start at community colleges. The goal of this study was to fill this gap. Science identity and experiential learning theories provided the framework for this case study at a local institution (LECC). Semistructured interviews determined college science faculty and administrators perceptions of advantages and disadvantages of undergraduate research, the viability of developing a research program, and specific research options feasible for LECC. Transcripted data were analyzed through multiple rounds of coding yielding five themes: faculty perception of undergraduate research, authentic experiences, health technologies/nursing programs, LECC students career focus, and the unique culture at LECC. The most viable type of undergraduate research for LECC is course-based and of short timeframe. The project study advocates the use of citizen science (CS) studies in the classroom as they are relatively short-term and can take the place of lab sessions. The true benefit is that students perform authentic science by contributing to an actual scientific research project. CS projects can effect social change by developing science literate citizens, empowering faculty to create authentic learning experiences, and by sparking interest in science and directing women into STEM careers.

  1. Promoting Learning by Inquiry Among Undergraduates in Soil Sciences: Scaffolding From Project-based Courses to Student-Staff Research Grants by the National Research Agency in Oman

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Ismaily, Said; Kacimov, Anvar; Al-Maktoumi, Ali

    2016-04-01

    Three strategies in a soil science undergraduate programme with inquiry-based learning (IBL) principles at Sultan Qaboos University, Oman, are presented. The first strategy scaffolds courses into three phases: with direct instructional guidance, structured IBL, and finally, guided to open IBL. The second strategy involves extra-curricular activities of undergraduates, viz. conducting workshops on soils for pupils in grades 7-9 with their teachers. The third strategy promotes the teaching-research nexus through collaboration between the undergraduates and faculty within a student-supporting, government-funded programme through 1-year long research grants of up to 5,500 US/project. The efficiency of the strategies was evaluated by students' evaluations of courses and instructors and questionnaire-based surveys. Statistics of students' responses in teaching evaluations of IBL courses showed a significantly higher level of satisfaction compared with regular courses taught in the department and college. In surveys of other constituencies of the program, viz. the secondary schools, more than 90% of respondents "agreed" or "strongly agreed" that they had learned new information/secrets about soils. The indicators of success in the third strategy are: winning a highly competitive grant and, moreover, earning an even more competitive annual national award for the best executed research project. The two top graduates of the IBL soil programme progressed into the MSc programme with the university and national scholarships. Key words: inquiry based learning, soil science undergraduate program, scaffold of courses, outreach activities, teaching-research nexus, evaluation of program's efficiency

  2. Attitudes among students and teachers on vertical integration between clinical medicine and basic science within a problem-based undergraduate medical curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brynhildsen, J; Dahle, L O; Behrbohm Fallsberg, M; Rundquist, I; Hammar, M

    2002-05-01

    Important elements in the curriculum at the Faculty of Health Sciences in Linköping are vertical integration, i.e. integration between the clinical and basic science sections of the curriculum, and horizontal integration between different subject areas. Integration throughout the whole curriculum is time-consuming for both teachers and students and hard work is required for planning, organization and execution. The aim was to assess the importance of vertical and horizontal integration in an undergraduate medical curriculum, according to opinions among students and teachers. In a questionnaire 102 faculty teachers and 106 students were asked about the importance of 14 different components of the undergraduate medical curriculum including vertical and horizontal integration. They were asked to assign between one and six points to each component (6 points = extremely important for the quality of the curriculum; 1 point = unimportant). Students as well as teachers appreciated highly both forms of integration. Students scored horizontal integration slightly but significantly higher than the teachers (median 6 vs 5 points; p=0.009, Mann-Whitney U-test), whereas teachers scored vertical integration higher than students (6 vs 5; p=0.019, Mann-Whitney U-test). Both students and teachers considered horizontal and vertical integration to be highly important components of the undergraduate medical programme. We believe both kinds of integration support problem-based learning and stimulate deep and lifelong learning and suggest that integration should always be considered deeply when a new curriculum is planned for undergraduate medical education.

  3. NanoJapan: international research experience for undergraduates program: fostering U.S.-Japan research collaborations in terahertz science and technology of nanostructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Sarah R.; Matherly, Cheryl A.; Kono, Junichiro

    2014-09-01

    The international nature of science and engineering research demands that students have the skillsets necessary to collaborate internationally. However, limited options exist for science and engineering undergraduates who want to pursue research abroad. The NanoJapan International Research Experience for Undergraduates Program is an innovative response to this need. Developed to foster research and international engagement among young undergraduate students, it is funded by a National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE) grant. Each summer, NanoJapan sends 12 U.S. students to Japan to conduct research internships with world leaders in terahertz (THz) spectroscopy, nanophotonics, and ultrafast optics. The students participate in cutting-edge research projects managed within the framework of the U.S-Japan NSF-PIRE collaboration. One of our focus topics is THz science and technology of nanosystems (or `TeraNano'), which investigates the physics and applications of THz dynamics of carriers and phonons in nanostructures and nanomaterials. In this article, we will introduce the program model, with specific emphasis on designing high-quality international student research experiences. We will specifically address the program curriculum that introduces students to THz research, Japanese language, and intercultural communications, in preparation for work in their labs. Ultimately, the program aims to increase the number of U.S. students who choose to pursue graduate study in this field, while cultivating a generation of globally aware engineers and scientists who are prepared for international research collaboration.

  4. The CLEM Model: Path Analysis of the Mediating Effects of Attitudes and Motivational Beliefs on the Relationship between Perceived Learning Environment and Course Performance in an Undergraduate Non-Major Biology Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partin, Matthew L.; Haney, Jodi J.

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the following questions were addressed in an undergraduate non-major biology course using a large lecture format: Is there a relationship between students' perceptions of their learning environment and course performance, and what roles do motivation and attitudes play in mediating that relationship? The purpose of this study was to…

  5. An investigation of factors affecting elementary female student teachers' choice of science as a major at college level in Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mlenga, Francis Howard

    The purpose of the study was to determine factors affecting elementary female student teachers' choice of science as a major at college level in Zimbabwe. The study was conducted at one of the Primary School Teachers' Colleges in Zimbabwe. A sample of two hundred and thirty-eight female student teachers was used in the study. Of these one hundred and forty-two were non-science majors who had been randomly selected, forty-one were science majors and forty-five were math majors. Both science and math majors were a convenient sample because the total enrollment of the two groups was small. All the subjects completed a survey questionnaire that had sixty-eight items. Ten students from the non-science majors were selected for individual interviews and the same was done for the science majors. A further eighteen were selected from the non-science majors and divided into three groups of six each for focus group interviews. The same was done for the science majors. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed. Data from the survey questionnaires were analyzed using Binary Logistic Regression which predicted factors that affected students' choice of science as a major. The transcribed interview data were analyzed used using domain, taxonomic and componential analyses. Results of the study indicated that elementary female students' choice of science as a major at college level is affected by students' attitudes toward science, teacher behavior, out-of-school experiences, role models, gender stereotyping, parental influence, peer influence, in-school experiences, and societal expectations, namely cultural and social expectations.

  6. A Pedagogy of Civic Engagement for the Undergraduate Political Science Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeLaet, Debra L.

    2016-01-01

    This article provides an overview of a classroom project, titled the Priorities Project, which is designed to promote responsible and informed civic engagement on the part of students in upper level political science courses at Drake University. It provides an overview of the Priorities Project, a brief summary highlighting the process and results…

  7. Social Media for Learning and Teaching Undergraduate Sciences: Good Practice Guidelines from Intervention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thalluri, Jyothi; Penman, Joy

    2015-01-01

    In 2013, Facebook was used in learning and teaching clinical problem solving in a Pathology and a Clinical Sciences course delivered at a South Australian university. It involved first- and second-year Medical Radiation students and second-year Nursing students, Of the 152 students enrolled in the Pathology course, there were 148 students who…

  8. Teaching and Assessing Ethics and Social Responsibility in Undergraduate Science: A Position Paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Madeleine

    2014-01-01

    Institutional graduate capabilities and discipline threshold learning outcomes require science students to demonstrate ethical conduct and social responsibility. However, the teaching and assessment of these concepts are not straightforward. Australian chemistry academics participated in a workshop in 2013 to discuss and develop teaching and…

  9. Making Bioinformatics Projects a Meaningful Experience in an Undergraduate Biotechnology or Biomedical Science Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutcliffe, Iain C.; Cummings, Stephen P.

    2007-01-01

    Bioinformatics has emerged as an important discipline within the biological sciences that allows scientists to decipher and manage the vast quantities of data (such as genome sequences) that are now available. Consequently, there is an obvious need to provide graduates in biosciences with generic, transferable skills in bioinformatics. We present…

  10. Scaffolding the Science: Problem Based Strategies for Teaching Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keebaugh, Alaine; Darrow, Lyndsey; Tan, David; Jamerson, Heather

    2009-01-01

    Previous research has highlighted the effectiveness of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) in multiple disciplinary settings, including medicine, teacher education, business, allied health, and the social sciences. Yet interdisciplinary educators have very little information about how to implement PBL in classrooms where multiple disciplines are…

  11. Understanding the Complex Relationship between Critical Thinking and Science Reasoning among Undergraduate Thesis Writers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowd, Jason E.; Thompson, Robert J., Jr.; Schif, Leslie A.; Reynolds, Julie A.

