Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

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Professor Moldwin awarded Teaching Innovation Prize

Posted: April 18, 2014

Professor Moldwin awarded Teaching Innovation Prize

Professor Mark Moldwin has been awarded the Provost's 2014 Teaching Innovation Prize (TIP), which honors original, specific innovations to improve student learning.

Moldwin’s approach is titled, “Dorm-Room Labs for Introductory Large Lecture Science and Engineering Classes.” He developed a set of dorm-room labs that students can use to conduct homework (or dorm room work) to explore concepts covered in an Introduction to Rocket Science and Engineering course (AOSS 101/Astro 183) more deeply.

Dorm-room labs offer a method for moving difficult concepts off the “wrong answer” list. They are particularly valuable in large, introductory science and engineering courses whereby non-majors can fulfill a breadth requirement, yet lack access to fully equipped lab classrooms.

Dorm-room labs consist of short activities followed by a few questions and a highly structured lab report. They cover abstract concepts that are less familiar to students. For example, inexpensive UV Color-Changing Beads enable students to conduct experiments in almost any setting, including their dorm rooms. As they have fun determining which materials block ultraviolet light most effectively, students are practicing valuable skills, such as plotting data.

Moldwin will be presented with the award on the opening day of the Enriching Scholarship program on May 5, 2014.

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