Kennesaw State science professors awarded National Science Foundation grant

When four Kennesaw State University science professors realized that non−science majors in…

Georgia (Feb 19, 2001) — Kennesaw State science professors awarded National Science Foundation grant

Staff

Abstract

When four Kennesaw State University science professors realized that non−science majors in environmental science classes could not grasp the connection between their lab work and their lives outside the classroom‚ the professors proposed a solution which has resulted in a $75‚000 grant from the National Science Foundation.



Rather than excuse the inability to relate science to life as the unimportant grumbling of non−science majors‚ Associate Professor of Physics John M. Pratte‚ Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Science Matthew M. Laposata‚ Assistant Professor of Chemistry Marina C. Koether and Professor of Biology Gail B. Schiffer developed a series of lab modules designed to highlight the relevance of environmental science.



The National Science Foundation has funded the project‚ "General Education Environmental Science: An Interdisciplinary Laboratory Program for the 21st Century." With the funding‚ the four will develop a series of lab experiments clustered around a common environmental theme. The experiments will allow students to examine local environmental issues and to analyze personal environmental impact. In addition‚ in−depth examination of topics in environmental science will be possible through the use of campus labs‚ field studies and Internet−based databases.



"Traditional lab experiences involve learning the necessary skills for a career in the sciences‚" says Pratte. "Often they are only about learning to use a piece of equipment that the non−science major will never use again. Students begin to view the science lab as a waste of time. We think these new lab modules‚ based on real−life experiences‚ will make environmental science lab work very exciting."



The lab modules will be textbook−independent to allow their use in conjunction with any environmental science text at any educational institution.



A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 38,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

©