Supported Site Boston University: Collaboration

Successes

  • A collaboration was established with the Science Department of the Boston Public Schools to arrange placements for science students seeking a pre-practicum experience.
  • Through the LERNet High School Physics labs initiative, we invited area teachers to use BU physics labs for high school classes. Two class groups visited in Spring 2012 - Newton and Bedford Public Schools; two groups came in Spring 2013 - Salem Academy and Bedford Public Schools. (LERNet is Boston University's Learning Resource Network, which is involved with educational outreach efforts.)
  • Collaboration between the Departments of Physics and Chemistry led to a joint Teaching Lunch, in April 2013, aimed at raising awareness among the Chemistry faculty about the Chemistry Teacher Education Coalition (CTEC) program.

Sustainability

  • The TIR expanded the knowledge base about existing outreach efforts in the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).
  • Connections with graduate students were established via Graduate Women in Science events.
  • We should assist, and gather information from, the Chemistry department, which has more outreach programs than we do.

Activities

  • Teaching lunches were held to discuss teaching-related issues. We had two lunches in Fall 2012 and one more in Spring 2013. All the lunches brought together faculty from multiple departments, with about 17 faculty members, on average, attending the lunches. In Fall 2012, one lunch focused on the Piazza online discussion forum, and the other (which was also attended by CAS Associate Dean Susan Jackson) focused on the Learning Assistant program and the Noyce Scholarship program. In Spring 2013, the teaching lunch was a joint Physics-Chemistry event, focused on raising awareness among the Chemistry faculty about the CTEC program. In 2013-14, the focus of the teaching lunches changed to talks given by external speakers, with John Belcher giving a talk in Fall 2013 on MIT's studio experience, though the TEAL project, and Chandralekha Singh giving a talk in Spring 2014 titled "Improving Student Understanding of Physics through Research."
  • As mentioned above, we ran labs for some high school physics classes when they were doing on-campus visits.

Lessons Learned

  • There are a number of faculty members in the Department of Chemistry at Boston University who are committed to implementing reformed pedagogy, and we should continue to work closely with them as we move forward.