MOST RECENT ARTICLES
Integrating SENCER into a Large Lecture General Education Chemistry CourseSummer 2013 /
Students in a large lecture general education chemistry course at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) were required to design their own SENCER-based research project. The students were tasked with researching chemical topics found anywhere within the campus/local community, resulting in projects that were extremely diverse. These projects ranged from students researching the feasibility of opening an on-campus can/bottle redemption center to students exploring the disposal procedures of supplies in the art department. The SENCER-SALG assessment tool was used to evaluate the success of the projects and showed that the majority of students reported a gain in their understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of societal issues and in their perception of how studying chemistry helps people address real world issues.
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Designing Healthy Meals to Counter Nutrition-Related Diseases: A Learning ActivitySummer 2013 /
Heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes—four of the top ten death-causing diseases in the United States—are nutrition related and can thus be prevented or reduced through formal and informal education aimed at changing personal diet and lifestyle. In this learning activity, students work in groups to conduct research on nutrition, nutritional ingredients, and healthy diet, as well as on nutrition-related diseases. They design healthy diets and present their own recipes for healthy meals aimed at prevention and/or healing of a specific nutrition-related disease. Through this activity, students learn about the roles that nutrition and nutrients play in their lives and the importance of following a healthy, balanced diet and lifestyle. The goal for students is not only to learn what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet and the relationships between nutrition, health, and nutrition-related diseases, but also to apply that knowledge to their lives. For educators, the goal is to involve students in a meaningful activity based on the scientific method, as well as to contribute to restoration of the nation's health and wellness.
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Teaching Pre-Algebra with the Theme of Environmental ScienceSummer 2013 /
Pre-algebra is the first course of a sequence of two basic skill math courses offered at LaGuardia Community College. In order to contextualize and make the material relevant to students, the faculty of the college have integrated into the curriculum the PQL (Project Quantum Leap) projects. These projects are based on the SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) approach and allow students to learn real world math in a single engaging context. This paper identifies the underlying quantitative reasoning skills embedded in these projects. I discuss the details of three projects that were piloted in my class and how effectively they supported students' learning when compared to a non-PQL class.
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Energizing STEM Education at a Community College: SENCER and Harold Washington CollegeSummer 2013 /
Harold Washington College has been a participant in the National Science Foundation funded program Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibilities (SENCER) since 2001. SENCER works to improve undergraduate science education and stimulate civic engagement by teaching basic science content through complex and unresolved public issues. Sustained participation in SENCER, through both the summer institutes and regional meetings, has had a significant impact on Harold Washington College's curriculum, an impact which is most evident in two important areas: notable improvements in faculty development and the establishment of new learning communities that have demonstrably boosted student retention rates. Read Full Article