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Abstract Title: A Holistic Approach to Reforming Lab-Based Curricula in Cornell University's Materials Science and Engineering Department
Abstract: Core Materials Science and Engineering courses at Cornell contain a laboratory component starting in the sophomore year. This intensifies in junior year, where the laboratory component associated with four core junior year courses is consolidated in a two-semester Junior Lab course. Seniors choose between Senior Thesis or Senior Lab. Within the past few years, the department has begun taking a holistic approach to laboratory curriculum by working towards scaffolding lab skill development across the undergraduate curriculum. This talk will overview these measures and focus on the current effort to transform the Junior Lab course from a set of disconnected labs to a series of activities through which students hone their skills for conducting experiments, thoughtfully analyzing data, performing error analyses, and writing high quality lab reports. Finally, the transformation of Senior Lab into a team-based, authentic research experience will be briefly presented.
Abstract Type: Symposium Talk
Parallel Session: The role of design in labs

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Julie Nucci
Cornell University