Summer Institute Encourages University Educators to Engage Students in Science

Wednesday, Jul 1, 2015

From institutions across the Northeast, researchers and science instructors gathered at Princeton University the week of June 14 to explore techniques designed to better engage science students and attract students who are apprehensive about entering a laboratory.

The occasion was the regional session of the 2015 Summer Institutes on Undergraduate Education in Science organized by the National Academies and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The objective was to create a learning environment that embraces an experience based on problem solving, participation and interaction between teachers and students.

As the 46 participants — plus 20 facilitators and presenters — in attendance learned and expressed, the teaching process is not static — much like learning, new ideas and challenges to old conceptions can reinvigorate and improve the educational experience for teachers and students. The summer institute encourages a teaching approach based on three themes: active learning, assessment and inclusive teaching.