Scientific Equipment to Improve Science Education Aboard the Vessel W.G. Jackson

Ronald W. Ward
Grand Valley State University
Allendale, MI 49401-9401

This project is expanding the hands-on, investigative approach to science education, an approach that this department has used successfully with pre-service elementary teachers as well as K-12 students and teachers. This successful model for science education is now being extended to include the upper-division science instruction and undergraduate research at this university. The newly acquired, advanced equipment is being used aboard the new 65-foot floating laboratory and classroom, W. G. Jackson. Now being constructed and equipped with basic science and safety equipment, the vessel will serve in science instruction and research for undergraduate science majors and prospective teachers. The new equipment is providing greater opportunities for these students to experience an investigative approach to science in numerous courses as well as through faculty supervised research. This equipment also provides an introduction to current technology in several areas of science and enhances student opportunities for higher level experience in experimental design, data collection and analysis, and computer modeling.

The university is making the vessel and its inventory of science equipment available as a regional science education resource. The W. G. Jasckson offers educational programs in various port cities around Lake Michigan. Additionally, it is expected to be used by other colleges and universities including Hope College, Western Michigan University, DePaul University, Cornerstone College, and community colleges including West Shore, Muskegon, Lansing, and Petoskey. The project will serve to convey scientific principles and techniques with greater effectiveness; enhance student understanding of how scientific data is collected, processed, and applied to environmental questions; and introduce new content into the students' aquatic science experience through their work with advanced equipment.

Field Equipment for an Interdisciplinary Course in Environmental Hydrology

Hobart M. King
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Mansfield, PA 16933

In this project, current meters, portable water laboratories, and well monitoring equipment are being used to enhance student experiences in undergraduate hydrology. Within five years, the project may benefit more than 125 students in environmental science and earth and space science education. This curriculum improvement is providing students with important experience in collecting and interpreting hydrologic data, utilizing the data in decision-making processes, and communicating technical information in practical writing assignments.

The final course project is to characterize streams draining areas of variable land-use and geology in a small drainage basin near the campus. Student teams design a study, collect data, and interpret results their goal being to determine major factors that influence the quality of surface and ground waters in the basin. Results will be communicated in the form of poster sessions and briefings. With diverse respective backgrounds in biology, earth science, and geography, each student can contribute a unique set of skills and knowledge to the team's effort. These laboratory experiences are of particular importance to the preparation of pre-service teachers: Learning exercises in environmental hydrology will provide training in both scientific content and the process of scientific investigation that will serve these students throughout their teaching careers.

Upgrade Industrial Technology Production Laboratory to CIM Capability

Teresa J. Hall
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, IA 50613-4800

This project seeks to integrate Computer-Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) technology into curriculum that is introductory in nature for the manufacturing technology student. Its objectives are to: 1) upgrade the existing production laboratory to reflect the current state of automation processes in manufacturing; 2) integrate manufacturing automation processes into the Technology Education (pre-service teachers), General Industry & Technology and Manufacturing Technology concentrations where CIM is part of the elective curricula rather than a requirement; and 3) improve the quality of undergraduate student research in manufacturing automation, materials testing, CAD/CAM, technology education and industrial technology through full-size machine tool technology. By purchasing an electronic engine lathe, retrofitting an existing vertical mill and purchasing a new CNC controller for an existing NC lathe, the Production Lab will have the capability to introduce fundamental CIM technology to students in Manufacturing Technology concentrations, Technology Education, and General Industry & Technology in entry level courses.

The proposed project will upgrade existing laboratory facilities to include CIM technology with full-sized machine tools. Currently, students have access to CIM technology through table-top machines in elective courses. The project will facilitate the introduction of CIM concepts earlier in the curriculum, improve laboratory experience for pre-service technology teachers, be available for student research projects requiring full-size equipment, and open an avenue for independent study requiring CNC lathe and mill projects.

Implementation of a Biology Teaching Laboratory Computer Network

John R. Porter
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Life Sciences

This project supports the implementation of a biology teaching laboratory computer network that places 32 computers among four teaching laboratories, all connected to an existing departmental local area network for common access to data and programs. A graphic Internet browser is also being provided. A biology teaching laboratories network provides opportunities for students to acquire and analyze data as they perform experiments, to gain experience with instrument interfacing and statistical analysis using computers, and to learn how to present data and multimedia presentations for use in science and teaching careers. Internet connection of the network also gives students access to the wealth of programs and teaching resources available on the World Wide Web, interaction with graphics and informational databases, and access to model data that can be manipulated in the context of laboratory experiments.

The network system is being used in the laboratories for two, full-year freshman biology sequences that are taken by all of the majors at the college. Several upper-class courses, including Basics of Microbiology I and II, Applied Microbiology, Virology, Plant Tissue Culture, Hematology, Ecology, Genetics, Cell Biology, and Directed Research can also use the networked computers. These courses are taken by biology, microbiology, and medical technology majors and elected by students in other majors. In addition, the network system can be used in courses that serve the biology science teacher certification program. This system influences the learning environment of approximately 515 students each year in laboratory courses and another 5 to 10 students engaged in undergraduate research. The system greatly enhances the teaching environment offered at the college by providing opportunities to meet the individual student needs in each of the curricula served. The network system also serves to prepare biologists and science teachers to use computers in learning, teaching, and research.

Electronic Total Stations for Field Applications in Geology

Kenneth M. Cruikshank
Portland State University
Portland, OR 97207-0751

This equipment grant supports curricular evolution at Portland State University by providing equipment that enhances technology innovation in field programs and trains students with modern equipment. The equipment, six Sokkia Total Stations, supports current curriculum revisions for geology majors, especially field-based courses and laboratories, and provides additional learning options for non-majors in the reform of general education requirements, including training of pre-service teachers. This modernization of the field portions of the program fosters additional major and non-major curricular options and provides for: major revisions of the Field Methods and Anatomy of Landslides courses; revised laboratories in Applied Geophysics, Field Geophysics, Field Geology, and Engineering Geology; increased undergraduate major and non-major research opportunities; and development of non-major undergraduate courses (Geology of the Oregon Country). Use of this surveying equipment contributes to the training of pre-service teachers by introducing the appropriate use of a modern technology, and by allowing future teachers to participate in the design and implementation of field-based class projects.

The equipment enables: development of an innovative curriculum not only in geology but also in other departments (Civil Engineering and Environmental Studies); fostering of cooperation among students as they develop strategies to accomplish tasks requiring precise location and distance measurements; and promotion of collaborations between senior and junior faculty in projects involving undergraduate education.

Middle School Mathematics Technology Laboratory

Lynda M. Plymate
Southwestern Missouri State University
Springfield, MO 65804-0027

The purpose of this project is to establish a mathematics technology laboratory in which to teach and develop curricula for two newly designed required courses in the pre-service middle school and elementary education majors. The two courses, Foundations of Probability and Statistics for Teachers and Foundations of Geometry for Teachers, are expected to serve 300 students each year and are undergoing major curriculum development for technology-based laboratory experiences.

The technology laboratory is being equipped with Power Macintosh 8500 multimedia computers, together with appropriate software and Internet access, for student use. The laboratory also contains the new TI-92 graphing and symbolic algebra calculators, together with Calculator Based Laboratory units, for "real" data collection and display. This state-of-the-art technology is being used to enable future teachers to experience: learning mathematics through cooperative problem solving on-line, collection and simulation of real data, visualization and exploration of geometric and algebraic patterns, and communication of concepts and strategies through written and verbal processes. Evaluation plans include concurrent assessment of curricula, student attitudes, and student mathematical progress as the technology laboratory is used, together with informal interactions with student teachers and their cooperating teachers.

Computing Across the Mathematics Curriculum

Ralph J. Bravaco
Stonehill College
North Easton, MA 02356

This project details a three-phase plan to integrate technology into the entire mathematics curriculum using the symbolic algebra package, Maple. The first phase is the upgrading of an existing calculus laboratory to a truly interactive electronic classroom. In the second phase, the department will weave technology and Maple into the fabric of the upper-level mathematics courses, changing the complexion of these courses from "theorem-proof" to "laboratory-discovery-discussion-proof." The final phase introduces a new course for mathematics majors pursuing teaching certification (Mathematics and Technology for Secondary Education). Throughout the curriculum, Maple is being used to simplify computation and as a tool for discovery. Before now, students used Maple only in the freshman calculus class. The success experienced in calculus can now be duplicated in all upper-level courses. With the new classroom/laboratory, the department has the facilities to implement a plan for "computing across the mathematics curriculum."

Enhancement of Mapping Sciences at Murray State University

Burl I. Naugle
Murray State University
Murray, KY 42071

The purpose of this project is to create a new interactive computer laboratory dedicated to the visualization, manipulation, and analysis of Earth Science data for MSU undergraduate students. It is important for students, as future teachers, scientists, and citizens to know how to work with and analyze quantitative data. The equipment purchased allows the Department to: 1) provide hands-on experience, education, and training for geoscience undergraduates in quantitative geography, geology, geophysics, remote sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS), and computer mapping; 2) provide more stimulating and improved learning experience through modern educational technology to students enrolled in general education and science electives particularly pre-service teachers and introductory geoscience students utilizing state-of-the-art hardware and software; 3) provide a more productive education and experience in the senior year for geosciences undergraduates than presently available; and 4) establish a bridge between undergraduate and graduate curricula of the Department. Geoscience introductory mapping and image interpretation courses have recently been modified to introduce students to digital image processing and GIS. The new equipment will be used in: beginning courses; a new, digital processing-based, intermediate level geoscience course; and senior courses in remote sensing/GIS/computer mapping.

