There is no precedent for math instruction using "wet" labs to engage students in mathematics through data-driven inquiry experiences. In this project, we construct Laboratory Experiences in Mathematical Biology (LEMBs) for undergraduate math classrooms. LEMBs are developed collaboratively at Utah State University and Colorado College, aimed at sophomore classrooms including both STEM and non-STEM majors. Students manipulate and interact with real-world biological mechanisms, construct their own mathematical descriptions and gain deeper understanding of underlying mathematical relationships. LEMBs are open-ended, inviting student participation and creativity. Student acquisition of modeling and problem-solving skills and the effect of LEMBs on other skills are evaluated using pre/post-tests, think-aloud exercises, and instructor/student interviews. We expect to create new knowledge about learners' construction of modeling and problem-solving skills. LEMBs invite student-centered mathematics instruction and expose faculty to alternative pedagogy. We assemble pedagogical materials to facilitate lab-based instruction, including alternate mathematical pathways rooted in the labs, multiple assessment items, and educational vignettes based on classroom observations to illustrate key pedagogical techniques. LEMBs and instructor support materials are made available to faculty nationwide via Open Access publication through USU?s Digital Commons. Presentations about LEMBs are made at conferences, and articles are also submitted to research and education journals.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Type
Standard Grant (Standard)
Application #
1245421
Program Officer
John Haddock
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2013-08-15
Budget End
2015-07-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$99,693
Indirect Cost
Name
Utah State University
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Logan
State
UT
Country
United States
Zip Code
84322