NSF Grant Award

Monica Alarcon


From top left clockwise, Drs. Frank A. Gomez, Sara Callori, Blake Gillespie, Shirley Yap, Jane L. Lehr.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The STEM-NET affinity group worked diligently to build a team of CSU faculty members to develop a NSF RAPID proposal on reimagining upper-division virtual STEM labs.

The team includes Dr. Blake Gillespie (Associate Professor of Chemistry, CSU Channel Islands, Dr. Sara Callori (Assistant Professor of Physics, CSU San Bernardino, Dr. Shirley Yap (Professor of Mathematics, California State University East Bay, Dr. Jane L. Lehr (Professor Ethnic Studies, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Dr. Frank A. Gomez, Executive Director of STEM-NET, CSU Office of the Chancellor.

On July 1st, they were awarded $197,870 for the project titled Reimagined Virtual STEM Laboratory Experiences in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts on Undergraduate Education. This project has the potential to 
trailblaze efforts in virtual research and education, and advance the mission of the CSU.

The global pandemic has shifted much of the CSU courses online and has presented a challenge within the learning objectives of laboratory and other 'hands-on' classroom experiences for faculty and students. This project will explore both virtual and hands-on-at-home options, each of which will be evaluated in terms of scalability and flexibility. This research will evaluate the efficacy of these tools across student demographic categories to address how equity is created and maintained in distance-learning environments. This collaboration of faculty members, in CSU tradition, has ambitious plans to ensure that CSU students continue to gain opportunities within STEM labs and classrooms. They want to ensure that the next generation of STEM students continue to have a deep learning of STEM content that connects them with their studies and prepares them for an ever-evolving job market.  ​