The Connected Curriculum Project

Franklin Wattenberg
Weber State University
Ogden, UT 84408-0001

The Connected Curriculum Project (CCP) is developing materials that emphasize the unity of mathematics and the sciences. It combines hands-on experimentation with computer-based exploration using the World Wide Web and the Netscape web browser. The hypertext architecture of the Web is built on links and connections and, hence, matches curricular goals. In addition, it allows students to customize their learning, selecting examples and applications of particular interest and using "just-in-time" help that is available at the click of a button. Using Netscape to coordinate helper applications, the project creates a very interactive environment with students moving among a browser window, a CAS window, and hands-on laboratory work using the TI-CBL. The structure of CCP is open, taking advantage of the adaptability of web-based material to create a curriculum featuring the very best material from the very best teachers. This multiple, distributed authorship creates a widespread sense of ownership, the key to wide and lasting dissemination. This project will transform workstations at four sites to provide students at any of these sites with the same functionality. Students working at one of these sites will be able to work on any CCP course and to use CCP material in other courses as well. This is a cooperative effort with the faculty of Bonneville High School in the development, implementation, and assessment of materials for courses that are often taught at both the high school and college levels. The Bonneville High School site can also be an integral part of the pre-service secondary education programs in mathematics and science and a demonstration site for CCP materials for Utah high schools.

Advancing General Science Instruction at Evangel College: A Meteorology/Geology Computing Laboratory

Michael D. McCorcle
Evangel College
Springfield, MO 65802-2125

This project provides a state-of-the-art Internet access laboratory to advance the teaching methods currently used in the meteorology and geology laboratory courses. Meteorology and geology each represent core offerings of the general science curriculum and thus serve a large and diverse student population. This project restructures these classes completely into a vibrant, hands-on learning environment through the use of Internet image and data products, geographical information system software, and simulation products. A World Wide Web home page that contains selected data and training modules is being designed specifically for the meteorology and geology laboratory. Following one year of construction, student operation, and student evaluation, the home page will be made public to the entire environmental studies community.

This project prepares science majors with effective computational analysis skills they can use in their respective areas of specific interest. For non-majors, exposure to this technology may encourage them to pursue higher-level science and mathematics courses. This laboratory is of particular importance for future primary and secondary educators, as these courses may represent their only exposure to meteorological and geological technology.

An Integrated and Networked Microscopy Center for Undergraduate Education

Joseph R. Koke
Southwest Texas State University
San Marcos, TX 78666
Life Sciences

This project concentrates on the formation of an Integrated Microscopy Facility (IMF) in the biology department. The IMF supports laboratory exercises at all levels in the curriculum (freshman to graduate); the exercises are experimental in nature and can foster analytical thinking skills through students' collaborative analysis of data. Some of these students will graduate to become teachers. Southwest Texas State University produces more than 2,000 elementary and secondary school teachers each year, including 30-35 certified to teach biology. In addition, an outreach program with area high schools is being established.

A laser scanning confocal microscope (LSCM) is being added to the existing transmission electron and light microscopes to form a state-of-the-art microscopy facility. This increases the networking capabilities of the facility and enables computer-controlled imaging and display. Digitization of images permits each student to collect images from their specimens and later retrieve the images using a computer at a site remote from the IMF. Widespread use of the IMF is possible because the LSCM includes a UNIX-based computer that can be fully networked. Networking with hardware already in place permits images from the IMF to be accessed from all over campus and from all over the world. Thus any teaching laboratory with a workstation (consisting of any modern PC or Mac) can access the IMF. Accessible images include those from all the microscopes in the IMF, as the LSCM computer can also be used to acquire and store images from these sources.

The IMF allows students access to high technology in a familiar, computer environment. The LSCM provides technology that makes remote access to image files by students possible. Implementation of the objectives of this project markedly increase the level of science education in biology and provide a model program for other universities to emulate.

A Mobile Multimedia Computer Laboratory Mentorship Approach to Improving Undergraduate Mathematics Education

David M. Mathews
Central Michigan University
Mt. Pleasant, MI 48859

This project is assembling a completely mobile, state-of-the-art multimedia laptop computer laboratory, networked through wireless infrared technology. The laboratory is being used for undergraduate mathematics courses for majors, client disciplines, and pre-service teachers. This portable laboratory represents an extremely versatile configuration that enables any classroom to be used as a normal classroom, as a technology demonstration room, and as a computer laboratory.

The ACE Teaching Cycle forms the unifying theme for the different content areas using the mobile computer laboratory. This pedagogical approach implements the findings of current constructivist learning theory research by providing students with an experiential base with mathematical ideas through carefully constructed computer activities in cooperative learning groups before formal discussion of the material. During the first phase, each of the co-PI's fully implements activity-first mathematics courses using the mobile computer laboratory. Two of the five courses targeted during this phase are directed at elementary and secondary school pre-service teachers. Other courses include Calculus II, Introduction to Statistics, and Business Calculus. The second phase involves doctoral candidates teaching undergraduate courses using the mobile computer laboratory under the supervision of the co-PI's. These interns in the mathematics doctoral program, with concentration in the teaching of college mathematics, can concurrently be involved in their second research-based course in the teaching of college mathematics. The final phase involves an increased number of undergraduate courses throughout the undergraduate mathematics curriculum using the laboratory with additional graduate faculty members mentoring interns in teaching college mathematics.

Development of a Process-Driven, Research-Oriented Field Environmental Program with Modern Sampling and Analysis Equipment

Margaret S. McFadien
Chestnut Hill College
Philadelphia, PA 19118
(215) 248-7167
Life Sciences

This project produces scientifically-literate, environmentally-aware citizens among non-science majors, and competitively-educated, critically-thinking environmental biology majors. The focus is a watershed-stream complex integral to the campus. The scientific method is experienced by students through hands-on data acquisition, analyses and interpretations in assigned class-cooperative research projects. To educate students in policy processes, multiple classes coordinate data to produce an environmental impact assessment at least once a year. The project also emphasizes the importance of data quality objectives, sampling protocols, precision in the field, documentation, and adequate databases from which the students can draw conclusions. Underrepresented groups in science are addressed, and a strong component involves field practicum experiences for individuals pursuing a teaching career with an emphasis in environmental studies.

Improving Mathematics Instruction Using Computers and Calculators

Della D. Bell
Texas Southern University
Houston, TX 77004-4501
(713) 313-7839

This project is integrating the use of technology into mathematics classes to support reform in both content and pedagogy. The three areas in which the reform is being carried out are College Algebra, the Calculus Sequence, and a Mathematics Seminar for Prospective Secondary School Teachers. Improvements being made in the three classes include: 1) integration of calculator and computer activities into the classes; 2) addition of laboratory activities to encourage active student participation; 3) an emphasis on realistic applications; 4) addition of group projects; and 5) certain curriculum revisions. These improvements are being phased in over a two year period.

Modern Life Science Experiments for Tomorrow's Teachers

Terry F. Werner
Harris Stowe State College
St. Louis, MO 63103-2136
Life Sciences

This institution, a small, historically black, four-year institution is enhancing its biology laboratories. Although the State of Missouri approved an expanded mission and additional degree programs in 1993, years of underfunding have left the college lacking the equipment necessary for effective undergraduate teaching. This is particularly true of the laboratory experience. The addition of an approved biology specialization area in the new secondary education program has meant that, while enrollment in upper-level biology laboratory courses has increased, the college has been unable to provide students with the hands-on laboratory experiences essential to pre-service teachers. The conceptual foundation and thorough understanding gained through advanced laboratory experiments greatly enhances the entering teachers' ability to teach secondary-school science. The use of current technology in molecular biology and biotechnology, including differential centrifugation, ultraviolet spectrophotometric DNA analysis, and gel electrophoresis not a "luxury" but a necessary practice.

The pre-service teacher has a particularly important role in the education of underrepresented groups. With a student enrollment that is 75% African American, this college has a long record of service to the non-traditional, first-generation college student from an economically disadvantaged background. Most participants are minority women and, upon graduation, are likely to teach in predominantly minority, urban schools, such as in the City of St. Louis. The long-range impact may be that a new generation of well-prepared teachers are making their own students ready for the challenges of the 21st century.

Using Diverse Multimedia Strategies to Promote Meaningful Learning in Physics, Geology, and Biology for Prospective Elementary Teachers

