Professor of Chemistry and Integrated Science Program
Office: 315 Padnos Hall
Phone: (616) 331-3809
B.Sc. Honours Chemistry, Wilfrid Laurier University
M.Sc. Chemistry, University of Waterloo
B.Ed. Secondary Science and Mathematics, Brock University
Ph.D. Chemistry - Education Emphasis, Purdue University
Opportunities for Research in Science/Chemistry Education My primary research project involves studying the teachers enrolled in the Target Inquiry (TI) program and their students. The TI program is an innovative, research-based professional development program for science teachers designed to improve the frequency and quality of inquiry instruction in area science classrooms. This is a great project for pre-service science teaching majors. The current cohort to TI teachers consists of 13 high school and middle school science teachers. Students involved in this project get experience with both quantitative and qualitative educational research methods and acquire a deeper understanding of research-identified best practices in science education. For more information about the TI program see www.gvsu.edu/targetinquiry.
Student Opportunities: I am currently looking for 1-2 undergraduate students to help with videotaping teacher classroom lessons and analyzing those lessons using an instrument called the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP), organizing and analyzing student pre and post-test data, and analyzing teacher interviews.
Deborah Herrington and Nathan Barrows jointly oversee a project titled "Take 10 for Chem." Students involved in this project work on developing online chemistry screencasts aimed at helping students in general chemistry and introductory organic chemistry with concepts/topics they are having difficulty with. These screencasts are then posted on the project website for students to access and comment on. Some students may also wish to conduct a research project that looks at how students are using the screencasts, what students like and dislike about the screencasts, or other related topics. To take a look at some of the screencasts currently available see http://www.youtube.com/user/Take10forChem/videos.
Student Opportunities: I am currently looking for 1-2 students interested in developing and testing screencasts that incorporate PhET simulations. We will be working with Dr. Jessica VandenPlas on some of the evaluation of these screencasts using eye tracking.