    2018-01-01

    Developing critical-thinking and scientific reasoning skills are core learning objectives of science education, but little empirical evidence exists regarding the interrelationships between these constructs. Writing effectively fosters students' development of these constructs, and it offers a unique window into studying how they relate. In this…

  12. DNA, Drugs, and Detectives: An Interdisciplinary Special Topics Course for Undergraduate Students in Forensic Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coticone, Sulekha Rao; Van Houten, Lora Bailey

    2015-01-01

    A special topics course combining two relevant and contemporary themes (forensic DNA analysis and illicit drug detection) was developed to stimulate student enthusiasm and enhance understanding of forensic science. Building on the interest of popular television shows such as "CSI" and "Breaking Bad," this course connects…

  13. Enhancing Diversity in Undergraduate Science: Self-Efficacy Drives Performance Gains with Active Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballen, Cissy J; Wieman, Carl; Salehi, Shima; Searle, Jeremy B; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2017-01-01

    Efforts to retain underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have shown only limited success in higher education, due in part to a persistent achievement gap between students from historically underrepresented and well-represented backgrounds. To test the hypothesis that active learning disproportionately benefits URM students, we quantified the effects of traditional versus active learning on student academic performance, science self-efficacy, and sense of social belonging in a large (more than 250 students) introductory STEM course. A transition to active learning closed the gap in learning gains between non-URM and URM students and led to an increase in science self-efficacy for all students. Sense of social belonging also increased significantly with active learning, but only for non-URM students. Through structural equation modeling, we demonstrate that, for URM students, the increase in self-efficacy mediated the positive effect of active-learning pedagogy on two metrics of student performance. Our results add to a growing body of research that supports varied and inclusive teaching as one pathway to a diversified STEM workforce. © 2017 C. J. Ballen et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2017 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  14. Female Computer Science and Engineering Undergraduates: Reflections on Participation in the Academic Landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz, Patricia Adriana

    2017-01-01

    Women continue to be underrepresented in computer science and technology related fields despite their significant contributions. The lack of diversity in technology related fields is problematic as it can result in the perpetuation of negative stereotypes and closed-minded, unchecked biases. As technology tools become integral to our daily lives…

  15. Undergraduate Origins of Recent (1991-95) Science and Engineering Doctorate Recipients. Special Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA. Div. of Science Resources Studies.

    Baccalaureate institutions are an essential part of the educational process for persons earning science and engineering doctorates. This report summarizes data on the baccalaureate institutions reported by persons completing doctorates from 1991 through 1995. It provides an institutional context for examining this aspect of the educational…

  16. Exploration of the Lived Experiences of Undergraduate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Minority Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snead-McDaniel, Kimberly

    2010-01-01

    An expanding ethnicity gap exists in the number of students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers in the United States. The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering revealed that the number of minorities pursuing STEM degrees and careers has declined over the past few years. The specific origins of…

  17. Revision and Evaluation of a Course in Behavioral Sciences for Undergraduate Medical Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Frederick L.; Friedmann, Claude T. H.

    1981-01-01

    The new teaching format of a behavioral science course at the University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine is described. Specific objectives were to present an introduction of life's developmental cycles, the nature of mind-body relationships, and dynamics of the doctor-patient relationship, and to develop interviewing skills. (MLW)

  18. Exploring the Self-Reported ICT Skill Levels of Undergraduate Science Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jef C. Verhoeven

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Computers have taken an important place in the training of science students and in the professional life of scientists. It is often taken for granted that most students have mastered basic Information and Communication Technologies (ICT skills; however, it has been shown that not all students are equally proficient in this regard. Starting from theories of socialization and technology acceptance we report how we constructed a structural equation model (SEM to explore the variance in the basic ICT skill levels of science students. We also present the results of a test of this model with university bachelor’s science students. Basic ICT skills were measured using a new, elaborate instrument allowing students to rate their skills in detail. Our results show that science students score high on basic ICT skills and that our SEM explains a large part of the variation in the ICT skill levels of these students. The most explanatory power is coming from four variables: the perceived ease of use and the perceived usefulness of a personal computer, the anxiety for using a personal computer, and students’ belief that ICT is necessary for scientific research.

  19. A Diagnosis of the Levels of Information Literacy Competency among Social Sciences Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinto, María; Fernández-Pascual, Rosaura

    2017-01-01

    Restricted to five Spanish public universities, this paper examines knowledge about information literacy competencies--that is, the objective dimension--among a population of social sciences students, as well as two subjective dimensions: students' belief in the importance of information literacy, hereafter called "belief-in-importance",…

  20. The Undergraduate Capstone Course in the Social Sciences: Results from a Regional Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauhart, Robert C.; Grahe, Jon E.

    2010-01-01

    Among the common requirements for receipt of a degree in the social sciences is the completion of a senior seminar in which a senior thesis or capstone project is produced. A number of educational goals have been proposed for this requirement: integrating the knowledge base supplied by the regular curriculum, contributing to students' future roles…

  1. Enhancing Diversity in Undergraduate Science: Self-Efficacy Drives Performance Gains with Active Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballen, Cissy J.; Wieman, Carl; Salehi, Shima; Searle, Jeremy B.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2017-01-01

    Efforts to retain underrepresented minority (URM) students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) have shown only limited success in higher education, due in part to a persistent achievement gap between students from historically underrepresented and well-represented backgrounds. To test the hypothesis that active learning…

  2. Exploring the Self-Reported ICT Skill Levels of Undergraduate Science Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heerwegh, Dirk; De Wit, Kurt; Verhoeven, Jef C.

    2016-01-01

    Computers have taken an important place in the training of science students and in the professional life of scientists. It is often taken for granted that most students have mastered basic Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) skills; however, it has been shown that not all students are equally proficient in this regard. Starting from…

  3. Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Undergraduate Student Views of the Nature of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arino de la Rubia, Leigh S.; Lin, Tzung-Jin; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2014-01-01

    Past studies investigating university level students' views of nature of science (NOS) were relatively few and most of them were conducted in Western countries. This paper focuses upon comparing the quantitative patterns in Western (US Caucasian and African-American) and non-Western (Taiwanese) students' views of NOS (VNOS) by adopting a survey…

  4. Improving academic performance of sport and exercise science undergraduate students in gross anatomy using a near-peer teaching program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viana, Ricardo Borges; Campos, Mário Hebling; Santos, Douglas de Assis Teles; Xavier, Isabela Cristina Maioni; Vancini, Rodrigo Luiz; Andrade, Marília Santos; de Lira, Claudio Andre Barbosa

    2018-04-16

    Peer and near-peer teaching programs are common in medical undergraduate courses. However, there are no studies that have investigated the effectiveness of a near-peer teaching program on the academic performance of undergraduate students pursuing sport and exercise science coursework. This study was conducted to analyze the effectiveness of such a program for students who participated in a course on the functional anatomy of the locomotor apparatus. A total of 39 student participants were divided into two groups: students in one group voluntarily attended at least one session of a near-peer teaching program, and students in the other group attended no sessions. The final grade (range 0-100%) was recorded and used as an indicator of academic performance. The final grade of students who attended the near-peer teaching program (69.5 ± 16.0%) was 38.7% higher (P = 0.002, d = 1.06) than those who did not (50.1 ± 20.4%). When the academic performance of the same students was evaluated in another course (exercise physiology) that did not offer a near-peer teaching program, there were no significant differences between the groups (students who attended or did not attend the near-peer teaching program). A significant positive association was found between near-peer teaching program frequency and the number of students approved and not approved in the course (P = 0.041). A significant difference (P = 0.001) was found in the attendance at regular classes between the group who participated in the near-peer teaching program (median: 62 hours; IQR [interquartile ranges]: 4.0 hours) and those who did not (median: 58 hours; IQR: 4.0 hours). Gender was not a moderating factor on academic performance or near-peer teaching program attendance. These results highlight the effectiveness of a near-peer teaching program on the academic performance of students from a sport and exercise science degree program while enrolled in an anatomy course. Anat Sci Educ.

  5. Science or liberal arts? Cultural capital and college major choice in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Anning; Wu, Xiaogang

    2017-12-19

    Previous studies on major East Asian societies such as Japan and Korea generally fail to find a strong effect of cultural capital in educational inequality, partly due to the characteristic extreme focus on standardized test and curriculum. This study shifts attention to the horizontal stratification of education by investigating the association between family background, cultural capital, and college major choice in contemporary China. Based on analysis of data from the Beijing College Students Panel Survey (BCSPS), we found that, on average, cultural capital significantly mediates the relationship between family background and college major preference. Those with greater endowment of cultural capital are more likely to come from socio-economically advantaged families, and, at the same time, demonstrate a stronger propensity to major in liberal arts fields rather than science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Further analyses reveal that the association between cultural capital and academic field choice comes into being by way of performance in the Chinese test in the national college entrance examination and of the non-cognitive dispositions, such as self-efficacy and self-esteem. Our findings better our understanding of formation of the horizontal stratification of higher education. © London School of Economics and Political Science 2017.