Eric G. Frost
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92115-2412

At San Diego State University, about 450 pre-service elementary teachers each year take one or more specially designed undergraduate courses in either physics, geology or biology. These courses incorporate extensive class discussion, hands-on experimentation, collaborative learning and the creative use of computers. The computer equipment obtained with NSF support is enabling course instructors to develop and integrate more advanced multimedia projects to enhance the science learning experiences of the students in many new and exciting ways. The physics course is using the new computers with powerful new software developed on another project to help students construct conceptual models in various domains of physics. This new software provides tools for knowledge construction and simulations of physics phenomena. Students working in groups build physics understanding by using idea containers, electronic journals, bulletin boards and World Wide Web resources to promote meaningful conversations as part of learning. They make predictions about the outcomes of experiments and test their predictions against actual apparatus as well as computer simulations. The geology course is furthering integration of hands-on collaborative learning with multimedia and World Wide Web resources through enhancement and further development of the World Wide Web page called TREES (Teaching Resources for Education in Earth Science). CD-ROMs are being used to explore earth science, and student field experiences are being used to create virtual field trips that are available on the Web. The biology course is promoting meaningful learning by engaging students in using their experiential knowledge to construct semantic networks. Using new multimedia tools and the latest version of the software SemNet, students are able to build networks that incorporate images, QuickTime movies and Web resources all stored on compact disk and made available on the Web. Results of development efforts in all three courses are being disseminated widely through many channels, including Web pages, other teacher enhancement projects, and professional meetings and publications. A particular effort will be made to share resources with other faculty in the California State University system, which produces nearly 3,000 future K-6 teachers every year.

Enhancing Student Chemistry Learning by Changing Instruction and Assessment Practices

Craig W. Bowen
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, MS 39403-0001

A computer laboratory is being developed for interactive pre- and post-chemistry laboratory assessment and instruction of students in general and organic chemistry, and to provide computer laboratory teaching experiences for pre-service high school chemistry teachers. The computer laboratory enables teachers to reinforce learning by showing students how "wet" laboratory experiences can be integrated with lecture ideas in terms of concepts being covered and laboratory skills being practiced. Quicktime movies allow presentation of, and questioning about, reactions that are too dangerous to have students perform in the laboratory. Students view, and are tested on, Quicktime video clips about the safe use of laboratory equipment. For pre-laboratory instruction, the computer environment provides an opportunity for students to take part in interactive questioning to determine whether they have the knowledge needed to successfully complete the laboratory.

The "wet" laboratory environment is an important part of chemistry that is not to be replaced by computer facilities. Students are using calculator interfaced laboratory methods of acquiring and analyzing data from "wet" laboratory experiments as a part of this project. The post-laboratory computer laboratory can be a place for students to be assessed on their learning of the laboratory material, to extend their learning, and to be guided by further work if deficiencies are revealed. The facility also provides pre-service teachers an avenue for developing and using instructional and assessment materials to facilitate chemistry learning. The two-year implementation period includes both formative and summative evaluations that enhance instruction and quizzing practices used in the project. Materials from the project are being made available to others through computers (World Wide Web), workshops, and print resources.

Portable Computer Algebra System Laboratories

Anthony L. Newberry
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY 40506-0057

A Kentucky consortium comprised of six colleges in the University of Kentucky Community College System, Northern Kentucky University and Morehead State University is joined by two colleges in Florida and Georgia to adapt ongoing graphics calculator and computer algebra system projects for use with the new TI-92 and CBL (Calculator-Based Laboratory). The project begins with a workshop at Northern Kentucky University (funded previously) and adapts extant CBL/TI-82/CAS activities to the new hand-held system. The project focuses on calculus instruction, with extensions to individual precalculus, physics, engineering technology, and teacher training courses at various colleges. The project can give the consortium members a "jump start" on exploring appropriate use of the hand-held CAS capabilities in the curriculum.

Instrumentation for Interdisciplinary Open Laboratories

Gary C. Lewis
Kennesaw State College
Marietta, GA 30061-0444

This project addresses the acquisition of equipment for project-oriented open-schedule laboratories and learning support facilities for interdisciplinary science courses. The institution now offers three interdisciplinary science courses for education majors and an interdisciplinary core science sequence of two courses that is being developed under a current National Science Foundation grant. The new equipment is being used in conjunction with these five courses. Experience gained in these laboratories can ultimately be used as a basis for the development of laboratories and learning support facilities that will be used by all education majors and by all students taking core science courses. This project deals with a number of common problems in undergraduate laboratory science, including the efficient use of space, equipment, and personnel; the difficulties of applying active learning techniques under the constraints imposed by large class sizes; and the need to improve science literacy and process skills to national levels.

Workshop Interdisciplinary Mathematics and Science Course

Gifford C. Brown
University of Evansville
Evansville, IN 47702-0329

Many students in the general education science and mathematics courses understand little about how science is done or about the major themes and concepts of science and mathematics. This project addresses these problems by developing a hands-on, laboratory-based, integrated mathematics and science general education course. The course is designed for all students who are not majoring in science or mathematics and is especially appropriate for pre-service teachers.

