PISEC provides opportunities for university students (undergraduates, graduate students, and post docs) to teach inquiry-based science activities to K-12 populations that are underrepresented in science. At PISEC, we conduct cutting-edge research on after-school science outreach programs. Assessments on the impact of participation on both children and university educators have been very promising. Read more about PISEC here.
CU-Prime is a student-led, diversity-focused, and community-oriented organization in the physics department. Our goal is to improve the culture of physics at CU Boulder through equity and inclusion, allyship, and education. We offer three programs for undergraduate students:
- A semester-long academic class for first year students about what it looks like to do science.
- Bi-weekly research talks led by grad students that promote networking and awareness of research happening at CU.
- A long-term mentoring program that connects new physics students to graduate students and upper division undergraduate students.
Read more about CU-Prime here.
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Investigators: Joel C. Corbo, Noah Finkelstein, Mark Gammon, Gina Quan, Sarah Wise; Collaborators: Karen Falkenberg, Courtney Ngai, Mary Pilgrim (Colorado State University); Daniel Reinholz (SDSU); Andrea Beach and Jaclyn Rivard (Western Michigan University)
A DAT is a departmentally-based working group of about 4 to 8 faculty, staff, and/or students that work on a cross-cutting educational issue over one or two years, with the support of outside facilitators and the sanction of the department chair. DAT participants choose their focus by developing a vision for undergraduate education in their department; example foci include curricular/instructional revision and alignment, improving equity and diversity, and enhancing community among faculty, students, and staff. DATs both implement change and focus on creating lasting structures (e.g., committees, positions, policies) that can continue their work over time (rather than viewing change as a one-time “fix”). DATs maintain transparency by sharing information with and making recommendations for change to the chair, appropriate departmental committees, and the department as a whole. Pilot DATs at CU Boulder initiated a variety of structural changes within their departments, including the allocation of several instructor course equivalents to serve as curriculum coordinators; the formation of a standing committee focused on student diversity, retention, and recruitment; and the restructuring of a course sequence to better support majors transitioning to upper division.
The current DAT project focuses on facilitating and studying new DATs at CU and at CSU to to develop: (1) a process for enculturating DAT facilitators and institutionalizing DATs in campus Teaching and Learning Centers (TLCs), (2) theory of how DATs operate in different contexts, and (3) cultural and structural change metrics.
Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.
Learn more about PhET here.
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Concept questions (based on Eric Mazur's Peer Instruction at Harvard) are being used in many introductory lectures, often with the H-ITT "hyperactive interaction" student response system (infrared clickers). We have more information on H-ITT if you're interested in trying it out. We have also started to compile some "local collections" of concept tests for the benefit of instructors who want to begin doing this themselves.
Please see our Clicker Video pages for short videos (and written guides) to help you get started using clickers and peer instruction in your own classes.
We have a Help Room staffed 9-5 every weekday, where TA's and professors in the introductory courses hold their office hours. It has been extraordinarily popular, we sometimes struggle with staffing especially on the busy days when homeworks are due.