Tufts STEM Education Lecture Series
Co-sponsored by:
 Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach
and the Department of Education


All are welcome. No registration is necessary. 
All STEM Lectures will take place at:

Halligan Hall 
Rm 102 
161 College Ave 
Medford Campus

STEM Lectures are from 3:00-4:00PM

Future STEM Lectures
November 17
December 8
January 26
February 9
March 30
April 27
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STEM Education Lecture Series
The Tufts STEM Education Lecture Series highlights innovative STEM education research in an effort to increase collaboration between universities and organizations dedicated to improving the way students learn. This new lecture series is a joint venture between the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) and the Tufts Department of Education.
Julia Gouvea
Assistant Professor
Tufts University, Department of Education
& Biology Department
October 27, 3:00-4:00PM
Halligan Hall, Rm 102
Productive Beginnings of Interdisciplinary Reasoning across Physics and Biology
Across K-12 and higher education there is a growing sense that science education needs to be more interdisciplinary. Twenty-first century scientists will need to learn how to reason at the interface of multiple disciplines in order to address complex problems like global warming, disease outbreaks or sustainable water management.


At the undergraduate level, courses billed as Introductory Physics for Life Scientists have become an increasingly popular "interdisciplinary" course. But typically, such courses apply standard introductory physics topics to biological contexts (e.g. using cheetahs to teach kinematics). These courses may make physics more appealing to biology students, but they do little to foster interdisciplinary reasoning. Indeed, very little research in science education has been done to characterize what such reasoning would even look like.


The University of Maryland NEXUS project included collaborations among biologists, physicists and science educators to design a course that would provide students with opportunities to solve problems at the interface of physics and biology that would meaningfully draw on each discipline. In this talk I present an analysis of several examples from our course that illustrate what productive beginnings of interdisciplinary reasoning might look like and discuss our hypotheses for how the course was able to support these outcomes.



Julia Gouvea is an Assistant Professor in Education and Biology at Tufts University. Her research explores the teaching and learning of biology across many grade levels and settings with an emphasis on model-based reasoning. In this work she draws on the philosophy of science to explore questions about what counts as biology and how biology interfaces with other disciplines. Julia earned her Ph.D. in Science Education from the University of California, Davis, her M.A. in Population Biology, and her B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University.

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