The course is a team-taught, two-semester sequence that meets five hours per week in a workshop format combining lecture, hands-on activities and exercises, and laboratory. Each semester is 4 credit hours. The objectives of the course are to emphasize relationships among the scientific disciplines, to coordinate mathematics with science, to promote science literacy, and to enhance the understanding of science by teaching it as it is practiced. The course is truly interdisciplinary in nature, examining both unifying themes in the sciences and the contributions of mathematics to our understanding of the natural world. The course also examines science from historical, philosophical, and contemporary social perspectives. Toward these goals, the course engages students as active participants in learning through open-ended investigative laboratory experiences, group projects both in the laboratory and the library, and the presentation of ideas in oral and written form.

Students completing the course are expected to have improved their critical thinking skills and be better able to navigate in the scientific and technological world. The course is also expected to prepare the pre-service teachers in its audience to convey the nature and content of science and mathematics better in their own classrooms.

Computer Laboratory on Wheels

James R. Olsen
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL 61455-1396

This project addresses two major needs. First, while the university's computing power is high and maintained by an excellent academic computing staff, use of computers for mathematics instruction has been limited to calculus and the Computers in Elementary/Middle School Mathematics course. Second, a Concepts of Calculus course for prospective middle school teachers has not been taught at the university since 1985. This project addresses these needs with the purchase of 24 IBM notebook computers, a wheeled rack to store and transport the computers, and appropriate software. This computer laboratory on wheels can be wheeled to any classroom in the building. An "access point" mounted on the rack allows the notebook computers to communicate, by wireless connection, with the campus network, as the access point is plugged into a LAN wall outlet. The computer laboratory on wheels serves two purposes: 1) to create widespread (but not necessarily intensive) use of computer technology for classroom instruction; and 2) to be used extensively in the Concepts of Calculus course.

Furthermore, to provide "bench lab/hands-on" experiences in the Concepts of Calculus course, this project involves purchase of Lego Data Technology Building Sets and Control Labs. This equipment enables students to build working models with wheels, gears, and motors that can be controlled by a computer. Data acquisition devices on the models send information to the computer for analysis. The rack of computers is being housed in the department's Mathematics Education Resource Office, where faculty members may check it out for classroom use and students may check out computers for use in the office when the rack is not being used elsewhere. The paradigm of a shared computer laboratory on wheels may be an attractive solution for many other universities and public schools.

Integrating Group Laboratory Activities Across the Chemistry Curriculum

Alfred T. D'Agostino
College of Notre Dame of Maryland
Baltimore, MD 21210-2476

An initiative entitled Integrating Group Laboratory Activities Across the Chemistry Curriculum is working to solve a serious problem in chemistry education: non-science and science majors enrolled in introductory courses are not involved in cooperative group laboratory exercises relevant to the environment, advanced materials, and biotechnology because of the lack of versatile, state-of-the-art instrumentation.

As a group project in instrumental analysis, chemistry majors are developing and testing protocols involving CE, IC, infrared, and VIS spectroscopy. These experiments are being exported to introductory chemistry laboratory courses and executed by combined groups of science and non-science majors. Chemistry majors, acting as peer-instructors, guide students in executing experiments that reinforce chemical concepts. The project supports three major objectives in a revised introductory chemistry curriculum: cooperative laboratory interaction between students in General Chemistry, The Chemical World Around Us, and Instrumental Analysis; rigorous demonstration of quantitative chemical principles in relevant contexts to modern chemical perspectives; and a challenging project-oriented laboratory experience that facilitates peer-directed group learning. The audience for this project includes women of traditional college age who are enrolled in introductory chemistry courses, as well as junior and senior chemistry majors. About 45% of the students in the Chemical World course are pre-service teachers.

The project affects more than 300 students. The impact of this project is that it increases interaction between students in the upper- and lower-division courses, introduces women to technology-centered experiments, introduces pre-service teachers to pedagogy that will be important to them in their future classrooms, introduces sophisticated concepts in the context of modern chemical experiments using instrumentation, and creates peer-directed learning opportunities for science and non-science majors.


Maryland Undergraduate Mathematics Enhancement Program II (MUMEP II)

Jon W. Scott
Montgomery College Rockville
Rockville , MD 20850-1101

The Maryland Undergraduate Mathematics Enhancement Program II (MUMEP II) is a coalition of community college, four-year college, and university undergraduate mathematics teaching faculty in the general region of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia, organized around a two-year faculty enhancement program for 32 participants during each of the years 1996 and 1997. In July 1996 a one-week workshop will explore "Visual Thinking in Chaotic Dynamics" and in July 1997 a one-week workshop will explore "Visual Thinking in Fractal Geometry." A pair of day-long follow-up seminars will take place during the academic year following each workshop. The primary goals of MUMEP II are: 1) to present new visual mathematical topics to faculty from institutions in the region and to use graphics calculators and computer graphics to enhance understanding of the new visual mathematical topics; 2) to relate the new visual mathematics topics to existing undergraduate mathematics courses wherever reasonable; and 3) to promote communication and collaboration among faculty in the area's institutions. In addition, special teacher preparation activities are planned to engage faculty who teach significant numbers of pre-service teachers. In particular, the project's recruiting efforts will look for opportunities to involve such faculty, and workshop activities will showcase lessons that can be incorporated in mathematics classes taken by prospective teachers and in school mathematics classes as well. All materials prepared for or during a workshop or seminar will be disseminated during the session or shortly thereafter. Under the guidance of members of an Advisory Board, evaluation of the program will be facilitated through daily and summary questionnaires.

Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement in Mathematics

David W. Henderson
Cornell University - Endowed
Ithaca, NY 14853-2801

The teaching of undergraduate mathematics courses for future school teachers is being enriched by week-long summer workshops for college and university faculty in which they will: 1) experience new teaching strategies and techniques; 2) experience examples of non-test based assessment schemes; 3) learn about and observe these and other examples of pedagogical techniques that have been successful in encouraging women and underrepresented minorities to excel in mathematics; 4) learn new subject matter and experience new instructional materials being produced by the Cornell Undergraduate Geometry Project which relate both modern and rarely studied geometry topics with the mathematics subject matter of the middle and high schools; 5) have the opportunity to interact and share with colleagues and experts who have common interests in the teaching of mathematics to future school teachers, and to develop plans to incorporate both teaching techniques and new curricular materials into their own courses; 6) learn about and share ideas concerning the recent recommendations, guidelines and standards put forth by the Mathematical Sciences Education Board (MSEB), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and in publications of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) concerning changes in the teaching of undergraduate mathematics; and 7) be committed to participate after the workshop in several of the planned follow-up activities.

Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement in Elementary Pre-Service Mathematics Education for Two-Year Colleges

Susan Ross
University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg , MS 39403-0001

Faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi are conducting a series of workshops with mathematics faculty from two-year colleges who teach pre-service teachers. Coordination between faculty at two- and four-year institutions is critical, as an increasing number of students in pre-service teacher preparation programs at the university level transfer from two-year schools. The workshops will provide access to experiences with current approaches to mathematics content and pedagogical activities called for by the NCTM Standards. This project will provide participants with the material and support necessary to successfully incorporate the workshop topics into their present curricula, and to develop the capability of all participants to serve as leaders in their home institutions. Furthermore, participants will share their approaches to incorporating project topics into the curricula through publications and presentations at professional meetings.

Molecular Genetic Analysis Applied to Evolution, Ecology, and Systemic Biology: An Extended Laboratory Course

Frank T. Bayliss
San Francisco State University
San Francisco , CA 94132-1722
Life Sciences

Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement project at Sand Francisco State University will provide for each of the next two years, an intense twelve-day laboratory short course in Molecular Genetics & Evolutionary Biology in the summer with a four-day follow-up session each January and on-going technical and material support. A highly successful established format that evolved from 10 prior national Chautauqua courses was used in the design and development of our proposed Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement project. Twenty-two faculty will be selected each year from a national applicant pool comprised of faculty from community colleges, four-year liberal arts colleges and universities, comprehensive universities, and research universities. Participants will learn the fundamentals of molecular biology through the presentation of lectures and demonstrations, and they will also conduct a series of experiments to develop skill in PCR amplification, restriction enzyme analysis, and various gel separation techniques. In research groups of 4-5 composed of a mix faculty from community colleges and four-year institutions, the participants will investigate "thematic" research projects. Seminar speakers will discuss their research on prokaryote, vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant systems, and their application of molecular techniques. Faculty will implement the molecular techniques that they learn by adapting the exercises from the course into undergraduate laboratory courses at their respective institutions. Trained faculty will have gained the extraordinary capabilities afforded by these techniques to access the genomes of natural populations from any taxon on earth and thus create unique laboratory curricula at their own institutions. The SFSU faculty and instructional support technicians will support participants after the summer course in the incorporation of molecular techniques and analysis in undergraduate instruction. The workshop will be used to develop laboratory modules and exercises for use in primary and secondary education, however, participants will also develop skill and confidence with molecular techniques to use in their research.

