Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts, 2004- present » Postings in 2004 » Connecting disciplinary, educational communities to the changing world: new ways to transform the undergraduate STEM learning environment »
Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts
Building connections– between and among disciplines and to the community beyond the campus, the experience of national disciplinary societies and local leaders
May 7, 2004
- National Science Foundation - Exploring the Concept of Undergraduate Research Centers
- The Chemistry Division, MPS Directorate, at NSF is piloting a new program. "One central theme [of the planning workshop] was that of collaboration: participants agreed that URCs should bring institutions with divergent missions together to their mutual benefit. A second strong theme that emerged was that, as often as possible, students should be involved in real research and actively contribute to the production of new knowledge. The utility of community-based research experiences in attracting students to the sciences, particularly at urban and nonresidential institutions, was recognized in this context...[T]he concept of URCs clearly represents the kernel of a comprehensive vision for undergraduate education, one with the potential to transform it from an exclusive "ivory tower" into a vigorous and dynamic forum of inclusiveness and engagement for a larger group of students than we currently serve."
- Results from the 2003-04 MAA PKAL Biomath Survey
- PKAL and MAA have collaborated over the past several months to identify programs integrating the life sciences and the mathematical sciences. This is an ongoing project, and further examples of interesting programs are sought.
- Making connections: To, from, and within the mathematical community
- Authors describe the wide range of activities and publications within the MAA (Mathematical Association of America) that emphasize three broader categories of connections important to their community:
- connections to and from other disciplines
- connections within the mathematical sciences
- connections to the needs of students served by mathematics departments, majors and non-majors.
- National Institutes of Health - Roadmap
- According to NIH's new Roadmap: "Many scientists will continue to pursue individual research projects, however, they will be encouraged to make changes in the way they approach this enterprise. NIH wants to stimulate new ways of combining skills and disciplines within the physical and biological sciences...In addition, novel partnerships, such as those between the public and private sectors, will be encouraged to accelerate the movement of scientific discoveries from the bench to the bedside."
- Twenty-first century science and the facilities of the future
- Facilities matter, from the perspective of serving new interdisciplinary fields of research as well as of making the learning experience for all undergraduates one that is truly integrative. Some ideas and best practices from the PKAL facilities archive.
- Interdisciplinary Programs Across Multiple Campuses
The Keck/PKAL Consultation Program
- At this community college in the southeast classes are distributed between distinct campuses. Success with a model project that integrated freshman level science and mathematics courses prompted the president to ask a team to help his faculty find ways to expand interdisciplinary opportunities to every campus.
- Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education – JUNE
- "JUNE is a new online journal for undergraduate neuroscience faculty that publishes peer-reviewed reports of innovations in undergraduate neuroscience education. JUNE serves as a mechanism for faculty to exchange information regarding topics such as laboratory exercises, funding opportunities, new media, curricular considerations, and teaching methods."
- Implementing Institution-wide Interdisciplinary Programs
The Keck/PKAL Consultation Program
- A few faculty from this urban state-funded university developed an integrated science and math curriculum, but the university wishes to scale-up this program beyond the original core of innovators. The consulting team was asked to identify strategies to help these faculty implement a university-wide program.
- Complex Environmental Systems - Synthesis for Earth, Life, and Society in the 21st Century
- "The report presents a ten-year outlook for environmental research and education and argues that we need to develop environmental synthesis to frame integrated interdisciplinary research questions and activities to merge data, approaches, and ideas across spatial, temporal, and societal scales."
- Excerpts from the NRC Report Bio2010
- "Biological concepts and models are becoming more quantitative, and biological research has become critically dependent on concepts and methods drawn from other scientific disciplines. The connections between the biological sciences and the physical sciences, mathematics, and computer science are rapidly becoming deeper and more extensive. The ways that scientists communicate, interact, and collaborate are undergoing equally rapid and dramatic transformations..."