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STEM Education PhD Fellowships

We are pleased to announce the availability of several fellowships to support student research for the Spring 2013 semester. Eligible students include those currently enrolled in the STEM Education PhD program or who will apply in the Spring 2013 semester.

Applicants must:

  1. Complete the application form and submit a current CV as a single pdf to Paul Kelter.
  2. Submit two letters of reference (see application form for details).

Applications are due by December 14.

Please note new weblink for Section 5, Critical Prompt:

Introductory Biology Project

Dr. Jennifer Momsen will present two talks at the Introductory Biology Project's summer conference, which focuses on implementing Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology.

  1. Characterizing the cognitive learning levels of the biology major's curriculum.
  2. A workshop on whole course transformation, with a talk titled, Teach Different!

Transforming Resarch in Undergraduate STEM Education

The second conference of Transforming Research in Undergraduate STEM Education (TRUSE) will be held in St. Paul, MN at University of St. Thomas June 3-7th, 2012.  Dr. Warren Christensen is a co-organizer of the conference. 

Inivited Talk:

Tackling teaching:  Investigating inquiry instruction in chemistry, mathematics, and physics (Warren Christensen)

Poster Presentations:

Investigating student understanding of eigen theory in quantum mechanics (Warren Christensen)

Kryjevskaia Presents at American Association of Physics Teachers


Title:  Spatial reasoning, a potential roadblock to conceptual understanding of waves

Abstract:  As a part of a multi-year investigation of student understanding of mechanical wave in introductory courses, a set of tutorials on wave behavior at a boundary has been developed.  However, even after the targeted instruction many students still are not able to systematically analyze complex unfamiliar situations. We hypothesized that poor performance on some post-tests may be attributable to difficulties in visualizing and reasoning spatially about transformations in the shape of a spring that occur over time as a complex pulse reflects from a boundary.  We probed the extent to which student performance hinges on their ability to visualize and reason spatially by examining the degree of association between student performance on the post-tests and on a spatial visualization test - paper folding test.


Tutorials in Introductory Physics, L.C. McDermott, P.S. Shaffer and the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, Prentice Hall (2002).


REU: Research on the Prairies

Applications now being accepted for Research on the Prairies. Review begins February 15. Questions can be sent to

Special Physics Seminar

Faculty are pleased to host Dr. Joe Redish (Department of Physics, University of Maryland), a noted Physics Education Researcher. Redish's research group is currently developing an understanding the context and needs of biology students both through extensive observations (interviews, surveys, quizzes, exams, and videotaped observations of labs and tutorials) and through detailed negotiations with biology faculty.

Join us for a pedagogical lunch (Thursday, October 6 at 11:30) and a seminar, "Rethinking Physics for Biologists: Considering Value Added" (Thursday, October 6 at 4 pm).

Biology seminar: Scott Freeman

The Department of Biological Sciences, in conjunction with the STEM education faculty are pleased to host Scott Freeman (Department of Biology, University of Washington). Freeman's research focuses on the impact of active learning strategies on student performance in college science courses. Freeman will present a seminar Friday, September 23 at 4 pm (Loftsgard 114) titled, Evidenced-based teaching in introductory biology.

Presentations at SABER

Faculty and a graduate student presented at the first national SABER meeting in July 2011: Dr. Erika Offerdahl gave a keynote, Brittany Ziegler presented a portion of her doctoral work on portfolio assessments, and Dr. Jennifer Momsen presented a slice of systems thinking research.

NSF REU Grant Received

Dr. Erika Offerdahl (PI) and Dr. Mukund Sibi (Co-PI) recently received funding from the National Science Foundation for a three year undergraduate research program in the molecular sciences. The $330,000 project entitled "Research on the Prairies: Undergraduate Training in the Molecular Sciences" will begin accepting applications in January 2012 for the upcoming summer.


Thompson, JR, WM Christensen, and MC Wittmann. 2011. Preparing future teachers to anticipate student difficulties in physics in a graduate-level course in physics, pedagogy, and education research. Phys. Rev. ST Physics Ed. Research 7: 010108.


D Ebert-May, TL Derting, J Hodder, JL Momsen, TM Long, and SE Jardeleza. 2011. What We Say Is Not What We Do: Effective Evaluation of Faculty Professional Development Programs. BioScience 61: 550-558.

ESA Presentation

Dr. Jennifer Momsen presented research on quantitative reasoning in introductory biology at the 96th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America  in August, 2011.

Advance FORWARD Grant Received

STEM Education PhD faculty receive a grant to investigate the gender achievement gap across STEM disciplines.  Press Release, 22 July 2011

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Published by: Center for Science & Mathematics Education

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 04, 2014 10:18:09 AM