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10/19/2016 14:21:00

Two Events on Improving STEM Education

Caltech's Center for Teaching, Learning, & Outreach (CTLO) will host two events on Wednesday, October 26—open to all members of the campus community—examining how research institutions can improve undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Emily Miller, associate vice president for policy at the Association of American Universities (AAU), will speak from noon to 1 p.m. in the Beckman Institute auditorium on "Leading Cultural Change to Improve Undergraduate STEM Teaching and Learning at Research Universities: The AAU STEM Education Initiative."

Miller's talk will focus on strategies at the institutional and national levels to prioritize the improvement of undergraduate STEM education, to identify indicators and measures of improvement in STEM teaching and learning, and to address the barriers that keep faculty members at research universities from adopting the best teaching practices in their classrooms. More information and RSVP details are online.

Also on October 26, Tobin (Toby) Smith, AAU vice president for policy, will host a discussion on the topic "Using NSF's 'Broader Impacts' Criterion to Improve Undergraduate Education and Instruction." The title references the National Science Foundation's criteria for evaluating research proposals to include looking at their broader impact, intellectual merit, and potential to benefit society. The event will be from 3–4 p.m. at the Center for Student Services, Room 360. The discussion will be especially relevant for principal investigators, students, and postdoctoral fellows who are applying for NSF grants. More information and RSVP details are online.

The events on campus are part of a national effort to bolster teaching and education in STEM fields. Cassandra Horii, director of the CTLO, says that the AAU representatives' talks will serve as an opportunity for the campus community to hear about the latest developments from peer institutions across the country, adding, "There are a lot of great ideas to build on, as well as unique ways in which Caltech can contribute."