William LaCourse, Interim Dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, was in last Friday’s Baltimore Business Journal. The section of the story, titled STEM programs try to build the workforce of the future, on LaCourse and UMBC focused on the creation of the Chemistry Discovery Center.
“LaCourse and his colleagues developed the Chemistry Discovery Center, an adjunct to the traditional introductory chemistry lecture course. At weekly, two-hour sessions students are randomly paired into teams to solve problems. Each student rotates through roles of supervisor, recordkeeper, data collector and result disseminator. Instructors answer questions but they don’t lecture. The rotating roles have promoted a sense of accountability, which LaCourse thinks has been key to the program’s success. The failure rate in his Chemistry 101 class has been halved, from 30 to 15 percent; the number of chemistry majors at UMBC has doubled, to 160.”
To read the article (subscription required) go to: Higher Learning: STEM programs try to build the workforce of the future.