Dr Chandra Turpen (University of Maryland)
In response to policy documents calling for dramatic changes in pre-medical and biology education [1-3], the physics and biology education research groups at the University of Maryland are rethinking how to teach physics to life science majors. As an interdisciplinary team, we are drastically reconsidering the physics topics relevant for these courses. We are designing new in-class tasks to engage students in using physical principles to explain aspects of biological phenomena where the physical principles are of consequence to the biological systems. We will present examples of such tasks as well as preliminary data on how students engage in these tasks. Lastly, we will share some barriers encountered in pursuing meaningful interdisciplinary education. Co-authors: Edward F. Redish and Julia Svaboda.  National Research Council, Bio2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists (NAP, 2003).  AAMC-HHMI committee, Scientific Foundations for Future Physicians (AAMC, 2009).  American Association for the Advancement of Science, Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology Education: A Call to Action (AAAS, 2009).