Coastal Carolina University has committed to improving student retention and success in Mathematics and Science through a pilot program to engage first-year students in an applied and investigative project as part of the University's First-Year Experience (FYE). During the fall 2007 semester, five pilot sections of FYE classes, consisting of students from the College of Natural and Applied Sciences are building and deploying Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs). These ROV-based classes are designed to: accelerate exploration of the broad fields of science and mathematics; enlist interest in technology by engaging students in a multi-stepped, interdisciplinary problem solving experience; explore science and mathematical concepts; institute experiential learning; and build a culture of active learners to benefit student success across traditional departmental boundaries. Teams of three students (forty teams total) will build, based on the MIT Sea Perch design, and test ROVs in addition to collecting data with their ROVs. Various accessories attached to the vehicles for data collection will include temperature and light sensors, plankton nets and underwater cameras. The first-year students will then analyze the data, and the results will be documented as part of their capstone projects. Additionally, two launch days will take place on two campus ponds. Local middle and high school teachers and their students will be invited to observe this event. The teams of students with the most capable and successful ROVs will participate in a workshop held in November 2007 for regional elementary, middle and high school teachers. These students will give a presentation on the building of the ROVs and also provide a hands-on demonstration for the workshop participants. These activities will ensure an incorporation of service learning into the first semester of the freshmen experience. The desired outcomes of the ROV-based FYE classes are: increased retention at the postsecondary level in mathematics and science; increased student confidence to persevere through difficult courses by seeing the actual application of the science; greater self-esteem and self-efficacy through service learning; and engaging middle and high school students in mathematics and science. The innovative significance of the program is three fold: applying experiential learning through technology; integrating disciplines in a planned manner with consistent delivery; and creating an environment conducive to success.
AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 2007
- 0800 EDUCATION;
- 0805 Elementary and secondary education;
- 0810 Post-secondary education;
- 0820 Curriculum and laboratory design