Speaker: Ben Dreyfus
Title: “Teaching energy in physics, chemistry, and biology: Is energy a bridge or a barrier?”
What is STEM Seminar?
The STEM seminar is an interdisciplinary forum about science education. This collaborative group of faculty and students share pedagogical successes and challenges across disciplines. All interested faculty, students, and staff are welcome.
“Exploring the value of peer-supported learning in undergraduate chemistry: A comparison of learning assistants and a tutoring center”
Speaker: Rebecca Jones
On average each semester, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at George Mason University instructs over 1700 students, of which only 15% are majors. Gateway courses such as General and Organic chemistry have very high DFW rates and are notoriously known as “weed-out” courses. As the lecture sections tend to be very large (150-300 students) and lack a supportive recitation, the department has utilized two mechanisms to help improve student performance. Beginning in 2000, with support from the College of Science, the department allocated space and began staffing an in-house tutoring center providing walk-in assistance for general and organic chemistry students. In Fall 2012, the faculty also began working with Learning Assistants (LAs) and now regularly utilize 8-12 LAs per semester in a variety of courses. Since these initiatives have become a part of the department culture, questions have arisen about which intervention is most helpful. In an effort to address these questions, we collected individual records of student interactions with Learning Assistants and the Tutoring Center in Fall 2015 and Spring 2106. These records have been correlated to student grades. Results show that interactions with the Learning Assistants are considerably more frequent and valuable than the Tutoring Center. This presentation will summarize the comparisons made between the different student populations, including those who did not seek any external assistance, and identifies directions for future inquiry.
The SENCER Chesapeake Center for Innovation is sponsoring a one-day workshop at the Airlie Conference Center in Warrenton Virginia, for faculty interested in sustainable food production. Airlie Conference Center, now owned by American University, is dedicated to responsible land stewardship through conservation and sustainable practices. Their organic garden has been expanded, and they support new opportunities for production of, and education in, farm-to-table food.
Faculty interested in creating or modifying courses, or using innovative methods for farm-to-table production, or increasing student involvement in sustainability, are invited to attend free of charge. We encourage faculty teams (2-4) from any regional two or four year colleges. Attendees will have an opportunity to tour the garden, and discuss potential collaborations with this exciting, new expanded food production program. Applicants are not required to include food production or education on-site at Airlie in their proposal. In addition, implementation awards of $500 – $1000 will be made to several teams.
More information and application instructions are on the website.
Sponsored by the Northern Virginia Mineral Club & and the GMU Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences
20 plus Dealers selling Minerals, Fossils, Crystals, Gems, Jewelry, Carvings, Meteorites & more!
Also, Demonstrations, Hands-On, Exhibits, Door Prizes, Scout Teaching Area & Kid’s Activities – including FREE Kidâ€™s Mini-mines & Fossil Dig.
Silent Auction on Sunday afternoon.
Admission to Show/Ballroom:
Adults $6, Seniors $4, Teens (13-17) $3.
FREE – Children (12 & under), Scouts in uniform & GMU Students w/valid ID.