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ERIC Number: EJ1032399
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
The Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Laboratory: A Student Team Approach to the Fourth-Year Research Thesis Project Experience
Piunno, Paul A. E.; Boyd, Cleo; Barzda, Virginijus; Gradinaru, Claudiu C.; Krull, Ulrich J.; Stefanovic, Sasa; Stewart, Bryan
Journal of Chemical Education, v91 n5 p655-661 May 2014
The advanced interdisciplinary research laboratory (AIRLab) represents a novel, effective, and motivational course designed from the interdisciplinary research interests of chemistry, physics, biology, and education development faculty members as an alternative to the independent thesis project experience. Student teams are assembled to work toward the completion of an interdisciplinary research project. Each team is composed of at least one student from a differing area of specialization (e.g., biology, biotechnology, chemistry, and physics), and projects are based on current trends in research. The inaugural project was the development of a portable DNA sequencer for in-field species identification; a project at the interface between physical and life sciences and that holds the potential for real-world application and positive social change. This work describes the details underlying the design and implementation of the AIRLab course, and includes an account of the method of student team assembly, the selection of a suitable research challenge, the specialized training provided in Agile project management, the methods used to achieve cohesive team dynamics, the learning outcomes from this experience, future directions that will be pursued for course improvement, and how our undergraduate degree-level expectations were met at an advanced level.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A