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National Science Foundation awards $33,000 grant to fund microbiology literacy project

Release Date: August 28, 2023

Gena Alfonso

Director of Communications/Public Information Officer

Marketing, Communications, Community Relations

(719) 671-0929

The project, “Increasing Science Literacy in Microbiology through the Use of Open Education Resources,” has been awarded funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), with CSU Pueblo receiving $33,152. The goal of this project is to help students learn and engage with current science through use of no-cost, open education resources. 

Associate Professor of Biology and Principal Investigator Dr. Amaya Garcia Costas and her students will join a team of faculty and students from Iowa State University, Middle Tennessee State University and Illinois College in the completion of this project during the next two years. “Many students leave science because they feel unconnected and uninspired by traditional teaching methods,” Dr. Garcia Costas said. “At the same time, teachers struggle to find teaching resources that are effective and innovative to engage their students in the scientific process. This project aims to address these issues using successful innovative methods such as having students practice science while working collaboratively in current topics and generating readily available teaching materials.”

Dr. Garcia Costas and her students will use an internationally acclaimed podcast series, “This Week in Microbiology,” that features professional scientists, expert researchers, and scholars discussing top papers and current events and relevant issues in STEM fields.  These podcasts will be used to develop student-centered classroom resources that will be included in a free open education resource (OER) electronic book, “Podcast Annotation Resources: Microbiology.” Together, with the use of the podcast and the OER book, the project aims to improve student’s understanding and critical thinking skills in STEM. Ultimately, the outputs of this project  should contribute to reducing barriers to learning, increasing the use of active learning in college courses, encouraging diverse collaboration, while creating a content library for science students and educators that will be available nationally. 

About the NSF

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research, innovation, and discovery that provides the foundation for economic growth in this country. By advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, our nation can develop the knowledge and cutting-edge technologies needed to address the challenges we face today and will face in the future.

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