James Madison University

NEW COLLEGES FORMED A plan to reorganize the College of Integrated Science and Technology into two colleges took effect July 1, 2012. The new colleges are the College of Health and Behavioral Studies and the College of Integrated Science and Engineering.

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JMU hosts Graduate Stem Fellows in K-12 Education

Posted November 9, 2010

PHOTO: Chris Ruck demonstrates with volunteer On November 8th, fellows Chris Ruck, Dan Veltri and Alex Koufos from George Mason University visited JMU to demonstrate teaching a GSCI 166 Environment in Action class using hands-on techniques.  These fellows are sponsored by the Sunrise National Science Foundation GK-12 Education Program.  In exchange for financial support in their graduate studies, they prepare and present hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) lessons in K-12 schools.  Currently all 3 fellows are working with public elementary schools in northern Virginia with the goal to engage students in science and improve critical thinking skills. Dr. Phillip Henning serves as an external evaluator for the project which is in its 4th year at GMU. 

The class opened with a demonstration of how polymers work using a JMU volunteer. Chris Ruck had a student verify that water was poured into a cup and after shuffling the cups, the rest of the class selected which cup to pour over the volunteer's head. By having a small amount of polymer hidden in the cup to absorb the water, the volunteer was able to remain dry.

PHOTO: JMU student wraps coilsDuring the course of the class, the JMU students (comprised mostly of future educators) discussed such topics as 'What is hands-on learning?' and ' What is problem-based learning?'. They also participated in activities such as creating a magnet with a battery, wire and paperclips and measuring the effect of the number of coils has on magnetic ability.

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