Gateway Sciences' baker's dozen

A group of Johns Hopkins researchers got good news recently, news of the sort that invariably makes a researcher smile—more money. In October, Provost Robert Lieberman announced the latest round of grants from Hopkins' Gateway Sciences Initiative. The grants, ranging in size from $6,000 to $210,000, will help fund 13 projects; a total of 32 researchers will be involved in those projects. This is the second round of grants from the initiative; the first round of 10 grants was awarded in 2011.

The Gateway Sciences Initiative was founded in 2011 to support efforts to find innovations for improving the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—STEM, in shorthand—across the university, at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The Provost's Office and the office of President Ronald J. Daniels fund the grants. The commitment for the second phase of grants totaled $800,000.

The recipients represent five schools: the Krieger and Whiting schools, the School of Nursing, SAIS, and the Bloomberg School. Three faculty at SAIS, including Dean Vali Nasr, received a grant to "flip" the standard Fundamentals of Energy course; instead of attending lectures and doing quantitative and analytic assignments outside of class, students now will access the lectures online, and collaborate with each other and faculty on the analytic work in classroom meetings. A pair of assistant professors in the School of Nursing will pursue a similar "flipped" class methodology in two foundational graduate nursing courses for pediatric and family nurse practitioner students. Three members of the Krieger School's Department of Chemistry will use their grant to devise a better method of steering incoming freshmen to the proper level of initial chemistry instruction.

The third annual Symposium on Excellence in Teaching and Learning in the Sciences will take place January 13 and 14, part of a broader symposium co-sponsored by the Gateway Sciences Initiative and the Science of Learning Institute.