Faculty Advancement In Mathematics (FAIM)

Solomon A. Garfunkel
Arlington , MA 02174-4131

Mathematics is undergoing remarkable advances. The scope of mathematical applications is broadening into new disciplines and reaching a more diverse student population. Courses and other educational experiences for prospective mathematics teachers at all levels provide an important lever that will help bring about this revolution in the undergraduate curriculum. Just as many current college faculty are not in a position to infuse contemporary mathematics and its applications into their teaching, many undergraduates who are currently preparing to teach at the elementary and secondary levels are also not sufficiently aware of important current mathematics. It is important that the presence of contemporary applications of mathematics be increased in the undergraduate preparation of those who will teach at all levels. To address this opportunity and challenge, workshops are scheduled for the summer of 1996 and 1997. The workshops will be of two-weeks' duration, with 25 participants per workshop. The 1996 workshops will be held at Virginia Commonwealth University and the United States Military Academy. The focus of each workshop will be contemporary applications of mathematics in the broadly defined areas of mathematical modeling, discrete mathematics, and geometry. They will feature mathematical topics of increasing emphasis and importance.


Assessing and Certifying the Practice of Highly Accomplished Science Teachers

Lloyd Bond
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
300 River Place, Suite 3600
Detroit, MI 48207

Through this project, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) will conduct the necessary research and development to build a fair and trustworthy assessment process for its Adolescence and Young Adulthood (ages 14-18+) Science certificate. This will mark the first effort to extend the opportunity for National Board Certification to the nation's science teachers. Subsequently, NBPTS plans to take advantage of the findings of this project in constructing assessments for its Early Adolescence (ages 11-15) and Middle Childhood (ages 7-12) Science certificates.

A two-part assessment is envisioned. The first part involves candidates for National Board Certification in preparing a portfolio of their practice during the course of a school year. The portfolio includes videos of their practice, samples of student work and commentaries on the rationale of their instructional approach and its effects. The second part takes the form of a one- or two-day assessment center candidates attend in the summer, during which they proceed through a series of exercises focused on issues teachers in their field regularly encounter. The challenge is to build an assessment process that is reliable, fair, and valid as it measures the critical aspects of teaching that distinguish the practice of highly accomplished Adolescence and Young Adulthood Science teachers as captured in the Standards NBPTS has developed for this field. Investigators must find a way to balance the following often competing objectives administrative feasibility, professional acceptability, public credibility, legal defensibility and economic affordability.

The project will be conducted over a three year period during which a systematic series of pilot tests will be conducted, scoring rubrics developed and procedures invented for administration of the assessment center exercises and training of examiners. The pilot tests will involve diverse groups of teachers from across the nation. The project will conclude with a series of analyses following the first full administration of the assessment package that will take place during the 1997-98 school year. The assessment methodologies being explored by this project are designed to advance the state-of-the-art in teacher performance assessment. The results should inform the work of policy makers, teachers, administrators and scholars with an interest in teacher preparation and continuing professional development, teacher licensing, teacher evaluation and the organization and management of schools. National Board Certification is designed to recognize and reward excellence in teaching, redefine teaching as a career, serve as a robust model of professional development, and foster practice that can yield a future with promise for all America's children.

Invitational Forum on Teacher Preparation for Deans of Science and Education

Jerry A. Bell
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Washington, DC 20005-4707

An invitational "Forum on Teacher Preparation for Deans of Science and of Education" was conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science from February 21-23, 1996. Fifty institutional teams (each composed of a dean of education and a dean of science from major research universities and comprehensive universities with large teacher preparation programs) attended the meeting to consider ways in which collaborations among their academic divisions and school personnel can better prepare future teachers of K-12 science and mathematics. The purposes of the Forum are: 1) to present a summary of the research results on the teaching and learning of science and mathematics; 2) to consider exemplary teacher preparation programs that model collaboration among university science and education departments and local schools or school districts; 3) to engage the deans in discussion of the issues associated with the design and implementation of such exemplary programs; and 4) to inform the deans of opportunities, such as the National Science Foundation's Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation program, to engage in large-scale systemic projects designed to change significantly teacher preparation programs, on a state or regional basis, which will serve as comprehensive national models. Participants will receive background information prior to the meeting. Based upon discussions and models presented at the Forum, a workbook, including recommendations for collaborations and the components of model teacher preparation programs, will be produced and made available to participants and others interested in improving teacher preparation.

Conference on State Strategies for Improving Teacher Preparation and Certification Consistent with Science Education Standards

Rolf K. Blank
Council for Chief State School Officers
Washington, DC 20001-1512

A national conference is being held to focus attention of state education leaders on the implications of the recently released National Research Council (NRC) Science Education Standards and other national and state Standards for K-12 science content for the preparation of science teachers. Three important factors inform the preparation of science teachers: 1) state policies; 2) teacher preparation programs designed by schools of education; and 3) undergraduate science curricula. Leaders from each of these areas will be speakers and/or panelists in several plenary sessions. Conference participants will be state education and science leaders who will attend as teams to facilitate: 1) discussion of the need for improving science teacher preparation in light of the new standards; 2) consideration of various models and approaches toward improvement; and 3) initiation of intra-state strategies for coordinated reform of policies and programs of science teacher education.

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