Reading about a subject and actually experiencing it firsthand are two very different things. That’s why Dickinson professors feel it’s so important to encourage active learning both in the classroom and in the field or laboratory. At Dickinson, students can get involved in research as early as their first year—laying the groundwork for years of close academic mentorship and active learning. Students contribute to a larger, global pool of knowledge, which sharpens key problem-solving and communication skills and provides important preparation and credentials for placement in graduate schools and meaningful jobs.
Examples of Active Learning
- Analyzing the effect of land-use changes (urbanization) on the chemical composition of a local stream, the Conodoguinet Creek.
- Assisting in the design and execution of costumes for the Greenbrier Valley Theatre’s season in West Virginia.
- Producing biodiesel from used fryer oil which runs many of the gas-operated vehicles and machines owned and operated by Dickinson.
- National Science Foundation-funded research at Washington University in St. Louis on transcriptional control of neuronal differentiation in Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly).
- Living in a yurt on the College Farm and harvesting crops that feed many members of the Carlisle community.
- Spending the summer at marine laboratories, typically the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory in Salisbury Cove, Maine, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
- Creating a documentary film for the AIDS Community Alliance.
- Interning in hospitals, labs, museums, agencies, and businesses related to the physical sciences.
- Compiling information for House Divided Web site that provides K-12 educators with tools to engage students in the complex issues of Civil War history.
- Participating in one of the many Mosaic programs, which are experiments in multicultural education and alternatives to traditional study-abroad options.
- Traveling to the Chesapeake Bay and the lower Mississippi River Basin to participate in a Watershed-Based Integrated Field Semester.
- Curating a professional-level art exhibit in the college’s on-campus Trout Gallery.