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Summer Institute on Active Learning

 Science Initiative Summer Institute Save The Date Graphic


[SI]2 is an incentivized, immersive year-long faculty development opportunity sponsored by the Science Initiative's Learning Actively Mentoring Program (LAMP) designed to facilitate teachers with incorporating active learning techniques and methods into their STEM curricula. Upon completing the Science Initiative’s Summer Institute, educators will be able to:

  • Implement active learning techniques ranging from snowball to problem-based learning.

  • Write a teaching philosophy that reflects their values, goals, pedagogy, and assessment.

  • Present student learning outcomes and realize these outcomes with instruction and assessments that promote student engagement.

  • Develop innovative curriculum using backwards design.


The 2018-2019 Institute will kick off with a week-long retreat June 4th-9th to be held at The Colorado Mountain College in Leadville, CO. Full room and board will be provided. Participants will be responsible for their own travel.

Applications ARE NOW OPEN and will be due by February 18th, 2018. For more information on [SI]2, please contact LAMP Director Rachel Watson (

All UW faculty, UW PhD students, and Wyoming Community College faculty in STEM fields are welcome to apply.



2017 summer fellows participants group photo


The 2nd annual Science Initiative Summer Institute was held during the first week of June, 2017 at the UW-NPS AMK Research Center in the Grand Teton National Park. The beautiful setting promoted focus, collaboration and reflection. Feedback from attending fellows:


“It is a whole new world about how to teach and make an impact in student lives.”
“This is one of the first times in the last decade that I have truly felt like I grew as an individual and as a teacher.....I found it to truly be amazing and a time of renewal for me as faculty and my approach to my classroom. ” (CC administrator)
"We wish to participate every year.”


2017-2018 Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows

  • Sridhar Budhi (Chemistry at EWCC)

  • Ali Darzi (Electrical Engineering)

  • Kristin Di Bona (Molecular Biology)

  • Reilly Dibner (Environment and Natural Resources)

  • Mariah Ehmke (Agricultural & Applied Economics)

  • Derek Hand (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Caleb Hill (Chemistry)

  • Lynne Ipina (Mathematics)

  • Dinesh Kasti (Mathematics and Statistics at EWCC)

  • Trina Kilty (Secondary Science Education)

  • Marina Lazic (Molecular Biology)

  • Stephanie Mapes (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Amanda Patrick (Geology)

  • Eric Quade (Mathematics)

  • Amy Rhoad (Veterinary Sciences)

  • William Rice (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Lauren Schmidt (Botany)

  • Jacqueline Shinker (Geography)

  • Kerry Sondgeroth (Veterinary Sciences)

  • Jessica Sutter (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Rebecca Upjohn (Ecosystem Science and Management)

  • Richard Vercoe (Geography)

  • Ami Wageline (Biology at LCCC)

  • Chen Xu (Geography)

The first annual Science Initiative Summer Institute (SI2) was held June 7th through the 12th, 2016. it was considered a massive success by mentors, faculty and graduate students alike. The diversity and collaborative nature of the group led to unprecedented articulation, collaboration and innovation beyond that anticipated/predicted. Fellows described the experience as being "transformational", "jump starting [their] active learning knowledge" and inspiring them to help other instructors. Fellows presented their plans for launching innovative curriculum during the 2016-2017 academic year and with continued LAMP support, they look forward to spreading the ripples of their revolutionized teaching and learning environments.

2016-2017 Faculty and Graduate Student Fellows

  • David Anderson (Chemistry)

  • Morgan Balabanoff (Chemistry)

  • Brian Barber (Biodiversity Institute)

  • Jamie Crait (Life Sciences / WRSP Director)

  • Ellen Currano (Botany)

  • Melissa Gelwicks (Chemistry)

  • Jesse Hinshaw (Molecular Biology)

  • John Hoberg (Chemistry)

  • Abigail Hoffman (Botany)

  • Joshua Holmes (Molecular Biology)

  • Elliott Hulley (Chemistry)

  • Hayley Lanier (Zoology & Physiology)

  • Michele Larson (Zoology & Physiology)

  • Brian Leonard (Chemistry)

  • Hilary Madinger (Zoology & Physiology)

  • Jaya Maithil (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Michelle Mason (Physics & Astronomy)

  • Kali Nicholas Moon (Botany)

  • Chris North (Botany / Life Sciences)

  • Kristopher Parker (Molecular Biology)

  • Jonathan Prather (Zoology & Physiology)

  • Sean Stettner (Molecular Biology)

group image

The 2016-17 Fellows included 22 faculty and graduate students across UW STEM fields. 

four professors at a lab table

Elliott Hulley, Dave Anderson, Brian Leonard and John Hoberg of the Chemistry Department work together to develop instructional strategies during the 2016 Summer Institute on Active Learning in the Sciences





“Overall, the science initiative fellowship has reawakened my passion for teaching and made me more aware of how much I missed the creative experience of designing curriculum.” 


“The idea of allowing students to develop their own opinions and ways to approach problems, with help in groups or individual, was eye-opening…The group activities negate the professor-student dichotomy, which drives students’ critical thought, promotes metacognition, and can enhance the classroom experience.” 


“I implemented many more active learning techniques during the lecture period and saw an increase in student response and attentiveness. It was great to have immediate (especially positive) responses to my new classroom techniques.” 


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UW Science Initiative

A&S Rm 152A

Department 3254, 1000 E. University

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4447


UW Science Initiative

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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