Economists, business leaders, and public officials from President Obama to Governor Baker to Mayor Walsh have made it clear that education in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is the key to a successful future for our city, our commonwealth, and our country. But what makes a quality education in the sciences?
At UMass Boston, students are taking advantage of a new Sandbox Lab, located in the Integrated Sciences Complex. The innovative lab not only gives undergraduate students access to top-notch tools, it's also a space where they can use those tools on long-term science experiments. Like PhD students, undergraduates are able to work closely with faculty, and develop their own experiments over time. This type of autonomy not only teaches lab skills, it teaches students to think like scientists.
The sky's the limit! Phuong Le, a senior biology major in Todd Riley and Rob Stevenson's class, takes advantage of a clear day to learn to fly a drone with Etienne Cartolano, a visiting PhD student from Universidade de Sao Paulo in Brazil.
An Integrated Approach: Proximity to Boston Harbor allows students to take advantage of hands-on experiences in the field. Here, senior biology majors Le and Dan Jaffe work with Cartolano to learn how drones might be used to survey wildlife.
Piece by Piece: Todd Riley, assistant professor of biology, introduced the Lego Mindstorms system to his classroom to help biologists learn about the intersection of engineering and life sciences. He and senior biology major Samuel Adera are building a robot that will be able to use a pipette.
Designed for Success: The Sandbox Lab is just one of many components of UMass Boston's strategy to help students succeed in STEM. The College of Science and Mathematics offers mentoring and guidance through its Freshman Success Communities.