SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities)
OU faculty have been involved with the national Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities (SENCER) organization since 2007 to change the way that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) courses are taught at the college level. STEM disciplines offer lenses through which to view real-world problems and powerful techniques for addressing solutions to those problems. Unfortunately, to most college students, STEM disciplines are not seen as civicly engaged but rather isolated in the laboratory or classroom. The Oglethorpe SENCER team is working to change those perceptions:
Dr. Keith Aufderheide (Chemistry)
Dr. John Cramer (Physics)
Dr. Lynn Gieger (Mathematics Education)
Dr. John Nardo (Mathematics)
Dr. Mike Rulison (Physics)
Dr. Karen Schmeichel (Biology)
Dr. Leah Zinner (Psychology).
These OU faculty have been awarded three SENCER grants (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) for their curricular reform efforts. So far, these faculty have explored Atlanta traffic and water quality with our student partners in three courses.
In Fall 2010, our SENCER seminar will conclude its three-semester investigation on water quality at Blue Heron Nature Preserve, Silver Lake, and OU's Emerson Student Center.
Over the 2010-2011 academic year, the team will sponsor colloquia on various topics (Obesity, Food, Climate Change, etc.) to gauge student interest for the topic of our next course. Stay tuned!
Image from Wikimedia Commons, by Patrick Edwin Moran