Advancing Science, Engaging STEM Learners

By Ellene Tratras Contis.

Published by The International Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Creative Scientific Inquiry Experience (CSIE) model at Eastern Michigan University is an innovative approach to retain and increase the number of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates by combining faculty professional development, curricular reform, and student collaboration with STEM faculty, peers, and the community through hands-on community-based experiences. STEM faculty makes the connections between classes more engaging and accessible to first- and second-year students by developing interdisciplinary theme-based course experiences for integrating content, applying the pedagogy of academic service-learning, and sharing specific team building techniques. Curricular reform is accomplished by linking interdisciplinary theme-based courses to an experiential academic service-learning seminar. Students enrolled in CSIE experiences enjoy intensive one-on-one faculty-student interaction, community-based research experiences, small class sizes, convenient scheduling, supplemental academic enrichment support, career exploration/mentoring, and financial support through a Book Loan Program. Learning outcomes and assessment data show that the CSIE experience has improved graduation rates of participants, has increased the number of students who retain their STEM orientation, or convert to a STEM orientation by the time of graduation.

Keywords: STEM, Interdisciplinary STEM Education, Theme-based Science Courses, Science Learning Communities, Integrated Science Curriculum, Academic Service-learning, Science Majors

The International Journal of Science, Mathematics, and Technology Learning, Volume 20, Issue 4, November 2014, pp.81-89. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 958.332KB).

Dr. Ellene Tratras Contis

Professor of Chemistry and Director of the CSIE Program, Department of Chemistry, Office of the CSIE Program, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA