Energy and Climate focus: Science department transformation

Thursday 4:30pm-5:30pm Red Gym
Poster Session


Barbra Sobhani, University of Colorado at Boulder
At Red Rocks Community College, our science department has made an interdisciplinary effort to incorporate climate, energy and sustainability into non-major science classes through curriculum and program transformation. InTeGrate modules, new labs and active learning activities that deal directly with energy and climate have been incorporated for general science, geology, and physics classes of all levels. In addition to infusing existing curriculum, we have sought out undergraduate research opportunities for our students to offer interdisciplinary project experience. Some examples of this shift in focus include the following. Science and Society (SCI 105) is a lecture course that focuses heavily on energy and climate change and is taught using active learning strategies. A unit on energy and sustainability was introduced into our Integrated Science (SCI 155) course which is teacher education focused. This unit included a capstone passive solar project. Integrated Science 2 (SCI 156) was revamped to included InTeGrate modules and existing projects were expanded. ENV 110 is a lecture course on Natural Disasters with an emphasis with climate change, also taught with an active learning focus. The science department at RRCC also mentors student teams through the Colorado Space Grant Consortium, working on high-altitude balloon projects, robotics and rocket payloads. A new summer research experience is in development with a focus on energy and environment. RRCC has also partnered with four-year programs to place students in summer internships and research projects in an effort to help retain our diverse students in STEM fields. These new offerings are generating student interest and excitement about energy, climate, and the relevance of sustainability in their lives.