Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

April 24, 2007

Forum to Focus on First-Year Science Curriculum

Students, faculty and staff will have a chance to discuss ideas for enhancing science education at Guelph during a two-day forum held on campus.

The aim of the forum, which will be held April 26 from 1 to 8:30 p.m. and April 27 from 9 a.m. to noon at the OVC's Lifetime Learning Centre, is to examine improved ways of engaging first-year students, said chemistry professor Dan Thomas, associate dean of the B.Sc. program.

"Students in their first year don't feel as engaged in their education as we sometimes believe they should be," said Thomas. "What can be done to help students feel they have made the transition to university and can prepare for their careers?"

The forum will feature guest speaker Carl Wieman, a physicist who has received both a Nobel Prize in physics for his research and a National Science Foundation Distinguished Teaching Scholarship Award. Wieman, who joined the University of British Columbia earlier this year, will be discussing ideas for using scientific tools to teach university science. This lecture is scheduled for April 26 at 7 p.m. in Room 1714 and is free and open to the university community.

The forum will also include workshop sessions, where participants will discuss aspects of first-year science instruction at Guelph and recommend improvements. The B.Sc. program committee will share these recommendations with curriculum groups across campus involved in delivering first-year science courses.

Thomas expects workshop topics will include the transition between common first-year courses and specialized majors, content and scope of first-year courses, and balancing course content with scientific inquiry.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982.

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