Biological Sciences (61) The aim of this project is to prepare and inspire students to embark on successful careers in cutting edge scientific research or teaching by introducing inquiry-based learning strategies into the physiology laboratory curriculum. Educating students in how to do research is best accomplished by engaging them in research. In this project students are 1) conceiving of hypotheses; 2) planning projects, 3) carrying out the experiments; 4) critically analyzing the results, and 5) formulating the next step in the research. The equipment being introduced in the laboratory through this project exposes students to an array of contemporary technologies and skills, so that as they pursue their research they become aware of the utility of each technique/equipment introduced in the progression of the project. The interest of students in research is stimulated when they participate in the process of experimental design and discovery rather than following protocols provided to them. This approach follows the example of an NSF funded project at Loyola College in which students used a "goal-oriented approach, ... working cooperatively in small groups to answer basic biological questions..." A survey of students compares the career paths of those participating in the new Physiology Laboratory curriculum as compared to previous students of the Physiology concentration. We are updating and enriching four of our Undergraduate Physiology Laboratory courses by introducing current research equipment and techniques within the context of a research project. We plan to integrate a recently established course, Cell Physiology and Genomics Laboratory, by expanding a unifying theme and research project, "Investigating the Transfection, Expression and Role of Apoptotic Genes in a Cell Culture System." The approach of introducing a research orientation is also being adopted into our courses in Animal Physiology Experimentation, and Histology. Taking advantage of faculty expertise at Cornell, students in both courses are involved in phenotyping genetically modified mice with cardiomyopathyies. Histology students examine the morphology while Physiology students examine the function of modified as compared to normal hearts. The equipment acquired is also accessible to students enrolled in "Undergraduate Research in Biology," a course in which students can continue to pursue research started in the other laboratory courses.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Terry S. Woodin
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Cornell Univ - State: Awds Made Prior May 2010
United States
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