  6. Identifying barriers to Science, Technology, Society and environment (STSE) educational goals and pedagogy in science education: A case study of UMASS Lowell undergraduate engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phaneuf, Tiffany

    The implementation of sustainable development in higher education is a global trend. Engineers, as gatekeepers of technological innovation, confront increasingly complex world issues ranging from economic and social to political and environmental. Recently, a multitude of government reports have argued that solving such complex problems requires changes in the pedagogy of engineering education, such as that prescribed by the Science, Technology, Society, and education (STS) movement that grew out of the environmental movement in the 70s. In STS students are engaged in the community by understanding that scientific progress is innately a sociopolitical process that involves dimensions of power, wealth and responsibility. United States accreditation criteria now demand "the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context" (ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission 2005). With such emphasis on STS education as necessary to address complex world issues, it is vital to assess the barriers in the traditional engineering curriculum that may inhibit the success of such educational reform. This study identifies barriers to STS goals and pedagogy in post secondary science education by using the Francis College of Engineering at UMASS Lowell as a single case study. The study draws on existing literature to develop a theoretical framework for assessing four hypothesized barriers to STS education in undergraduate engineering. Identification of barriers to STS education in engineering generates a critical reflection of post secondary science education and its role in preparing engineers to be active citizens in shaping a rapidly globalizing world. The study offers policy recommendations for enabling post secondary science education to incorporate STS education into its curriculum.

  7. The Science Teaching Self-Efficacy of Prospective Elementary Education Majors Enrolled in Introductory Geology Lab Sections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Kathryn A.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined prospective elementary education majors' science teaching self-efficacy while they were enrolled in an introductory geology lab course for elementary education majors. The Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument Form B (STEBI-B) was administered during the first and last lab class sessions. Additionally, students were…

  8. Classroom Activities: Simple Strategies to Incorporate Student-Centered Activities within Undergraduate Science Lectures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lom, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    The traditional science lecture, where an instructor delivers a carefully crafted monolog to a large audience of students who passively receive the information, has been a popular mode of instruction for centuries. Recent evidence on the science of teaching and learning indicates that learner-centered, active teaching strategies can be more effective learning tools than traditional lectures. Yet most colleges and universities retain lectures as their central instructional method. This article highlights several simple collaborative teaching techniques that can be readily deployed within traditional lecture frameworks to promote active learning. Specifically, this article briefly introduces the techniques of: reader's theatre, think-pair-share, roundtable, jigsaw, in-class quizzes, and minute papers. Each technique is broadly applicable well beyond neuroscience courses and easily modifiable to serve an instructor's specific pedagogical goals. The benefits of each technique are described along with specific examples of how each technique might be deployed within a traditional lecture to create more active learning experiences.

  9. Being a Scientist While Teaching Science: Implementing Undergraduate Research Opportunities for Elementary Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hock, Emily; Sharp, Zoe

    2016-03-01

    Aspiring teachers and current teachers can gain insight about the scientific community through hands-on experience. As America's standards for elementary school and middle school become more advanced, future and current teachers must gain hands-on experience in the scientific community. For a teacher to be fully capable of teaching all subjects, they must be comfortable in the content areas, equipped to answer questions, and able to pass on their knowledge. Hands-on research experiences, like the Summer Astronomy Research Experience at California Polytechnic University, pair liberal studies students with a cooperative group of science students and instructors with the goal of doing research that benefits the scientific community and deepens the team members' perception of the scientific community. Teachers are then able to apply the basic research process in their classrooms, inspire students to do real life science, and understand the processes scientists' undergo in their workplace.

  10. Mentoring for Inclusion: The Impact of Mentoring on Undergraduate Researchers in the Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haeger, Heather; Fresquez, Carla

    Increasing inclusion of underrepresented minority and first-generation students in mentored research experiences both increases diversity in the life sciences research community and prepares students for successful careers in these fields. However, analyses of the impact of mentoring approaches on specific student gains are limited. This study addresses the impact of mentoring strategies within research experiences on broadening access to the life sciences by examining both how these experiences impacted student success and how the quality of mentorship affected the development of research and academic skills for a diverse population of students at a public, minority-serving institution. Institutional data on student grades and graduation rates (n = 348) along with postresearch experience surveys (n = 138) found that students mentored in research had significantly higher cumulative grade point averages and similar graduation rates as a matched set of peers. Examination of the relationships between student-reported gains and mentoring strategies demonstrated that socioemotional and culturally relevant mentoring impacted student development during mentored research experiences. Additionally, extended engagement in research yielded significantly higher development of research-related skills and level of independence in research. Recommendations are provided for using mentoring to support traditionally underrepresented students in the sciences. © 2016 H. Haeger and C. Fresquez. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2016 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  11. Modifying ``Six Ideas that Shaped Physics'' for a Life-Science major audience at Hope College

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mader, Catherine

    2005-04-01

    The ``Six Ideas That Shaped Physics'' textbook has been adapted and used for use in the algebra-based introductory physics course for non-physics science majors at Hope College. The results of the first use will be presented. Comparison of FCI for pre and post test scores will be compared with results from 8 years of results from both the algebra-based course and the calculus-based course (when we first adopted ``Six Ideas that Shaped Physcs" for the Calculus-based course). In addition, comparison on quantitative tests and homework problems with prior student groups will also be made. Because a large fraction of the audience in the algebra-based course is life-science majors, a goal of this project is to make the material relevant for these students. Supplemental materials that emphasize the connection between the life sciences and the fundamental physics concepts are being be developed to accompany the new textbook. Samples of these materials and how they were used (and received) during class testing will be presented.

  12. Assessing predictors of science grades and career goals in university undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patanella, Daniel Francis

    The utility of traditional predictors of both science grades and career goals (SAT and GPA) was compared to psychological predictors such as Piagetian stage (as measured by the Group Assessment of Logical Thinking), sex-role schema (as measured by the Bem Sex-Role Inventory, and self-schema in students enrolled in either psychology classes (n = 123) or biology classes (n = 56). While the overall predictive ability of the model was high (R = .73), the strongest predictors of grade in science class were traditional variables and not psychological ones as predicted. Prediction of career goal, while more modest (R = .19), was best served by the psychological variable of self-schema. Subsequent analyses indicated that Piagetian stage was best conceptualized as a mediating variable and that sex-role schema as measured played almost no role in either grade or career goal, as well as verifying the internal validity of the self-schema measure used. Biology students were more likely to possess a science self-schema than psychology students (chi2 (1,179) = 7.34, p < .01) and outperformed psychology students on the Piagetian questions (t(177) = 3.01, p < .01). Response latency was recorded for all participants' answer to the Piagetian questions; contrary to prediction however, the inclusion of response latency did not add to the predictive ability of the Piagetian measure used.

  13. Test-enhanced learning: the potential for testing to promote greater learning in undergraduate science courses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brame, Cynthia J; Biel, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Testing within the science classroom is commonly used for both formative and summative assessment purposes to let the student and the instructor gauge progress toward learning goals. Research within cognitive science suggests, however, that testing can also be a learning event. We present summaries of studies that suggest that repeated retrieval can enhance long-term learning in a laboratory setting; various testing formats can promote learning; feedback enhances the benefits of testing; testing can potentiate further study; and benefits of testing are not limited to rote memory. Most of these studies were performed in a laboratory environment, so we also present summaries of experiments suggesting that the benefits of testing can extend to the classroom. Finally, we suggest opportunities that these observations raise for the classroom and for further research. © 2015 C. J. Brame and R. Biel. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2015 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).

  14. The effects of topic choice in project-based instruction on undergraduate physical science students' interest, ownership, and motivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milner-Bolotin, Marina

    2001-07-01

    Motivating nonscience majors in science and mathematics studies became one of the most interesting and important challenges in contemporary science and mathematics education. Therefore, designing and studying a learning environment, which enhances students' motivation, is an important task. This experimental study sought to explore the implications of student autonomy in topic choice in a project-based Physical Science Course for nonscience majors' on students' motivational orientation. It also suggested and tested a model explaining motivational outcomes of project-based learning environment through increased student ownership of science projects. A project, How Things Work, was designed and implemented in this study. The focus of the project was application of physical science concepts learned in the classroom to everyday life situations. Participants of the study (N = 59) were students enrolled in three selected sections of a Physical Science Course, designed to fulfill science requirements for nonscience majors. These sections were taught by the same instructor over a period of an entire 16-week semester at a large public research university. The study focused on four main variables: student autonomy in choosing a project topic, their motivational orientation, student ownership of the project, and the interest in the project topic. Achievement Goal Orientation theory became the theoretical framework for the study. Student motivational orientation, defined as mastery or performance goal orientation, was measured by an Achievement Goal Orientation Questionnaire. Student ownership was measured using an original instrument, Ownership Measurement Questionnaire, designed and tested by the researchers. Repeated measures yoked design, ANOVA, ANCOVA, and multivariate regression analysis were implemented in the study. Qualitative analysis was used to complement and verify quantitative results. It has been found that student autonomy in the project choice did not make a

  15. “Biotecnological War” - A Conceptual And Perceptual Assessment Tool For Teaching Biotechnology And Protein Chemistry For Undergraduate Students In Biological Sciences.

