Participate Actively in STEM Retention

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Numerous educational papers and books identify active learning in the classroom as a way to retain STEM undergraduates. Librarians need not be left out of the action, even if they aren’t in the actual or virtual classroom. A common active learning activity that professors use is to divide a class into debate teams that read… Read more »

Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL)

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The CIRTL Network is “committed to advancing the teaching of STEM disciplines in higher education.” To improve STEM teaching, CIRTL focuses on the preparation of graduate students to become effective faculty and STEM education researchers. As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, the quality of STEM instruction is a barrier to retention for many undergraduates…. Read more »

Collaborate on Course Content to Boost Retention

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In May 2014, Drexel University was awarded a $1.2 million, five-year grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to fund initiatives to increase retention of STEM undergraduates, especially those in their first two years of college. One strategy is to assign STEM freshmen to mentored learning communities. These communities will have both selected faculty and… Read more »

Can Librarians Help Freshmen In Calculus?

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OK, let’s be honest. How many librarians out there took calculus in college? How many had to take it more than once? Future librarians are not the only ones who struggle with first-year college mathematics. Over 40% of students fail their first course in mathematics at the college level, and obviously, this impacts the retention… Read more »

UC Riverside Is Leader in STEM Education Innovation

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A  University of California, Riverside (UCR) news site reports that the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences received a $2.4 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to add sections to the Dynamic Genome Course for freshmen, which provides “research immersion.” Currently, the students do original analysis of plant transposable elements, and new sections… Read more »

Citizenship and STEM Education

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A Danish research group has applied the psychology theory, identity work, to understand why many high school students avoid entering STEM disciplines in college, despite enjoying and excelling in those subjects. In the 2014 International Journal of Science Education article, “To Choose or Not to Choose Science: Constructions of Desirable Identities among Young People Considering… Read more »