Monday, February 9, 2009

Chapters 3 and 4

It was very interesting to read about "hardness" of the STEM majors. Interesting because quite honestly, as I create or teach a course I don't think "Jeez, I want to make this course difficult."
My thinking is more of the "these students need this information for their subsequent courses so that they can go on to become successful ChE students." I am really trying not to over burden the students with too much info. In fact today in class I went over the homework that they have due on Wednesday and showed them how to apply the "equations" to the problems.

But, maybe this thinking is exactly the problem. We are so content heavy that we don't focus on the process. This is the focus of the 21st Century grant.

Interesting story, I told my students in class to not use the formulas from the book for a particular concept. I told them that it was much easier to think about the situation and derive the appropriate formula. So, (you can guess where this story is going), several students just picked a formula out of the book for the exam.

Is this happening because we tell them so many concepts and formulas that that is what they are going to go for? Finding the right equation?

More later......

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chapter 1 - Talking about leaving

One of the things that has caught my attention early on is the comment that I read that engineering students are different that math and science because of the salaries that Engineers earn. Interesting. I knew that but it is still a "duh" moment in that it can really change motivation, and maybe those that do switch think "wow, I really shouldn't switch because the money is so good as an engineer" So makes more pressure for students to stay.

Of course (as also stated in the book) there has been a decline in the number of students in STEM fields since the 1980's, but why still with the perceived (or real) need for more engineers?

The other interesting statistic I latched on to was the drop in students in science and math teaching careers in 1966 from 22% to 9% in 1988. Wow.

Okay, more interesting stuff. I never thought about the decline in scientific literacy of the general public translating into freshman leaving STEM fields, but makes sense.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Welcome to the Karen High blogspot

It is annoying that someone else already had karenhigh.
So you get to see my middle name and the name my mom always called
me when I was in trouble...

"Karen Ann come down here this minute"

As an FYI, I also have a twitter site