    OpenAIRE

    C. R. C. Cruz et al.

    2017-01-01

    "Biotecnological War" board game, a conceptual and perceptual assessment tool for biotechnology and protein chemistry teaching for undergraduate students in biological sciences and related areas. It is a proposal initially conceived as an alternative complementary tool for biochemistry teaching of proteins and peptides, challenging students, aiming to review concepts transmitted in classroom, stimulating diverse student’s abilities, such as their creativity, competitiveness and resource manag...

  16. A comparison of online versus face-to-face teaching delivery in statistics instruction for undergraduate health science students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Fletcher; Lemonde, Manon

    2013-12-01

    The objective of this study was to assess if online teaching delivery produces comparable student test performance as the traditional face-to-face approach irrespective of academic aptitude. This study involves a quasi-experimental comparison of student performance in an undergraduate health science statistics course partitioned in two ways. The first partition involves one group of students taught with a traditional face-to-face classroom approach and the other through a completely online instructional approach. The second partition of the subjects categorized the academic aptitude of the students into groups of higher and lower academically performing based on their assignment grades during the course. Controls that were placed on the study to reduce the possibility of confounding variables were: the same instructor taught both groups covering the same subject information, using the same assessment methods and delivered over the same period of time. The results of this study indicate that online teaching delivery is as effective as a traditional face-to-face approach in terms of producing comparable student test performance but only if the student is academically higher performing. For academically lower performing students, the online delivery method produced significantly poorer student test results compared to those lower performing students taught in a traditional face-to-face environment.

  17. The experimental teaching reform in biochemistry and molecular biology for undergraduate students in Peking University Health Science Center.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Xiaohan; Sun, Luyang; Zhao, Ying; Yi, Xia; Zhu, Bin; Wang, Pu; Lin, Hong; Ni, Juhua

    2015-01-01

    Since 2010, second-year undergraduate students of an eight-year training program leading to a Doctor of Medicine degree or Doctor of Philosophy degree in Peking University Health Science Center (PKUHSC) have been required to enter the "Innovative talent training project." During that time, the students joined a research lab and participated in some original research work. There is a critical educational need to prepare these students for the increasing accessibility of research experience. The redesigned experimental curriculum of biochemistry and molecular biology was developed to fulfill such a requirement, which keeps two original biochemistry experiments (Gel filtration and Enzyme kinetics) and adds a new two-experiment component called "Analysis of anti-tumor drug induced apoptosis." The additional component, also known as the "project-oriented experiment" or the "comprehensive experiment," consists of Western blotting and a DNA laddering assay to assess the effects of etoposide (VP16) on the apoptosis signaling pathways. This reformed laboratory teaching system aims to enhance the participating students overall understanding of important biological research techniques and the instrumentation involved, and to foster a better understanding of the research process all within a classroom setting. Student feedback indicated that the updated curriculum helped them improve their operational and self-learning capability, and helped to increase their understanding of theoretical knowledge and actual research processes, which laid the groundwork for their future research work. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  18. An Informal Science Education Program's Impact on STEM Major and STEM Career Outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habig, Bobby; Gupta, Preeti; Levine, Brian; Adams, Jennifer

    2018-04-01

    While there is extensive evidence that STEM careers can be important pathways for augmenting social mobility and for increasing individual prestige, many youth perceive a STEM trajectory as an unattractive option. In the USA, women and members of historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups continue to be underrepresented across STEM disciplines. One vehicle for generating and sustaining interest in STEM is providing youth long-term access to informal science education (ISE) institutions. Here, we incorporate triangulation methods, collecting and synthesizing both qualitative and quantitative data, to examine how participation in a longitudinal ISE out-of-school time (OST) program facilitated by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) impacted the STEM trajectories of 66 alumni. Findings revealed that 83.2% of alumni engaged in a STEM major, and 63.1% in a STEM career, the majority whom were females and/or members of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Based on interviews with a purposeful sample of 21 AMNH alumni, we identified four program design principles that contributed to persistence in STEM: (1) affording multiple opportunities to become practitioners of science; (2) providing exposure to and repeated experiences with STEM professionals such as scientists, educators, and graduate students to build social networks; (3) furnishing opportunities for participants to develop shared science identities with like-minded individuals; and (4) offering exposure to and preparation for a variety of STEM majors and STEM careers so that youth can engage in discovering possible selves. These findings support our central thesis that long-term engagement in ISE OST programs fosters persistence in STEM.

  19. Classroom Activities: Simple Strategies to Incorporate Student-Centered Activities within Undergraduate Science Lectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lom, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    The traditional science lecture, where an instructor delivers a carefully crafted monolog to a large audience of students who passively receive the information, has been a popular mode of instruction for centuries. Recent evidence on the science of teaching and learning indicates that learner-centered, active teaching strategies can be more effective learning tools than traditional lectures. Yet most colleges and universities retain lectures as their central instructional method. This article highlights several simple collaborative teaching techniques that can be readily deployed within traditional lecture frameworks to promote active learning. Specifically, this article briefly introduces the techniques of: reader’s theatre, think-pair-share, roundtable, jigsaw, in-class quizzes, and minute papers. Each technique is broadly applicable well beyond neuroscience courses and easily modifiable to serve an instructor’s specific pedagogical goals. The benefits of each technique are described along with specific examples of how each technique might be deployed within a traditional lecture to create more active learning experiences. PMID:23494568

  20. Adapting to Student Learning Styles: Using Cell Phone Technology in Undergraduate Science Instruction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Pennington

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Students of science traditionally make 3x5 flash cards to assist learning nomenclature, structures, and reactions. Advances in educational technology have enabled flashcards viewed on computers, offering an endless array of drilling and feedback opportunities for students. The current generation of students is less inclined to use computers, but they use their cell phones 24 hours a day. This report outlines these trends and an even more recent educational technology initiative, that of using cell phone flash cards to help students learn biology and chemistry nomenclature, structures, and reactions. Students responded positively to cell phone flash cards in a pilot study and a more detailed study is planned for the coming year.

  1. Integration of NASA Research into Undergraduate Education in Math, Science, Engineering and Technology at North Carolina A&T State University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroe, Joseph; Kelkar, Ajit

    2003-01-01

    The NASA PAIR program incorporated the NASA-Sponsored research into the undergraduate environment at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. This program is designed to significantly improve undergraduate education in the areas of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology (MSET) by directly benefiting from the experiences of NASA field centers, affiliated industrial partners and academic institutions. The three basic goals of the program were enhancing core courses in MSET curriculum, upgrading core-engineering laboratories to compliment upgraded MSET curriculum, and conduct research training for undergraduates in MSET disciplines through a sophomore shadow program and through Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs. Since the inception of the program nine courses have been modified to include NASA related topics and research. These courses have impacted over 900 students in the first three years of the program. The Electrical Engineering circuit's lab is completely re-equipped to include Computer controlled and data acquisition equipment. The Physics lab is upgraded to implement better sensory data acquisition to enhance students understanding of course concepts. In addition a new instrumentation laboratory in the department of Mechanical Engineering is developed. Research training for A&T students was conducted through four different programs: Apprentice program, Developers program, Sophomore Shadow program and Independent Research program. These programs provided opportunities for an average of forty students per semester.

  2. Gender equity in STEM: The role of dual enrollment science courses in selecting a college major

    Science.gov (United States)

    Persons, Christopher Andrew

    A disproportionately low number of women, despite rigorous high school preparation and evidenced interest in STEM through voluntary participation in additional coursework, declare a STEM-related college major. The result of this drop in participation in STEM-related college majors is a job market flooded with men and the support of an incorrect stereotype: STEM is for men. This research seeks to assess the effects, if any, that Dual Enrollment (DE) science courses have on students' self-identified intent to declare a STEM-related college major as well as the respective perceptions of both male and female students. Self-Determination Theory and Gender Equity Framework were used respectively as the theoretical frames. High school students from six schools in two district participated in an online survey and focus groups in this mixed methods study. The results of the research identified the role the DE course played in their choice of college major, possible interventions to correct the underrepresentation, and societal causes for the stereotype.

  3. Examination of Knowledge and NOS in a PBL Curriculum: Comparing the Impact on Pre-service Teachers and Science Career Undergraduates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schleigh, S.; Manda, A. K.

