EBEE: Enhancing Bioscience and Engineering Education through Curriculum Integration and Research Experiences in Systems Biology
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) will initiate a five year project to develop new institutional strategies to Enhance Bioscience and Engineering Education (EBEE) through curriculum integration and research experiences for undergraduates. Specifically, the project team will build a model of integration between the engineering and biology programs at NC A&T, focusing on the interdisciplinary field of Systems Biology. The project will integrate several STEM academic programs in the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences and multiple ongoing NSF and non-NSF funded research projects, while capitalizing on recent complementing University level initiatives.
To support the project, a university-wide interdisciplinary cluster of faculty, staff and students will be established by the Provost to broaden collaboration among bioscience and engineering disciplines. The cluster will include members of the project team and representatives from the wider university community with specific interests and background in the life sciences, systems biology, computational methods and engineering.
Fifty (50) undergraduate students in engineering and biology will receive stipends as well as a supplemental award for research materials or for travel expenses to participate in local and regional conferences. The students will be co-advised by two faculty members from different disciplines and from different funded project teams. The research projects will be in systems biology, an emerging interdisciplinary field that spans the interest areas of the participating projects and allows the University to explore greater collaborations among a number of STEM faculty. This collaboration will be built on a common platform using SimBiology (TM), an integrated environment in MATLAB (TM) for modeling biological processes, and analyzing the models with simulation and experimental data. Two major curricular development activities will be carried out to achieve this goal. One involves the expansion of the general education core curriculum for all undergraduates, but those in biosciences and bioengineering in particular. The other is aimed at building meaningful bridges among the engineering and biology programs through an accelerated BS-MS program in bioengineering.
Intellectual Merit: The project will introduce new areas of research to faculty and graduate students through their involvement with undergraduate research projects that focus on the emerging interdisciplinary field of systems biology. Furthermore, the project will develop a new model of university-level integration of research-intensive departments and lead to strengthened and integrated multidisciplinary curricular options for students.
Broader Impact: The project will help to recruit and retain a larger number of qualified underrepresented STEM students who will contribute to the scientific community through cutting-edge research and scholarship.
The award is being awarded through the Innovation through Institutional Innovation program and is jointly funded by the Division of Human Resource Development and the Directorate for Engineering Office for Diversity and Outreach.
- Project Work:
- Spotlight: National Science Experiment 4-H2O