Research Enhances Math and Science Curriculum
River Valley CC and Great Bay CC are among those NH institutions enhancing math and biological science curriculum through advanced research opportunities undertaken by students in consultation with faculty and post-doctoral researchers from partner colleges incuding Dartmouth, UNH, Keene State College and Coby Sawyer College.
The New Hampshire IDeA Network of Biological Research Excellence (NH-INBRE) was developed through a statewide network of colleges and universities, with the goal of advancing opportunities for students and faculty to participate in original scientific research. Participating institutions are fostering “a culture of research” through curriculum development, co-curricular activities and k-12 outreach.
Curriculum development focuses on classroom-based research projects and new degree development in science and mathematics courses. The community colleges have utilized NH-INBRE support to develop teaching faculty partnerships with Dartmouth post-Doctoral biomedical researchers. Collaboratively, community college faculty and post-Doctoral researchers design and implement new courses and laboratory experiences that offer students real time exposure to ongoing research in the biomedical fields. Jo Ann Clifford, professor of science at RVCC, explains, “This as a win / win situation: post-doctoral researchers acquire teaching experience, and college faculty have enhanced opportunities to integrate current research and technologies into the classroom and laboratory experiences with their students.”
As part of this initiative, River Valley CC has developed a new degree program for students who want to make a career change, develop scientific technical skills and/or transfer after 2 years to a 4 year baccalaureate program in Mathematics and Science.
Creating a culture of research means providing opportunities for non-major students as well. Dartmouth faculty have presented to student and faculty forums on topics such as ongoing research on brain, heart and renal physiology. Students learn concepts in neuroscience while inspecting human and animal brains. RVCC faculty also give science workshops for junior high school students as a means of inspiring students to consider a career in the biological sciences.
NH-INBRE is the New Hampshire IDeA Network of Biological Research Excellence (NH-INBRE) with grants from the National Center for Research Resources (5P20RR030360-03) and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (8P20GM103506-03), National Institutes of Health.
NH-INBRE partners include Colby Sawyer College, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Franklin Pierce University, Great Bay Community College, Keene State College, New England College, Plymouth State University, River Valley Community College, Saint Anselm College, and University of New Hampshire.