Published: Apr 14 2017 12:00AM
Over spring break, MC faculty and staff presented at the League for Innovations in the Community College Conference.
Dr. Fred Katiraie, professor of mathematics, and Patricia Secreto, staff for the Department of Applied Technologies, co-presented at the conference. Their presentation was titled <i>Tried and True Instructional Techniques: Critical Thinking and Applications of Architectural and Construction Concepts Via Mathematics</i>. Katiraie and Secreto explored architecture and construction management concepts, which require in depth knowledge and understanding of mathematics and physics.
More specifically, the presentation illustrated that in order to explore concepts in architecture and construction management, one must understand how to make calculations. Knowledge of angles, trigonometry, physics and statics are also important to tackle topics such as: use of trigonometric functions, solving systems of linear equations, evaluating reaction forces and generating shear and moment diagrams.
The audience participated by asking questions and sharing some of their tried and true techniques.
Deb Poese, the director of School of Education and Dr. Carolyn Schick, Learning Assistant Program director, presented <I>STEM Teaching Pathways: Building and Sustaining a Learning Assistant Program</i>. The LA Program places experienced undergraduate students in STEM classrooms to support students in the class. Learning assistants (LA) are recruited to assist in STEM classrooms, discussion sections, and labs with various unique assignments to enhance student engagement. LAs get an opportunity to 'try on teaching' early in their academic journey as they work one-on-one with their faculty mentors, focusing on teaching content as well as strategies for interacting with and supporting students in the class.
LA dinner gatherings and training sessions create a supportive environment for LAs to receive pedagogical training and to do some self-reflection about their own learning. Each LA has an opportunity to give a mini presentation during the semester, complete with an evaluation of their teaching by their faculty mentor.
A large percentage of LAs at Montgomery College are students in under-represented groups. Their leadership and guidance for students in the classroom serve as an anchor and encouraging point for all students in the class. This model is further strengthened as students in the class are inspired to apply to the program and serve as LAs for the following semester. Having students serve as LAs has proven to be a success for both promoting STEM education as a career, and for encouraging and supporting all STEM students along their academic path.
Dr. Nevart Tahmazian, professor of chemistry, and Dan Wilson, associate professor and chair for the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice did a poster session on a learning ommunity that pairs a general education chemistry course <i>Chemistry and Society</i> with an <i>Introduction to Sociology</i> course.
This learning community has two unique attributes: 1) combining chemistry (a natural science) with sociology (a social science) and 2) a globalized curriculum. The practice and impact of modern chemistry always occur within a particular social context. Understanding the intricacies of chemistry within economic, political and cultural contexts gives students the tools to gain a much broader and expansive understanding of the world they live in.
Carol Burbage, Director of the Ackerman STEM Learning Center presented, <i>Tutor Training: One Alternative to CRLA</i>.She presented a brief outline of the training the Ackerman STEM Learning Center is developing, then focused on identifying and brainstorming solutions for training issues members of the audience had identified.