    2011-12-01

    "Those who don't know or can't do, teach". This is a well known statement accepted by many as an adage. It is a statement that implies that the teachers of our science content really do not understand the science. In this study, we examined whether there was some truth in this statement by comparing undergraduates heading towards science careers and undergraduates heading toward science teaching careers. Do teachers really have a different understanding for science than scientists? If so, do they learn differently from each other? Our study examines content knowledge gains and ability to apply and engage in science using the content that is being addressed. We questioned (1)if students in one track engage and develop knowledge and skills more proficiently than another; (2)if the PBL approach is more effective for a particular group of learners; (3)if the PBL environment (virtual/physical) impacts the development and understanding for NOS; and (4) how the engagement of learning through PBL transfers to classroom practice. We used the Problem Based Approach (PBL) in undergraduate courses that covered the science content related to climate change. Project-based learning (PBL) is an approach to science education that has been shown to support student understanding for science concepts by allowing them to apply knowledge to real-world, relevant applications. Recent research has focused on developing teachers' understanding for science by engaging them in learning events that are found in PBL and authentic research approaches (AR)( e.g. Abd-El-Khalick and Lederman, 2000). We used mixed methods to answer each of our questions. Our instruments included a likert scale for the nature of science as argumentation, a concept mapping activity, a written essay, a content exam and an observation protocol for the teaching practice. In this study we included a total of 40 pre-service teachers (online) 30 pre-service teachers (physical classroom) and 35 undergraduates (physical

  4. Research and Teaching: Factors Related to College Students' Understanding of the Nature of Science--Comparison of Science Majors and Nonscience Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partin, Matthew L.; Underwood, Eileen M.; Worch, Eric A.

    2013-01-01

    To develop a more scientifically literate society, students need to understand the nature of science, which may be affected by controversial topics such as evolution. There are conflicting views among researchers concerning the relationships between understanding evolution, acceptance of evolution, and understanding of the nature of science. Four…

  5. A Research Experiences for Undergraduates program (REU) Program Designed to Recruit, Engage and Prepare a Diverse Student Population for Careers in Ocean Sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarkston, B. E.; Garza, C.

    2016-02-01

    The problem of improving diversity within the Ocean Sciences workforce—still underperforming relative to other scientific disciplines—can only be addressed by first recruiting and engaging a more diverse student population into the discipline, then retaining them in the workforce. California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) is home to the Monterey Bay Regional Ocean Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. As an HSI with strong ties to multiple regional community colleges and other Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs) in the CSU system, the Monterey Bay REU is uniquely positioned to address the crucial recruitment and engagement of a diverse student body. Eleven sophomore and junior-level undergraduate students are recruited per year from academic institutions where research opportunities in STEM are limited and from groups historically underrepresented in the Ocean Sciences, including women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans. During the program, students engage in a 10-week original research project guided by a faculty research mentor in one of four themes: Oceanography, Marine Biology and Ecology, Ocean Engineering, and Marine Geology. In addition to research, students develop scientific self-efficacy and literacy skills through rigorous weekly professional development workshops in which they practice critical thinking, ethical decision-making, peer review, writing and oral communication skills. These workshops include tangible products such as an NSF-style proposal paper, Statement of Purpose and CV modelled for the SACNAS Travel Award Application, research abstract, scientific report and oral presentation. To help retain students in Ocean Sciences, students build community during the REU by living together in the CSUMB dormitories; post-REU, students stay connected through an online facebook group, LinkedIn page and group webinars. To date, the REU has supported 22 students in two

  6. Contemporary Issues in Group Learning in Undergraduate Science Classrooms: A Perspective from Student Engagement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, Linda C

    2018-06-01

    As the use of collaborative-learning methods such as group work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics classes has grown, so has the research into factors impacting effectiveness, the kinds of learning engendered, and demographic differences in student response. Generalizing across the range of this research is complicated by the diversity of group-learning approaches used. In this overview, I discuss theories of how group-work formats support or hinder learning based on the ICAP (interactive, constructive, active, passive) framework of student engagement. I then use this model to analyze current issues in group learning, such as the nature of student discourse during group work, the role of group learning in making our classrooms inclusive, and how classroom spaces factor into group learning. I identify key gaps for further research and propose implications from this research for teaching practice. This analysis helps identify essential, effective, and efficient features of group learning, thus providing faculty with constructive guidelines to support their work and affirm their efforts.

  7. Interprofessional ethics education seminar for undergraduate health science students: A pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cino, Kathleen; Austin, Rita; Casa, Cristina; Nebocat, Christine; Spencer, Adele

    2018-03-01

    To prepare for the modern collaborative healthcare system, health science academia is charged with educating future professionals to be competent members of the interprofessional team. The purpose of this pilot study was to assess self-efficacy for interprofessional education (IPE) in medical laboratory technology, dental hygiene, and nursing students before and after an IPE session. The specific topic of ethics was the focus of the session. The interprofessional seminar was designed to compare the codes of ethics from each programme through discussion and a case-based approach. The Self-Efficacy for Interprofessional Experiential Learning scale was used to collect quantitative data. A total of 75 participants rated self-efficacy for IPE before and after the educational offering. A paired sample t-test was used to analyse data. Significant results were found in students' pre- and post-test scores that indicated increased levels of self-efficacy related to working as a collaborative team for the benefit of the patient. Overall, there was an increase in participants' self-efficacy after collaborating with students from different health professions programmes. Healthcare students that learn together are more confident in their abilities to implement a team-structured approach, and understand that doing so will foster optimal patient wellbeing.

  8. Engaging actively with issues in the responsible conduct of science: lessons from international efforts are relevant for undergraduate education in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, John D; Connell, Nancy D; Dirks, Clarissa; El-Faham, Mohamed; Hay, Alastair; Heitman, Elizabeth; Stith, James H; Bond, Enriqueta C; Colwell, Rita R; Anestidou, Lida; Husbands, Jo L; Labov, Jay B

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies are demonstrating that engaging undergraduate students in original research can improve their achievement in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and increase the likelihood that some of them will decide to pursue careers in these disciplines. Associated with this increased prominence of research in the undergraduate curriculum are greater expectations from funders, colleges, and universities that faculty mentors will help those students, along with their graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, develop an understanding and sense of personal and collective obligation for responsible conduct of science (RCS). This Feature describes an ongoing National Research Council (NRC) project and a recent report about educating faculty members in culturally diverse settings (Middle East/North Africa and Asia) to employ active-learning strategies to engage their students and colleagues deeply in issues related to RCS. The NRC report describes the first phase of this project, which took place in Aqaba and Amman, Jordan, in September 2012 and April 2013, respectively. Here we highlight the findings from that report and our subsequent experience with a similar interactive institute in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Our work provides insights and perspectives for faculty members in the United States as they engage undergraduate and graduate students, as well as postdoctoral fellows, to help them better understand the intricacies of and connections among various components of RCS. Further, our experiences can provide insights for those who may wish to establish "train-the-trainer" programs at their home institutions.

  9. Geoscience Through the Lens of Art: a collaborative course of science and art for undergraduates of various disciplines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellins, K. K.; Eriksson, S. C.; Samsel, F.; Lavier, L.

    2017-12-01

    A new undergraduate, upper level geoscience course was developed and taught by faculty and staff of the UT Austin Jackson School of Geosciences, the Center for Agile Technology, and the Texas Advanced Computational Center. The course examined the role of the visual arts in placing the scientific process and knowledge in a broader context and introduced students to innovations in the visual arts that promote scientific investigation through collaboration between geoscientists and artists. The course addressed (1) the role of the visual arts in teaching geoscience concepts and promoting geoscience learning; (2) the application of innovative visualization and artistic techniques to large volumes of geoscience data to enhance scientific understanding and to move scientific investigation forward; and (3) the illustrative power of art to communicate geoscience to the public. In-class activities and discussions, computer lab instruction on the application of Paraview software, reading assignments, lectures, and group projects with presentations comprised the two-credit, semester-long "special topics" course, which was taken by geoscience, computer science, and engineering students. Assessment of student learning was carried out by the instructors and course evaluation was done by an external evaluator using rubrics, likert-scale surveys and focus goups. The course achieved its goals of students' learning the concepts and techniques of the visual arts. The final projects demonstrated this, along with the communication of geologic concepts using what they had learned in the course. The basic skill of sketching for learning and using best practices in visual communication were used extensively and, in most cases, very effectively. The use of an advanced visualization tool, Paraview, was received with mixed reviews because of the lack of time to really learn the tool and the fact that it is not a tool used routinely in geoscience. Those senior students with advanced computer

  10. Addressing medical school diversity through an undergraduate partnership at Texas A&M Health Science Center: a blueprint for success.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parrish, Alan R; Daniels, Dennis E; Hester, R Kelly; Colenda, Christopher C

    2008-05-01

    Imperative to increasing diversity in the physician workforce is increasing the pool of qualified underrepresented minority applicants to medical schools. With this goal in mind, the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine (A&M College of Medicine) has partnered with Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a historically black college and university that is a component of the Texas A&M university system, to develop the undergraduate medical academy (UMA). The UMA was established by legislative mandate in 2003 and is a state-funded program. The authors describe the development of partnership between the A&M College of Medicine and PVAMU, focusing on the key attributes that have been identified for success. The administrative structure of the UMA ensures that the presidents of the two institutions collaborate to address issues of program oversight and facilitates a direct relationship between the dean and associate dean for academic affairs of A&M College of Medicine and the director of the UMA to define the program objectives and structure. The authors delineate the admission process to the UMA, as well as the academic requirements of the program. Students attend lecture series during the academic year and participate in summer programs on the A&M College of Medicine campus in addition to receiving intensive academic counseling and opportunities for tutoring in several subjects. The authors also describe the initial success in medical school admissions for UMA students. This partnership provides a model blueprint that can be adopted and adapted by other medical schools focused on increasing diversity in medicine.

