Celebrate Learning! Spring 2013 (Volume 4, Issue 2)

Spring 2013 Volume 4 , Issue 2 Celebrate Learning! Speaker Dr. Amanda Stockton In This Issue Featured Spotlight P.2-4 NASA, Cal Tech JPL P.1-2 Rocket Science and Curiosity-driven Learning P.2-3 Underground Research P.3 “Research is Teaching” TCC Well Represented at Oklahoma Research Day P.4 TCC Wellness Committee has been busy P.5 2012 National Association of Biology Teachers Two-Year Teaching Excellence Award P.6 Free and Low Cost Textbooks! P.8-10 Technology: From Workshop to the Classroom P.10-11 Developmental Education and Student Success: TCC and Complete Bronte Miller P.7 Upcoming Events P.12 Rocket Science and Curiosity-driven Learning By: Rosemary Carlson Native Oklahoman, Dr. Amanda Stockton has worn several hats in her pursuit of science: chemist, aerospace engineer, astrobiologist and meteorite-hunter. As a young girl in Slaughterville, OK, she dreamed of “sending stuff to Mars.” To achieve her dream, she went to the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM), and went on to earn degrees from MIT, Brown University, and Berkeley. One of her current projects as a postdoctoral fellow at Jet Propulsion Labs at Caltech is the development of a “lab on a chip” about the size and shape of a petri dish that could be included on a mission to Mars to analyze soil for the chemical precursors of life in situ. She shared her career path and her research with an overflow crowd of students and faculty at SE campus on January 24th. Her advice to students was to take advantage of any and all opportunities to learn, even when they don’t seem to lead directly to the goal. When asked about her future plans, Dr. Stockton responded “I would love to come back to Oklahoma. I love this state. Oklahoma invested a lot in me, and I would like to give back to Oklahoma to help more young people achieve their dreams.” well as higher-level research. For example, electronic toys and kits at sites such as sparkfun.com have the potential to catalyze implementation of robotic, e-textile, music, or cross-discipline projects. Computer-controlled technologies such as 3-D printing and laser cutting are available to the public in facilities such as the Fab Lab Tulsa, allowing students to conceptualize an art project or an engineering project and carry it through to fabrication. Dr. Stockton quoted Nathan Bramall of Los Gatos Research: “The only danger I perceive in giving your student access to [a new technology] is that he’ll derail his summer research experience by building a robot that does somersaults down the hall.” Following Dr. Stockton’s presentation, a panel of TCC faculty members involved in undergraduate research shared their experiences of engaging students in research projects in a community college On January 25th, Dr. Stockton met with setting. The panfaculty to discuss “Curiosity-driven Learning”. el included Professor Patty Smith (Biology-WC), In her work at JPL, she has had opportunities Dr. Diana Spencer (Biotechnology- SEC), Dr. Alicia to mentor students of various ages in science Mackay (Psychology- MC), Professor Thomas Hencamps and undergraduate-level research. She derson (Electrical Engineering, NEC) as well as Dr. stated that “We can engage students by giving Stockton. The panel discussion was moderated by them the freedom to experience research as a Dr. Doug Price, TCC Dean of Global and Engaged form of play.” Both in research and in play, we Learning. Undergraduate research is a powerful can “poke at things, build new things, dream tool for unlocking a student’s potential for deep new things, and see what happens.” During learning. It is not limited to scientific disciplines her presentation, Dr. Stockton described some and it can be implemented in a variety of ways technologies that are suitable for educators as within our courses or as independent study pro- 1