Targeted Infusion Project: Developing a Shared Instrument Resource Laboratory at JCSU
Johnson C. Smith University, a minority-serving institution, will create a Shared Instrumentation Research Laboratory (SIRL) that will provide cutting edge equipment for chemistry and biology research. The new instrumentation will be located in the new 65,000-square foot Science Center on the campus in North Carolina. A certification program will ensure that faculty and students are masters in the use of the instrumentation.
Researchers at the institution will provide outreach to high school teachers to teach and collaborate on research projects using the instrumentation. In addition, the STEM conference planned for 2014 will incorporate faculty and student research at the college and high school level. Incentives for new research ideas and collaborations are stimulated by the availability of mini-grant seed funding. Stakeholders from higher education, K-12, community colleges and the private sector will provide advisory assistance for continuous improvement of the project over the three-year duration of the project.
Current research indicates that students who have hand-on exposure to instrumentation are better prepared for direct entry into continuing STEM graduate studies or the STEM workforce. Both formative and summative evaluation will be conducted to inform research and practice on student achievement in STEM disciplines. Research questions to be examined from this project, for example, include whether student achievement in Analytical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis changed as measured using the American Chemical Society (ACS) exams?