  11. Undergraduate Science Students are Uncertain of How to Find Facts in E-books Compared to Print Books. A Review of: Berg, S. A., Hoffmann, K., & Dawson, D. (2010. Not on the same page: Undergraduates' information retrieval in electronic and print books. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 36(6, 518-525.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christina E. Carter

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective – To observe and compare the strategies that undergraduate science students use to perform information retrieval tasks in e-books and in print books.Design – Qualitative analysis, employing a “prompted think-aloud” methodology and thematic analysis.Setting – Taylor Library (serving the Faculty of Science, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada.Subjects – Twenty undergraduate science students (11 females, 9 males who had completed at least two years of study in Faculty of Science programs at the University of Western Ontario.Methods – Participants for the study were recruited through informational posters in Taylor Library, science departments, and in undergraduate science classes. Participants were assigned fact-finding tasks in e-book and print versions of eight health, computer science, and engineering textbooks and handbooks available in the Taylor Library. Book titles and tasks are included in a table in the study. Each student completed four tasks using e-books and four tasks using print books. Half of the participants performed tasks in print books first, and half began with tasks in e-books. Print books were “pre-selected” for each participant. The e-books were all from the same platform: Electronic Book Library. Participants were provided with a laptop computer to access the e-book versions, and a list of questions or facts to locate within each book. Following the methodology of Cotton & Gresty (2006, one researcher prompted students to verbalize actions while performing assigned tasks. A second researcher captured audio and video of the laptop screen as students individually conducted their e-book searches. A third researcher took notes on each session. An exit survey was given to each participant, asking about previous use, knowledge, and attitudes towards e-books. Thematic analysis was then used to examine the collected data.Main Results – Researchers identified four major themes from the

  12. Trends in gender segregation in the choice of science and engineering majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Allison; Diprete, Thomas A

    2013-11-01

    Numerous theories have been put forward for the high and continuing levels of gender segregation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, but research has not systematically examined the extent to which these theories for the gender gap are consistent with actual trends. Using both administrative data and four separate longitudinal studies sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), we evaluate several prominent explanations for the persisting gender gap in STEM fields related to mathematics performance and background and general life goals, and find that none of them are empirically satisfactory. Instead, we suggest that the structure of majors and their linkages to professional training and careers may combine with gender differences in educational goals to influence the persisting gender gap in STEM fields. An analysis of gendered career aspirations, course-taking patterns, and pathways to medical and law school supports this explanation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Trends in Gender Segregation in the Choice of Science and Engineering Majors*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Allison; DiPrete, Thomas A.

    2013-01-01

    Numerous theories have been put forward for the high and continuing levels of gender segregation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, but research has not systematically examined the extent to which these theories for the gender gap are consistent with actual trends. Using both administrative data and four separate longitudinal studies sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), we evaluate several prominent explanations for the persisting gender gap in STEM fields related to mathematics performance and background and general life goals, and find that none of them are empirically satisfactory. Instead, we suggest that the structure of majors and their linkages to professional training and careers may combine with gender differences in educational goals to influence the persisting gender gap in STEM fields. An analysis of gendered career aspirations, course-taking patterns, and pathways to medical and law school supports this explanation. PMID:24090849

  14. Women planning to major in computer science: Who are they and what makes them unique?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehman, Kathleen J.; Sax, Linda J.; Zimmerman, Hilary B.

    2016-12-01

    Despite the current growing popularity of the computer science (CS) major, women remain sorely underrepresented in the field, continuing to earn only 18% of bachelor's degrees. Understanding women's low rates of participation in CS is important given that the demand for individuals with CS training has grown sharply in recent years. Attracting and retaining more women to high-paying fields like CS may also help narrow the gender pay gap. Further, it is important that women participate in developing new technology so that technology advances serve the needs of both women and men. This paper explores the background characteristics, career aspirations, and self-perceptions of 1636 female first-year college students in the United States who intend to major in CS and compares them with 4402 male CS aspirants as well as with 26,642 women planning to major in other STEM sub-fields. The findings reveal a unique profile of women who pursue the CS major and notes many significant differences between men and women in CS and between women in CS and those in other STEM fields. For instance, women in CS tend to earn lower high school grades than women in other STEM fields, but earn higher SAT verbal scores. They also rate themselves higher than men in CS and women in other STEM fields on measures of their artistic ability, but rate themselves lower on other self-ratings, including academic and leadership ability. Further, women in CS are more likely to be undecided in their career plans than men in CS and women in other STEM fields. Understanding the unique characteristics of women in CS will help inform policies and recruitment programs designed to address the gender gap in computing.

  15. Pitching Environmental Science to Business Majors: Engaging Students in Renewable Energy Choices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodgers, Vikki L.

    2014-01-01

    This article describes an active learning strategy for engaging undergraduate business students, a group often ignored in scientific pedagogy, in learning about renewable energy technology and associated trade-offs. I designed a small-group activity to appeal to and engage business students, but the exercise could easily be used for a variety of…

  16. Finding Relevance, Competence, and Enjoyment: The Development of Domain Identification and Interest in First-Year Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, Chloe

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine how first-year college students perceive their development of domain identification with, and interest in, their prospective science major during their initial year of college. Four themes emerged from the coding and analysis of interviews with eight first-year science students: Self-Definition…

  17. Consideration of Learning Orientations as an Application of Achievement Goals in Evaluating Life Science Majors in Introductory Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Andrew J.; Bertram, Charles A.

    2018-01-01

    When considering performing an Introductory Physics for Life Sciences course transformation for one's own institution, life science majors' achievement goals are a necessary consideration to ensure the pedagogical transformation will be effective. However, achievement goals are rarely an explicit consideration in physics education research topics…

  18. Gender Rationales in Selecting a Major in Information Technology at the Undergraduate Level of a University Program: A Focus Group Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Sushma; Draus, Peter; Caputo, Donald; Leone, Gregory; Kohun, Frederick; Repack, Diana

    2014-01-01

    Previous research studies of women applying to, enrolling and completing computing degrees at the undergraduate collegiate level suggest a significant underrepresentation of females in the Information Technology domain in the past decade. This study employs a focus group approach to the gender gap that encompasses forays into the qualitative…

  19. Science Majors and Degrees among Asian-American Students: Influences of Race and Sex in "model Minority" Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meng, Yu; Hanson, Sandra L.

    Both race and sex continue to be factors that stratify entry into science education and occupations in the United States. Asian-Americans (men and women) have experienced considerable success in the sciences and have earned the label of "model minority." The complexities and patterns involved in this success remain elusive. We use several concepts coming out of the status attainment framework and a multicultural gender perspective to explore the way in which race and sex come together to influence choices of science major and degree. Our sample consists of Asian-American and white students in the National Educational Longitudinal Study. Findings suggest that being male and being Asian-American are both associated with higher chances of pursuing majors and degrees in science. The male advantage is greater than the Asian-American advantage. Findings also suggest that race and sex interact in the science decision. For example, race differences (with an Asian-American advantage) in choice of science major are significant for women but not men. Sex differences (with a male advantage) in choice of science major are significant in the white, but not the Asian-American sample. A different set of race and sex patterns is revealed in the science degree models. Processes associated with family socioeconomic status and student characteristics help to explain race and sex patterns. Findings suggest that when Asian-American youths have closer ties to the Asian culture, they are more likely to choose science majors and degrees. Implications for policy, practice, and research in science education are discussed.

  20. Major Links.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Tona

    1995-01-01

    Provides electronic mail addresses for resources and discussion groups related to the following academic majors: art, biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, health sciences, history, literature, math, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, and theater. (AEF)

  1. Perceptions of psychology as a science among university students: the influence of psychology courses and major of study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartels, Jared M; Hinds, Ryan M; Glass, Laura A; Ryan, Joseph J

    2009-10-01

    The goal was to examine the relationship between the number of psychology courses students have taken and their perceptions of psychology as a science. Additionally, differences in perceptions of psychology among psychology, education, and natural science majors were examined. Results indicated that students who had taken four or more psychology courses had more favorable perceptions of psychology as a science compared to those who had taken no courses or one course and those who had taken two to three courses. No significant differences in overall perceptions of psychology emerged among students in the three majors.

  2. The Conceptions of Learning Science by Laboratory among University Science-Major Students: Qualitative and Quantitative Analyses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Yu-Li; Lin, Tzung-Jin; Tsai, Chin-Chung

    2016-01-01

    Background: The sophistication of students' conceptions of science learning has been found to be positively related to their approaches to and outcomes for science learning. Little research has been conducted to particularly investigate students' conceptions of science learning by laboratory. Purpose: The purpose of this research, consisting of…

  3. 36-B: Microbiology Outreach in an AP Biology Classroom Using Undergraduates as Facilitators Increases High School Student Knowledge and Appreciation for Microbiology Topics

    OpenAIRE

    Balke, V.L.; McDowell, J.V.; Bennett, J.A.; Hayes, C.J.; Tansey, J.T.; Bernhard, A.E.; Boomer, S.M.; Baltzley, M.J.; Latham, K.L.; Morgan, S.K.; Briggs, A.G.; Choudhary, M.; Myagmarjav, B.; Trahan, C.; Bavishi, A.

