Instructional Division Seminar Series

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Roy Tasker, Professor of Chemistry Education at Purdue University, gave the Winter Quarter Instructional Division seminar on February 9, 2016 in Young Hall.

In his seminar titled “Research into Practice: Evidence-Informed, Best Practice Visualization for a Deeper Understanding of Chemistry”, Prof. Tasker spoke about his collaborative VisChem project in which he produced a suite of molecular-level animations that have been adopted by educators and textbook authors internationally. The VisChem Learning Design was then developed as a best-practice constructivist strategy for using these animations to assist students to build their own mental models of the molecular world, and understand chemistry in a deeper way.

Launched in 2014, the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Instructional Division Seminar Series seeks to bring to the department leading experts in the art and science of the teaching of chemistry, as part of ongoing efforts to maintain world-class excellence in chemical education.

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(Left)  Distinguished Senior Lecturer Dr. Steve Hardinger, organizer of the Instructional Division Seminar Series, introduces Prof. Roy Tasker.  (Right) Prof. Tasker during his seminar.

Prof. Tasker teaches freshman chemistry and graduate courses in chemistry education at Purdue, and his research interests are in how and what students learn in chemistry using interactive multimedia resources – in particular, by implementing learning designs that develop student mental models of the molecular world.

“I loved the seminar by Roy Tasker.” said Chemistry and Biochemistry Vice-Chair of Undergraduate Education Prof. Cathy Clarke. “His fresh and interactive approach to depicting chemical reactions makes the audience feel like they are the molecules solvating and reacting.”

Prof. Task spoke to an enthusiastic crowd at the February 9th Instructional Division seminar.

Prof. Tasker collaborates with other science educators nationally and internationally to develop design principles for creating and presenting effective visualizations of the molecular world, and co-authors a first-year chemistry textbook

Chemistry: Human Activity, Chemical Reactivity

with an extensive variety of interactive multimedia learning activities.
Spring 2016 Instructional Division Seminars Dr. April Hill, professor of biology and director of the University of Richmond’s HHMI funded Undergraduate Science Education Program, will present two seminars in the spring as part of the Instructional Division Seminar Series. Her host will be Prof. Cathy Clarke. Prof. Hill will give a research talk titled “Evolutionary Origins and Function of Animal Specific Gene Regulatory Networks: Insights From the Sponges” on Monday, May 16th at 12:00 p.m. in Mol Sci 3440. On Tuesday, May 17th at 4 p.m. in BSRB 154, Prof. Hill will give a curricular development seminar titled “Development, Implementation and Outcomes of an Integrated Science Curriculum for First-Year STEM Students”.  In addition to developing and teaching interdisciplinary first-year research-centered STEM courses, Prof. Hill oversees a summer bridge program that focuses on building community and research skills for incoming students who are from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences. She is passionate about undergraduate research and uses sponges to ask questions about the gene regulatory networks important in the development of body plans and symbioses. She is a NSF, HHMI, NIH-NIGMS PULSE Vision & Change Leadership Fellow.