Today@Sam Article

STEM Center Adapts To COVID Protocols

Sept. 28, 2020
SHSU Media Contact: Mikah Boyd

STEMThe Sam Houston State University STEM Center has continued their outreach to incoming freshmen during the coronavirus pandemic by moving their annual bridge courses to an online format.

Bridge courses are created and carried out by current faculty members so that incoming students can be prepared for college-level courses in math, chemistry and engineering. The courses also provide freshmen with information on time management, note taking and the various support programs found on campus.

Ronald Little, program manager for the STEM Center, broke down how the courses were designed to help incoming students.

“The activities students complete during the bridge course revolve around active-learning strategies in math and chemistry that aim to engage students in the learning process in a more dynamic way,” Little said. “The designed content modules can include use of case studies, peer teaching, peer discussion groups, video and interactive websites and other technology to engage bridge students in the learning process.”

These courses are usually held in person but were moved to an online format due to the pandemic. Despite the changes, the STEM center was able to register over 100 students to take part in math and chemistry courses.

Students in the program have also had the opportunity to listen to several, well-accomplished speakers from across the nation, including; Krystal Wood, Burak Demirci, Jessica Chapman, Aba Mbirika, and Lieutenant Jaleesa Harrigan. The speakers discussed how to prepare for various STEM related careers and shared their personal stories of success.

Not only did the STEM Center move their bridge courses online, but they also created a webpage of remote active learning strategies for all faculty members to refer to for assistance while teaching blended courses.

“The STEM team wanted to share best ways to continue faculty work in active learning for their classrooms – especially when those classrooms have become remote,” Little said. “Tools are shared that support communication, encourage engagement and create connection for the needs of STEM disciplines.”

Another way that the center is helping faculty is their encouragement of the use of Gradescope in order to improve the grading process in Blackboard. In order to access more information on remote active learning strategies, faculty can follow this link or for more information regarding the STEM Center and their student resources, visit their webpage.

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