    2013-01-01

    Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) is one of the pilot schools involved in the Community College Undergraduate Research Initiative (CCURI) which is responding to the call for reform of undergraduate science education. The major tenet of this initiative is to engage students early in their course of study by embedding undergraduate research into the curriculum. At DTCC this is accomplished by incorporating research-based laboratories, case studies, and problem-based learning activitie...

  4. STEPS at CSUN: Increasing Retention of Engineering and Physical Science Majors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedone, V. A.; Cadavid, A. C.; Horn, W.

    2012-12-01

    STEPS at CSUN seeks to increase the retention rate of first-time freshman in engineering, math, and physical science (STEM) majors from ~55% to 65%. About 40% of STEM first-time freshmen start in College Algebra because they do not take or do not pass the Mathematics Placement Test (MPT). This lengthens time to graduation, which contributes to dissatisfaction with major. STEPS at CSUN has made substantial changes to the administration of the MPT. Initial data show increases in the number of students who take the test and who place out of College Algebra, as well as increases in overall scores. STEPS at CSUN also funded the development of supplemental labs for Trigonometry and Calculus I and II, in partnership with similar labs created by the Math Department for College Algebra and Precalculus. These labs are open to all students, but are mandatory for at-risk students who have low scores on the MPT, low grades in the prerequisite course, or who failed the class the first time. Initial results are promising. Comparison of the grades of 46 Fall 2010 "at-risk" students without lab to those of 36 Fall 2011 students who enrolled in the supplementary lab show D-F grades decreased by 10% and A-B grades increased by 27%. A final retention strategy is aimed at students in the early stages of their majors. At CSUN the greatest loss of STEM majors occurs between sophomore-level and junior-level coursework because course difficulty increases and aspirations to potential careers weaken. The Summer Interdisciplinary Team Experience (SITE) is an intensive 3-week-long summer program that engages small teams of students from diverse STEM majors in faculty-mentored, team-based problem solving. This experience simulates professional work and creates strong bonds between students and between students and faculty mentors. The first two cohorts of students who have participated in SITE indicate that this experience has positively impacted their motivation to complete their STEM degree.

  5. A grounded theory study on the academic success of undergraduate women in science, engineering, and mathematics fields at a private, research university

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hroch, Amber Michelle

    2011-12-01

    This grounded theory study revealed the common factors of backgrounds, strategies, and motivators in academically successful undergraduate women in science, engineering, and mathematics (SEM) fields at a private, research university in the West. Data from interviews with 15 women with 3.25 or better grade point averages indicated that current academic achievement in their college SEM fields can be attributed to previous academic success, self awareness, time management and organizational skills, and maintaining a strong support network. Participants were motivated by an internal drive to academically succeed and attend graduate school. Recommendations are provided for professors, advisors, and student affairs professionals.

  6. Efficacy Expectations and Vocational Interests as Mediators between Sex and Choice of Math/Science College Majors: A Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapan; Shaughnessy; Boggs

    1996-12-01

    A longitudinal study was conducted to test the mediational role of efficacy expectations in relation to sex differences in the choice of a math/science college major. Data on 101 students were gathered prior to their entering college and then again after they had declared a major 3 years later. Path analytic results support the importance of both math self-efficacy beliefs and vocational interest in mathematics in predicting entry into math/science majors and mediating sex differences in these decisions. Also, students who described themselves as more extroverted were less likely to take additional math classes in high school. Students with stronger artistic vocational interests chose majors less related to math and science. School personnel are strongly encouraged to develop programs that challenge the crystallization of efficacy beliefs and vocational interest patterns before students enter college.

  7. Eating disorder risk, exercise dependence, and body weight dissatisfaction among female nutrition and exercise science university majors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Natalie; Gee, David; d'Acquisto, Debra; Ogan, Dana; Pritchett, Kelly

    2015-09-01

    Past research has examined eating disorder risk among college students majoring in Nutrition and has suggested an increased risk, while other studies contradict these results. Exercise Science majors, however, have yet to be fully examined regarding their risk for eating disorders and exercise dependence. Based on pressures to fit the image associated with careers related to these two disciplines, research is warranted to examine the potential risk for both eating disorder and exercise dependence. The purpose of this study is to compare eating disorder risk, exercise dependence, and body weight dissatisfaction (BWD) between Nutrition and Exercise Science majors, compared to students outside of these career pathways. Participants (n = 89) were divided into three groups based on major; Nutrition majors (NUTR; n = 31), Exercise Science majors (EXSC; n = 30), and other majors (CON; n = 28). Participants were given the EAT-26 questionnaire and the Exercise Dependence Scale. BWD was calculated as the discrepancy between actual BMI and ideal BMI. The majority of participants expressed a desire to weigh less (83%) and EXSC had significantly (p = .03) greater BWD than NUTR. However, there were no significant differences in eating disorder risk or exercise dependence among majors. This study suggested there was no significant difference in eating disorder risk or exercise dependence between the three groups (NUTR, EXSC, and CON).

  8. The Potential to use Publication of Undergraduate Research as a Teaching Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brevik, Eric C.; Lindbo, David L.; Belcher, Christopher

    2015-04-01

    Several studies crossing numerous disciplinary boundaries have demonstrated that undergraduate students benefit from research experiences. These benefits include personal and intellectual development, more and closer contact with faculty, the use of active learning techniques, the creation of high expectations, the development of creative and problem-solving skills, and the development of greater independence and intrinsic motivation to learn. The discipline also gains in that studies show undergraduates who engage in research experiences are more likely to remain science majors and finish their degree program. Research experiences come as close as possible to allowing undergraduates to experience what it is like to be an academic or research member of their profession working to advance their discipline, therefore enhancing their professional socialization into their chosen field. If the goals achieved by undergraduate research include introducing these students to the advancement of their chosen field, it stands to reason the ultimate ending to this experience would be the publication of a peer-reviewed paper. While not all undergraduate projects will end with a product worthy of peer-reviewed publication, some definitely do, and the personal experience of the authors indicates that undergraduate students who achieve publication get great satisfaction and a sense of personal achievement from that publication. While a top-tier international journal probably isn't going to be the ultimate destination for many of these projects, there are several appropriate outlets. The SSSA journal Soil Horizons has published several undergraduate projects in recent years, and good undergraduate projects can often be published in state academy of science journals. Journals focused expressly on publishing undergraduate research include the Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Excellence, Reinvention, and the American Journal of Undergraduate Research. Case studies of

  9. Developing Science Communication in Africa: Undergraduate and Graduate Students should be Trained and Actively Involved in Outreach Activity Development and Implementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karikari, Thomas K; Yawson, Nat Ato; Quansah, Emmanuel

    2016-01-01

    Despite recent improvements in scientific research output from Africa, public understanding of science in many parts of the continent remains low. Science communication there is faced with challenges such as (i) lack of interest among some scientists, (ii) low availability of training programs for scientists, (iii) low literacy rates among the public, and (iv) multiplicity of languages. To address these challenges, new ways of training and motivating scientists to dialogue with non-scientists are essential. Developing communication skills early in researchers' scientific career would be a good way to enhance their public engagement abilities. Therefore, a potentially effective means to develop science communication in Africa would be to actively involve trainee scientists (i.e., undergraduate and graduate students) in outreach activity development and delivery. These students are often enthusiastic about science, eager to develop their teaching and communication skills, and can be good mentors to younger students. Involving them in all aspects of outreach activity is, therefore, likely to be a productive implementation strategy. However, science communication training specifically for students and the involvement of these students in outreach activity design and delivery are lacking in Africa. Here, we argue that improving the training and involvement of budding scientists in science communication activities would be a good way to bridge the wide gap between scientists and the African public.

  10. The Fusion Science Research Plan for the Major U.S. Tokamaks. Advisory report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    In summary, the community has developed a research plan for the major tokamak facilities that will produce impressive scientific benefits over the next two years. The plan is well aligned with the new mission and goals of the restructured fusion energy sciences program recommended by FEAC. Budget increases for all three facilities will allow their programs to move forward in FY 1997, increasing their rate of scientific progress. With a shutdown deadline now established, the TFTR will forego all but a few critical upgrades and maximize operation to achieve a set of high-priority scientific objectives with deuterium-tritium plasmas. The DIII-D and Alcator C-Mod facilities will still fall well short of full utilization. Increasing the run time in vii DIII-D is recommended to increase the scientific output using its existing capabilities, even if scheduled upgrades must be further delayed. An increase in the Alcator C-Mod budget is recommended, at the expense of equal and modest reductions (~1%) in the other two facilities if necessary, to develop its capabilities for the long-term and increase its near-term scientific output.

