Enhancing STEM Education with Research-Based Environmental Experiments: A Multi-Institution, Cross-Curricular, and Cross-Disciplinary Initiative

Grant Details


This project is creating a network of partner institutions to transform undergraduate chemistry and biology courses by implementing environmental, research-based experiments both across the disciplines and vertically through the curricula, such that students consider a variety of viewpoints to address environmental challenges. The collaboration includes research-intensive Central Michigan University, the predominantly undergraduate Saginaw Valley State University, and the community college Delta College, and leverages existing research partnerships between faculty and regional community partners such as the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Bay County Health Department. Through their research projects, students at the three institutions contribute to their communities by providing environmental quality data for local water and soil resources. The goals of the project are to 1) increase interest and skills of students in chemistry and biology, 2) increase real-world relevancy in courses, 3) determine the effects of the vertical curricula and across-discipline design on student outcomes, 4) enhance a two-year community college program by fostering student interactions with four-year institutions, 5) improve undergraduate environmental, chemical, and toxicology research by additional instrumentation and training where emphasis will be placed on teaching students proper sampling methodology and standard analytical techniques, 6) increase data and environmental information for the surrounding communities and areas, and 7) provide a transferable model for other institutions wishing to similarly transform their curricula by creating collaborative networks of institutions. Project evaluators are examining the extent to which these goals are achieved, as well as the facilitating and impeding factors for effective transfer of this model to other institutions.

Effective start/end date10/1/1309/30/18


  • National Science Foundation: $565,000.00


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