Wayne State University

WSU STEM Courses Receive SSTEP-Funded Grants for 2016

SSTEP grant principal investigator, Andrew FeigSelect WSU STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) faculty were recently awarded grants to redesign introductory courses or upper level courses that pose challenges for degree completion in STEM majors.  Seven (7) courses received funding for redesign in 2016.

The course reform grants are funded through a five-year NSF-funded project (1524878), titled “Student Success Through Evidence-based Pedagogies (SSTEP).”  The project funds a range of competitive department-based awards of up to $100,000 each. Faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students in successful departments collaborate on transforming courses to incorporate more evidence-based, student-centered teaching and learning methods on campus.

Andrew Feig (chemistry) leads the SSTEP grant as principal investigator with co-principal investigators Robert Bruner (mathematics), Peter Hoffmann (physics), Karen Myhr (biology), and Mathew Ouellett (Office for Teaching and Learning).

This award continues work begun with the WSU NSF-WIDER grant (2013-2015). The original grant was a self-study of teaching practices used in WSU classrooms and an exploration of the opportunities and barriers toward the implementation of interactive, student-centered pedagogies on campus. 

The following proposals were fully funded by the SSTEP grant in 2016:

Student-Student and Student-Instructor Interaction Intensive Teaching Strategies for Two Fundamental Proof-Based Mathematics Courses ($45,516)
MAT 2250, MAT 5070
Fatih Celiker, Mathematics
Catherine Lebiedzik, Mathematics
Pei-Yong Wang, Mathematics

Evidence-based course sequence in “Physics for the Life Sciences” ($90,470)
PHY 2130, PHY 2140
Matthew Gonderinger, Physics
Zhi-Feng Huang, Physics
Peter Hoffmann, Physics
Ashis Mukhopadhyay, Physics
Karur Padmanabhan, Physics
Takeshi Sakamoto, Physics
Scott Payson, Physics
Arun Anantharam, Biological Sciences
Matthew Jackson, School of Medicine, Immunology and Microbiology

Effective Mathematics INstruction for lEarning aNd Teaching (EMINENT) ($67,302)
MAT 1110, MAT 1120
Robert Bruner, Mathematics
Jennifer Lewis, Mathematics Education
Chris Nazelli, Mathematics
Asli Ozgun-Koca, Mathematics Education
Deborah Zopf, Henry Ford College, Mathematics Education

Student-Initiated Learning in Engineering ($55,873)
BE 1500
Darin Ellis, College of Engineering
Jeffrey Potoff, Basic Engineering
Kristina Lenn, Basic Engineering

The following groups received pilot grants:
CSC 2200 Course Reform:  Implementing Evidence-Based Practices to Create a Student-Centered Learning Environment ($10,000)
CSC 2200
Daniel Grosu, Computer Science
Alexander Kotov, Computer Science

Targeting a Sequence of Classes to Improve Active Learning in the Biology Core ($10,000)
BIO 2200, BIO 2600, BIO 3200
Mark VanBerkum, Biological sciences
Karen Myhr, Biological sciences
Joy Alcedo, Biological sciences
Penelope Higgs, Biological sciences

The 2017 request for proposals is coming in November, 2016.