Need: Calculus is often the first step towards a STEM major. Improving student success in calculus is essential to broadening participation in STEM. Guiding Question: How can collaboration between mathematics and partner discipline faculty improve the relevance of calculus for students? Outcomes: In this project faculty at Augsburg University collaborated to connect the calculus that students will use in STEM to the examples and activities in the calculus course. We developed daily activities and weekly labs to support transference of student’s mathematical knowledge to the partner discipline questions. Students routinely cite the applications as a key positive feature of the course. We also created a pathway for Chemistry majors to go directly from first semester Calculus to Multivariable Calculus. Students are doing much better in Physical Chemistry. This project is an example of the work being done throughout the SUMMIT-P consortium.Broader Impacts: We have built a national network of institutions. Faculty in the consortium are experiencing the power of cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration. Many of the faculty, including some at Augsburg, have not been part of curricular change before. The SUMMIT-P project contributes to our understanding of the levers for change that build a new generation of faculty who will continue to evolve our curriculum to meet the needs of students, partner disciplines, and careers of the future.
Pavel Bělík, Stella Hofrenning, Joan Kunz, Jody Sorensen, Augsburg University, Minneapolis, MN