published December 31, 1969

SENCER E-Newsletter, October 2003, Volume 2, Issue 4

Kennesaw State Develops Environmental Science Lab Modules

Kennesaw SENCER Team Receives NSF Support for Environmental Science Projects

Matt Laposata and John Pratte (Summer Institute 2001), along with their collaborators at Bowling Green State University, Community College of Baltimore County, and University of Southern Mississippi, are pleased to announce that their SENCER related Environmental Science Activities for the 21st Century (ESA21) project has received additional funding from NSF's Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement Program (DUE-0231171; 3 years; $322,244).

With a previous NSF CCLI "Proof of Concept" award, they developed four modules of activities on topics in Environmental Science for use in non-majors science courses. The modules examine topics through a series of exercises, and end with a Capstone activity that has students synthesize material from the individual exercises to gain a holistic view of the issue. The materials are delivered electronically through the project's web site at http://esa21.kennesaw.edu , and hybridize hands-on exercises with online activities built around existing, interactive, high-quality Internet resources (animations, audio clips, simulations, databases). The project aims to improve Environmental Science education in non-majors courses by providing engaging and personally relevant activities that allow students to understand basic principles, quantify their contributions to regional and global environmental impacts, and critically examine lifestyle changes that could reduce these impacts. The exercises have been used with several thousand students over two years at Kennesaw State University. Student assessments of the exercises have been very positive.

The developers will be creating additional modules over the next two years and posting them on the project web site as they become available (new modules on Nuclear and Alternative Energy just added). The modules will be coupled with ancillary instructor resources that will contain sample quiz questions, answer keys for select exercises, common student questions with answers, and pedagogical approaches for using the modules in courses with no laboratory component, open labs, or conventional laboratory formats.

They invite their collaborators in the SENCER initiative to utilize these activities and provide the developers with feedback on the existing exercises and directions for future development. For more information contact Matt at mlaposat@kennesaw.edu.