Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2010 (November 8, 2010 at 12:00 am)

BioQUEST Recognized for Contributions to Science Education


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November 8, 2010 at 12:00 pm

John JungckThe American Society for Cell Biology will recognize the Beloit-based BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium in December for its profound contributions to science education.

John Jungck, consortium founder and Mead Family Chair in the Sciences at Beloit College; Ethel Stanley, the consortium director, also at Beloit; and Sam Donovan, associate consortium director from the University of Pittsburgh, will receive the 2010 Bruce Alberts Award for Excellence in Science Education at the ASCB’s annual meeting in Philadelphia.

BioQUEST was founded 25 years ago to provide educators with a framework for reconstructing the teaching of science. At a time when lectures and rote lab exercises were commonplace in science classrooms, BioQUEST emphasized student-centered, collaborative ways of learning. These progressive ideas found form in the software programs BioQUEST developed and in an offering of educational opportunities for faculty—all with the aim of teaching college and university students to pose and solve problems quantitatively and engage in peer review.

In its early years, BioQUEST catalyzed efforts at more than 50 institutions to test the software collection that became the BioQUEST Library. Today, more than 5,000 participants representing 2,000 institutions take part in the program. Directed at changing pedagogy on a broad spectrum, the program involves faculty from many different kinds of undergraduate institutions at all levels. Beyond software, BioQUEST offers workshops, conferences, publications, and a website to advance its mission.

In addition to Jungck and Stanley, the consortium leadership includes two other Beloit College contributors: Professor of Biology Marion Field Fass serves as an associate director of the program, and staff member Sue Risseeuw is project manager.

The Bruce Alberts Award is given annually for demonstrated innovative, sustained contributions to science education, with special emphasis on the local, regional, or national impact of those activities. The award’s namesake is a prominent American biochemist, president emeritus of the National Academy of Sciences, and editor-in-chief of the journal Science. Bruce Alberts was the 2007 Commencement speaker at Beloit College.

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