The University of Portland has received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve teaching environments for undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering and math.

The grant-funded project will develop teaching leadership institutes. Faculty members in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering and computer science will be participating in the three-year project.  

“Reforming STEM education has drawn national attention and the university is taking the lead in addressing the need for creative, active learning environments,” said Thomas Greene, provost.

Participating faculty will explore current research-supported instructional practices and develop and implement student-centered curricular innovations that favor active learning, which involves students in the learning process more directly than in the traditional lecture model of teaching. The aim is to improve retention and success of STEM.

“All of the onus in lecture-style teaching is on the teacher, but the teacher is not the one learning,” said Stephanie Salomone, the project’s principal investigator. “By engaging students in the process of discovering the information, we are fostering their curiosity and creating an innovative mindset, one that is focused on problem-solving not memorization.”