As part of its commitment to improving STEM education, FIU’s STEM Transformation Institute has opened two state-of-the-art active learning classrooms in the new Academic Health Center 5 (AHC-5). Here, students put the textbooks away and tackle scientific challenges with a hands-on approach. The classrooms are the first of several designed to house active learning at a financially sustainable scale. Currently, six STEM courses are taught in AHC-5 with more than 350 students in its first semester of operation.
“All six of these classes required faculty to commit to active learning,” said Eric Brewe, physics education researcher for the institute. “These classrooms represent one way the STEM Transformation Institute is committed to expanding the reach of our active learning goals.”
Active learning classrooms are designed to optimize the way Modeling Instruction classes are taught. Data shows there is a positive attitudinal shift in the way students perceive introductory physics courses that use Modeling Instruction. It means, students are learning more and have better attitudes toward the science that they are learning. The classrooms have mobile tables, chairs and whiteboards to facilitate small and large group participation as well as engage students in activities that promote problem-solving, analysis, experimentation and discussion and other effective instructional techniques for the classroom.
Click here for more photos of the AHC-5 active learning classrooms.