Scripps College announced this Tuesday that it is to receive a 1.46 million dollar grant from the S. D. Bechtel Jr. foundation. The grant is intended to support integrated science education at the Joint Science Department (JSD).
A large portion of the grant will go toward the Advanced Integrated Science Sequence (AISS), a two-semester double course which covers introductory material from biology, chemistry, and physics, and is team-taught by three professors, one from each of the disciplines. The first AISS class was taught four years ago. Currently, 26 students are enrolled in the class.
According to JSD Professor of Physics Scot Gould, who co-teaches AISS, the money will be used for faculty, possibly to create a new supporting position for the class, such as a lab coordinator.
The grant, according to a Scripps College press release, will also be used to aid the development and planning of “non-accelerated introductory courses and interdisciplinary research opportunities.”
However, “the focus of the grant was on AISS,” said JSD Professor of Biology Newton Copp, who also co-teaches the course.
The money will be distributed to the college over a span of four years.
The S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation is run out of the San Francisco Bay area. Although it focuses on local philanthropy, the Foundation also donates to organizations around the country.
According to the foundation’s website, its primary areas of interest include promotion of “Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the environment, environmental education, character and citizenship development, and preventative healthcare.”