Lake Erie College is establishing an Interdisciplinary Science Computer Laboratory to significantly facilitate NSF-funded campus-wide undergraduate science reform currently underway. The computer laboratory fills a serious need to provide future K - 12 teachers at a small liberal arts college with 73% women students, the opportunity to become more engaged in problem-based learning using current technology. Our plan is to change, in a major way, pre-teacher laboratory experiences to incorporate the simulation and modeling ability of new science software. This modification is critical in an institution with limited laboratory facilities. Students in biology, chemistry, physical science, mathematics, environmental management, psychology, and equine studies courses will benefit from the 18 computers, software, and related "smart classroom" equipment by becoming more actively engaged in the scientific process. The computer facility is to be the focus for teacher preparation in science. Workshops utilizing new programs such as Geographic Information System software will be developed for pre-college students and teachers in the region as well as students at nearby two-year colleges. The laboratories allow students to provide data to and interact with professionals in local environmental organizations. A World Wide Web page will highlight the uses of interdisciplinary computer facilities by a small liberal arts college. Faculty are to share their experiences with colleagues through presentations at conferences and workshops.
Enhancing Undergraduate Curriculum Reform with an Interdisciplinary Science Computer Laboratory