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ERIC Number: EJ810987
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1051-1970
Integrating Mathematics into the Introductory Biology Laboratory Course
White, James D.; Carpenter, Jenna P.
PRIMUS, v18 n1 p22-38 Jan 2008
Louisiana Tech University has an integrated science curriculum for its mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, biology-research track and secondary mathematics and science education majors. The curriculum focuses on the calculus sequence and introductory labs in biology, physics, and chemistry. In the introductory biology laboratory course, the main objectives are to increase student awareness of 1) biology concepts behind the lab activities, 2) general science research skills and laboratory safety, and 3) relationships between biology concepts and concepts in mathematics and chemistry. These were achieved by revising the lab experiments to incorporate more mathematics and chemistry concepts, as well as new technology involving computer-based sensors. These revisions required the participation and support of both faculty and administration and have resulted in improved communication, collaboration, and sense of community between faculty and students. The revision of the content and course materials, as well as implementation of minimal course sequencing requirements, were accomplished without changing the curricular requirements, without major rewriting of the existing laboratory experiments, and without significantly increasing the amount of time needed to complete the experiments. Consequently, this approach is one that is viable for a variety of institutions seeking to better integrate their mathematics and biology content. In this article we outline the rationale for the project, give an overview of its development, sketch the structure of the curriculum and introductory biology course, and present illustrations of how we integrate the calculus content into the introductory biology laboratories on environmental pollution, osmosis, photosynthesis and enzymes. We also highlight the challenges and opportunities associated with using this type of integrated approach to enhance learning, connect concepts and engage students. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana