Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2013
Volume 58, Number 1
Monday–Friday, March 18–22, 2013; Baltimore, Maryland
Session Z3: Invited Session: Integration of Research and Teaching Excellence: Cottrell Scholars
11:15 AM–2:15 PM,
Friday, March 22, 2013
Room: Ballroom III
Sponsoring Unit: FEd
Chair: Richard Wiener, Research Corporation
Abstract ID: BAPS.2013.MAR.Z3.4
Abstract: Z3.00004 : Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons): Undergraduate Education Through Interdisciplinary, Team-Based, Real-World Problem Solving*
1:03 PM–1:39 PM
Preview Abstract Abstract
(University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Attitude, Skills, Knowledge (ASK) -- In this order, these are fundamental characteristics of scientific innovators. Through first-hand practice in using science to unpack and solve complex real-world problems, students can become self-motivated scientific leaders. This presentation describes the pedagogy of a recently developed interdisciplinary undergraduate science education program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst focused on addressing global challenges with scientific solutions. Integrated Concentration in Science (iCons) is an overarching concentration program that supplements the curricula provided within each student's chosen major. iCons is a platform for students to perform student-led research in interdisciplinary collaborative teams. With a schedule of one course per year over four years, the cohort of students move through case studies, analysis of real-world problems, development of potential solutions, integrative communication, laboratory practice, and capstone research projects. In this presentation, a track emphasizing renewable energy science is used to illustrate the iCons pedagogical methods. This includes discussion of a third-year laboratory course in renewable energy that is educationally scaffolded: beginning with a boot camp in laboratory techniques and culminating with student-designed research projects. Among other objectives, this course emphasizes the practice of using reflection and redesign, as a means of generating better solutions and embedding learning for the long term.
*This work is supported in part by NSF grant DUE-1140805.
To cite this abstract, use the following reference: http://meetings.aps.org/link/BAPS.2013.MAR.Z3.4
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