The St. Kate’s Biology Department will soon be adding a new piece of equipment to its lab thanks to a $118,176 Major Research Instrumentation grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded to Professors Paula Furey, Andrea Kalis, Tami McDonald and Kay Tweeten. The funding supports the purchase of a fluorescence microscope, which will help advance research and training at the University.
This modern microscope and data analysis software will enhance research programs, stimulate new collaborations among faculty and allow students to be more involved. With its addition, students will also have more opportunities to learn microscopy, imaging techniques and image analysis across a variety of disciplines, including: ecology, genetics, molecular biology, cell biology and developmental biology.
Also receiving an NSF grant is the Education Department, whose late-phase Design and Development project to create a K-12 classroom observation protocol for integrated STEM instruction in science and/or engineering settings will receive $139,049 in funding. This project will use more than 500 classroom videos to design an observation protocol that can be used in a variety of educational contexts through an online platform. Professor Beth Whalen serves as primary investigator on this grant.
"Each of these prestigious NSF grants will advance research and scholarship at St. Kate's, with direct benefits to our students," said Kira Dahlk, director of Sponsored Programs, Research and External Engagement at St. Kate's. "From Dr. Whalen's study, education students will learn improved methods for teaching STEM in K-12 settings, with ripple benefits to children in those classrooms. The acquisition of the widefield fluorescence microscope greatly enhances research capacity at the University, and will expand the types and diversity of research questions biology faculty and students can explore."
The NSF provides funds for research and education through grants and cooperative agreements to higher education institutions, K-12 school systems, business, information science organizations and research organizations throughout the U.S. Of the approximately 40,000 project proposals received each year, about 11,000 are funded.