  11. ``I Didn't Realize that Science Could Be So Useful'': Integrating Service Learning and Student Research on Water-Quality Issues within an Undergraduate Geoscience Curriculum (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lea, P. D.; Urquhart, J.

    2010-12-01

    The title quote, from a senior geoscience major, illustrates one of the important aspects of service learning. The associated authentic research experiences benefit not only learning of geoscience concepts, but also students’ perceptions of the role of science in society. For the past two years, a wide-ranging study of water-quality dynamics in the Androscoggin Lake watershed of Maine has engaged (1) introductory students and non-science majors in spring-semester courses, (2) upper-level geoscience majors in fall-semester courses, and (3) seniors undertaking independent summer research. The overall focus of the research is to understand nutrient loading to Androscoggin Lake, which receives back-flooded water from the industrialized Androscoggin River, as well as from agricultural lands in the connecting Dead River valley. Stakeholders include the local lake association, the state DEP, pulp-mill and wastewater-plant operators, and local farmers. A key element in the project is the role adopted by the student researchers vis-à-vis policy options. Following the taxonomy of Pielke (2007, The Honest Broker: Cambridge University Press), students doing service learning may serve as issue advocates, seeking to provide scientific support for the policy positions of community partners. In contrast, we have adopted explicitly the position of honest brokers who seek to understand and communicate the workings of this complex system without advocating specific policy solutions. This approach has facilitated buy-in from a larger range of stakeholders, and encouraged students to address choices in the roles and responsibilities of scientists in policy decisions—a valuable perspective for future scientists and non-scientists alike. In service-learning courses, groups of 3 to 5 students engage in a variety of sub-projects, such as lake-bottom sediment studies, nutrient sampling in streams and lakes, developing rating curves for streamflow, and calculating phosphorus fluxes

  12. Using Quality Circles to Enhance Student Involvement and Course Quality in a Large Undergraduate Food Science and Human Nutrition Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, S. J.; Parmer, M. S.; Bohn, D. M.

    2005-01-01

    Large undergraduate classes are a challenge to manage, to engage, and to assess, yet such formidable classes can flourish when student participation is facilitated. One method of generating authentic student involvement is implementation of quality circles by means of a Student Feedback Committee (SFC), which is a volunteer problem-solving and…

  13. "Hands-On" Undergraduate Research Opportunities in the Life Sciences: Preparing the Next Generation of Biological Researchers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levis-Fitzgerald, Marc; Denson, Nida; Kerfeld, Cheryl A.

    2004-01-01

    Over the past decade, a number of scholars have publicly criticized large research universities for failing to provide undergraduate students with the skills and abilities needed to succeed both in life and in the workforce. At the heart of this criticism is the concern that research institutions have de-emphasized teaching by increasing the size…

  14. Increased Interest in Physiology and Science among Adolescents after Presentations and Activities Administered by Undergraduate Physiology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva de Vargas, Liane; Rosa de Menezes, Jefferson; Billig Mello-Carpes, Pâmela

    2016-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe a set of activities performed in south Brazil that are aligned with the objectives of PhUn Week and promote the integration between universities and public schools and the dissemination of knowledge of physiology. To achieve this goal, the authors adopted a program in which undergraduate physiology students…

  15. Can Creative Podcasting Promote Deep Learning? The Use of Podcasting for Learning Content in an Undergraduate Science Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pegrum, Mark; Bartle, Emma; Longnecker, Nancy

    2015-01-01

    This paper examines the effect of a podcasting task on the examination performance of several hundred first-year chemistry undergraduate students. Educational researchers have established that a deep approach to learning that promotes active understanding of meaning can lead to better student outcomes, higher grades and superior retention of…

  16. From access to success in science: An academic-student affairs intervention for undergraduate freshmen biology students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldridge, Jacqueline Nouvelle

    The first year experience is known to present an array of challenges for traditional college students. In particular, freshmen who major in a STEM discipline have their own unique set of challenges when they transition from high school science and math to college science and math; especially chemistry. As a result, students may encounter negative experiences which lower academic and social confidence. This project was designed as a pilot study intervention for a small group of freshmen biology students who were considered academically at-risk due their math SAT scores. The study occurred during the fall semester involving an enhanced active learning component based on the Peer-led Team Learning (PLTL) general chemistry supplemental pedagogy model, and a biology-focused First Year Experience (FYE). PLTL workshops took place in freshmen residence halls, creating a live-n-learn community environment. Mid-term and final chemistry grades and final math grades were collected to measure academic progress. Self-reporting surveys and journals were used to encourage participants to reconstruct their experiences and perceptions of the study. Descriptive analysis was performed to measure statistical significance between midterm and final grade performance, and a general inductive qualitative method was used to determine academic and social confidence as well as experiences and perceptions of the project. Findings of this project revealed a statistically significant improvement between chemistry midterm and final grades of the sample participants. Although academic confidence did not increase, results reveal that social confidence progressed as the majority of students developed a value for studying in groups.

  17. An Informed Approach to Improving Quantitative Literacy and Mitigating Math Anxiety in Undergraduates Through Introductory Science Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follette, K.; McCarthy, D.

    2012-08-01

    Current trends in the teaching of high school and college science avoid numerical engagement because nearly all students lack basic arithmetic skills and experience anxiety when encountering numbers. Nevertheless, such skills are essential to science and vital to becoming savvy consumers, citizens capable of recognizing pseudoscience, and discerning interpreters of statistics in ever-present polls, studies, and surveys in which our society is awash. Can a general-education collegiate course motivate students to value numeracy and to improve their quantitative skills in what may well be their final opportunity in formal education? We present a tool to assess whether skills in numeracy/quantitative literacy can be fostered and improved in college students through the vehicle of non-major introductory courses in astronomy. Initial classroom applications define the magnitude of this problem and indicate that significant improvements are possible. Based on these initial results we offer this tool online and hope to collaborate with other educators, both formal and informal, to develop effective mechanisms for encouraging all students to value and improve their skills in basic numeracy.

  18. Undergraduate Chemistry Education: A Workshop Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, Keegan; Alper, Joe

    2014-01-01

    "Undergraduate Chemistry Education" is the summary of a workshop convened in May 2013 by the Chemical Science Roundtable of the National Research Council to explore the current state of undergraduate chemistry education. Research and innovation in undergraduate chemistry education has been done for many years, and one goal of this…

  19. Monitoring undergraduate student needs and activities at Experimental Biology: APS pilot survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Nicole L; Ilatovskaya, Daria V; Matyas, Marsha L

    2017-06-01

    Life science professional societies play important roles for undergraduates in their fields and increasingly offer membership, fellowships, and awards for undergraduate students. However, the overall impacts of society-student interactions have not been well studied. Here, we sought to develop and test a pilot survey of undergraduate students to determine how they got involved in research and in presenting at the Experimental Biology (EB) meeting, what they gained from the scientific and career development sessions at the meeting, and how the American Physiological Society (APS) can best support and engage undergraduate students. This survey was administered in 2014 and 2015 to undergraduate students who submitted physiology abstracts for and attended EB. More than 150 students responded (38% response rate). Respondents were demographically representative of undergraduate students majoring in life sciences in the United States. Most students (72%) became involved in research through a summer research program or college course. They attended a variety of EB sessions, including poster sessions and symposia, and found them useful. Undergraduate students interacted with established researchers at multiple venues. Students recommended that APS provide more research fellowships (25%) and keep in touch with students via both e-mail (46%) and social media (37%). Our results indicate that APS' EB undergraduate activities are valued by students and are effective in helping them have a positive scientific meeting experience. These results also guided the development of a more streamlined survey for use in future years. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  20. Teaching Physics to Environmental Science Majors Using a Flipped Course Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, N. B.; Riha, S. J.; Wysocki, M. W.

    2014-12-01

    Coursework in physics provides a framework for quantitative reasoning and problem solving skill development in budding geoscientists. To make physical concepts more accessible and relevant to students majoring in environmental science, an environmental physics course was developed at Cornell University and offered for the first time during spring 2014. Principles of radiation, thermodynamics, and mechanics were introduced and applied to the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere to describe energy and mass transfers in natural and built environments. Environmental physics was designed as a flipped course where students viewed online material outside of class and worked in groups in class to solve sustainability problems. Experiential learning, just-in-time teaching, and peer collaboration strategies were also utilized. In-class problems were drawn from both local and global environmental sustainability concerns. Problems included an investigation of Cornell's lake source cooling system, calculations on the energy consumed in irrigation with groundwater in the southwestern United States, and power generated by wind turbines at various locations around the world. Class attendance was high, with at least 84% of students present at each meeting. Survey results suggest that students enjoyed working in groups and found the in-class problems helpful for assimilating the assigned material. However, some students reported that the workload was too heavy and they preferred traditional lectures to the flipped classroom. The instructors were able to actively engage with students and quickly identify knowledge and skill gaps that needed to be addressed. Overall, the integration of current environmental problems and group work into an introductory physics course could help to inspire and motivate students as they advance their ability to analyze problems quantitatively.