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Integrating Campus Sustainability Initiatives and Data into Instructional Practices: 1245622

Principal Investigator: Susan Powers
CoPrincipal Investigator(s): Daqing Hou, Jan DeWaters, Stefan Grimberg
Organization: Clarkson University

A cyber-learning tool was developed to enable the integration of campus sustainability projects into a wide variety of classes as relevant, experiential learning sites. The broad goal of this endeavor is to engage undergraduate students in order to help them develop the STEM related skills needed in the 21st Century. The goal of this project is to develop, pilot and assess a framework that can be employed as a step towards future use at other universities. The framework includes the cyber-learning infrastructure for campus sustainability (CLICS), as well as examples of how these data can be used in project-based learning experiences, and an agenda for training instructors to design experiential learning modules using such a tool in their own classes. Assessment and evaluation provides preliminary evidence that the approach engages students and helps them excel in 21st century STEM skills. The development and assessment of a framework for cyber-infrastructure tools and training to help bring the value of CLICS into the classroom represents the primary intellectual merit of this project. CLICS includes specifications for sensors, data acquisition and a schematic-based open-source graphical interface to enable easy user access and interpretation. Eleven faculty members are trained to use CLICS in their classrooms, impacting over 300 students per year. Many classes that do address sustainability issues have a relatively high percentage of female students. Thus, this project disproportionately supports gender diversity in STEM classes.

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