College of Arts and Sciences
Florida Gulf Coast University
Laura Frost is Associate Dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and Former Director of the Whitaker Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education and Professor of Chemistry at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Whitaker Center serves as a regional hub for expertise and leadership in STEM education reform across all levels of education including professional development for STEM faculty. Dr. Frost continues to be actively engaged in reforming STEM education through inquiry-based teaching and evidence-based practice and has demonstrated increased student learning in her courses using this approach.
Dr. Frost served as PI on an NSF-WIDER grant (DUE-1347640) that implements a year long STEM faculty academy at FGCU that asks faculty to incorporate evidence-based practices into introductory STEM courses and measure student learning through a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) project. She also served as PI on an NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship program and a private foundation to identify undergraduate STEM majors as 6-12 STEM teachers in an effort to enhance secondary STEM teaching in SW Florida. Both programs are still active today
Dr. Frost is also author of a series of guided-inquiry activities and a chemistry textbook for the health professions (Pearson Education). Her textbook takes a unique, integrated approach to the delivery of chemical topics that has been shown to increase student interest in the course.
Dr. Frost received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Kutztown University and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been teaching chemistry in higher education since 1995 and has been recognized with several teaching awards over the years.
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STEM Professional Academy to Reinvigorate the Culture of Teaching (SPARCT) part of Network of STEM Education Centers:Program Descriptions
A multidisciplinary STEM faculty professional development program called STEM Professional Academy to Reinvigorate the Culture of Teaching (SPARCT) is completing its second year at Florida Gulf Coast University. SPARCT includes a 36-hour summer STEM academy and a commitment to a faculty learning community during the subsequent academic year. We chronicled faculty development progress through video interviews with participants, student retention, interest, and confidence in SPARCT participant classes, and faculty feedback on programming.
Whitaker Center for STEM Education at Florida Gulf Coast University part of Network of STEM Education Centers:Center Profiles
The Whitaker Center's vision is one in which all students in K-20 STEM educational environments are actively and collaboratively engaged in inquiry, interdisciplinary learning, and research experiences.