We are at the forefront of an advancing and ever-changing world. Scientific and technological innovations have led to vast changes in the way we navigate our environments. Unfortunately, U.S. students consistently lag behind their international peers in science and mathematics. Thus, improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) performance and alleviating attrition has become a national priority.
My four years at CU have instilled in me a passion to help students experience more success in their STEM courses. My honors thesis has provided me with an avenue by which to research effective teaching practices that can be implemented in courses to promote STEM understanding and success. I have been fortunate to work with Dr. Barbara Demmig-Adams on examining the educational techniques present in an introductory biology class she teaches each fall semester. The goal of my thesis is to provide a comprehensive review of the research literature on best practices in STEM and to provide recommendations to new or inquiring instructors on how to transform their classes to be more evidence based. I would recommend the opportunity to write an honors thesis to students in any discipline. I will be attending graduate school Fall 2016 and have found the thesis-writing process to be an essential part of my graduate school preparation.