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Three P-A faculty members named to third cohort of STEM fellows

Three Physics & Astronomy faculty members—Huey-Wen Lin, Jaideep Taggart Singh, and Pengpeng Zhang—are among twelve from the MSU College of Natural Science who have been selected for the fall 2018 cohort of MSU's STEM Teaching and Learning Fellowship, a program funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) with additional support from MSU's Office of the Provost.

[photo of Asst. Prof. Huey-Wen Lin]

Huey-Wen Lin, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy.

Building on work that began six years ago and was funded by the Association of American Universities, MSU is implementing an innovative teaching and learning model known as three-dimensional (3-D) learning supported by a five-year, $1,323,499 grant from NSF. The project, Extending a Coherent Gateway to STEM Teaching and Learning, is a collaborative initiative between the College of Natural Science, Lyman Briggs College and partner institutions Florida International University, Grand Valley State University and Kansas State University. Additional funds from the collaborative partnership bring the total to $2 million for the project.

[photo of Asst. Prof. Jaideep Taggart Singh]

Jaideep Taggart Singh, Assistant Professor at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams and the MSU Department of Physics & Astronomy.

“The program's first two cohorts were focused on faculty who teach the gateway courses. With this cohort, we've expanded the program to faculty who teach 200- and 300-level courses,” said Cori Fata-Hartley, NatSci assistant dean for curriculum coordination and co-principal investigator on the project. “This will help us to continue to align the curricula vertically across different programs and across different disciplines.”

“We want to create courses that will allow students to engage in the same types of activities that scientists engage in,” Fata-Hartley added.

The overarching goal of the program is to improve undergraduate STEM courses by engaging faculty in conversations about core ideas of the discipline and how students should be able to use those ideas combined with science practices and cross-cutting concepts to explain phenomena and solve problems.

[photo of Assoc. Prof. Pengpeng Zhang]

Pengpeng Zhang, Associate Professor of Physics & Astronomy.

“From the previous cohorts, we've learned how to improve the experience for faculty,” Fata-Hartley said. “We are continuing to develop materials and approaches within the fellowship to engage faculty. The grant will also allow us to evaluate the effectiveness and the impact of the fellowship on the incorporation of three-dimensional learning in these courses.”

Each of the fellows will receive a stipend that can be used for professional development activities or teaching support.

For more information on the program and the other nine selected NatSci faculty members, see this article on the College of Natural Science website.