FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Date: February 16, 2001

Contact: Donna McCracken

UIS receives Dreyfus Foundation grant

SPRINGFIELD -- The University of Illinois at Springfield has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation=s Special Grant Program in the Chemical Sciences for 2001. The grant, "Enhancing Student-Centered Learning in an Interdisciplinary Chemistry/Biology General Education Course," will be used to enhance laboratory science activities in UIS’ new Capital Scholars program, which will admit its first group of students in the 2001 fall semester. These laboratory courses will be part of a two-semester introductory science curriculum that will integrate chemistry and biology through environmental themes.

The project will be directed by Gary Trammell, professor of chemistry at UIS.

The Dreyfus grant will be used to purchase instruments for students to collect and analyze data from chemical, biological, and environmental projects using portable sensors and computers.

"Students will be able to gather data and immediately use the computer for graphical interpretation," explained Trammell. "They can easily check the validity of their data and repeat experiments to improve the precision and accuracy of their measurements. Using the computer allows the information to be shared with other groups to generate large data sets."

He continued, "This equipment will help us link communication skills and course work, and will assist students to use information technology creatively. Computers are routine tools in science laboratories for collecting data, analyzing the results of an experiment, and for communicating the results of a project in written and oral reports. The Capital Scholars program will introduce first-year students to the way science is practiced in research and testing laboratories."

The Dreyfus Foundation was established in 1946 by Camille Dreyfus as a memorial to his brother Henry. The Dreyfus brothers were chemical pioneers whose efforts contributed significantly to the evolution of the modern chemical industry. The foundation=s special grant program encourages innovative and creative approaches to the advancement of chemical science.

For those students who wish to continue their study of science, additional courses will bridge the Capital Scholars curriculum with UIS’ existing undergraduate degree programs in chemistry, biology, and clinical laboratory science.

For more information, please contact Trammel at (217)206-7344.

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