Ben B. Whitlock Ben Whitlock explains the importance of bridging the gap between students' experiences in introductory and advanced science courses in this PKAL F21 Class of 2004 statement. He advocates a research-rich and interdisciplinary environment which allows students to see how science is done.
The chemistry department at this liberal arts college in the southwest has been recognized for its continual pursuit of excellence. However, the department wants to increase the visibility of and enrollment in the department. Several steps were identified that will contribute to and add to the success of the department.
Richard M. Heinz Where do you start in thinking about 21st century spaces for 21st century learning communities? First is the diversity of demands on the spaces: expected to play a role in attracting and sustaining the interest of students in STEM fields; expected to be easy to use, manage and maintain over the long-term; able to accommodate with ease students with different learning styles and career aspirations, as well as emerging technologies and contemporary pedagogies; and finally—expected to enhance institutional distinction over the long-term. To make this happen, planners need to think about concepts such as collaboration, celebration and community. From his perspective as a lab designer, Rick Heinz offers ideas about options and opportunities in the process of planning new spaces for science.
This article identifies some of the challenges of research in the undergraduate sociology curriculum and offers two major American Sociological Association (ASA)-sponsored projects that seek to improve the way we prepare undergraduates in sociological research.
The report from the National Academies of Science, How Academic Institutions Can Facilitate Interdisciplinary Research, addresses the complexity as well as the necessity of taking a kaleidoscopic perspective, with an intriguing analysis of how to build a research-rich, interdisciplinary learning environment. Their insight, that "at the heart of interdisciplinary is communication— the conversations, connections, and combinations that bring new insights to virtually every kind of scientist and engineer" reinforces both the goals and strategies of 21st century agents of change.
"The Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program supports active research participation by undergraduate students in any of the areas of research funded by the National Science Foundation. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects designed especially for the purpose."