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Research in Interdisciplinary STEM Education (RISE)

Posted by:
January 10, 2022

Research in Interdisciplinary STEM Education (RISE) is a 9-week residential summer research experience for undergraduate students in chemistry, education, life sciences, mathematics, or physics.  Participants will join interdisciplinary teams mentored by faculty to investigate STEM learning across formal and informal environments with a focus on understanding issues related to inclusivity and diversity in STEM.  The program starts in April with “Gear Up for Research”, a series of virtual lab group meetings designed for RISE participants to meet their faculty mentors and research teams, learn about their summer project, and learn basic skills and research protocols for the summer program.

Important Dates:

  • Gear up for Research: April 15 – May 15
  • Residential Program: June 2 – Aug 15
  • Application Deadline: February 15, 2022
  • Notification Date: Early-mid March 2022
  • Stipends: $6000 stipend, travel awards for students with financial need, on-campus housing provided free-of-charge

Bridging the Gap: Innovative curricular design for increasing success in undergraduate chemistry
General chemistry is a required course for most STEM majors. As such, it is sometimes referred to as a “gateway course”; success in general chemistry is required for students to proceed in their major. Dr. Buckley is passionate about student success and has created a novel preparatory course for students who do not yet meet the prerequisites for general chemistry.   The course abandons the traditional chapter ordering of topics in general chemistry to develop students’ understanding of four principle concept areas:  1) Quantitative Relationships, 2) Atomic and Molecular Structure, 3) Energy and Energy Changes, and 4)  Chemical Reactivity. Through a “flipped classroom” approach, students read, watch videos, and work through practice problems before each class meeting to prepare them for higher-order problem-solving in class.  As each student cohort progresses from the preparatory chemistry course on to general chemistry, we are accumulating data to determine the effectiveness of the course in supporting students’ future success in general chemistry and beyond.

Through this project, RISE researchers will develop skills in basic statistical analysis as well as best practices for teaching in undergraduate classes.

Faculty mentors:  Drs. Buckley, Lessman, and Mixter