Jennifer Grant, assistant professor of biology at University of Wisconsin-Stout, has won an award for outstanding instruction in the prehealth competency for chemistry from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
Grant received the award for her Illustrated Novel Mastery Project in Science and Medicine. She submitted the project to the Pre-health Collection within MedEdPORTAL’s iCollaborative, an online collection of resources for instructing graduates pursuing careers in the allied health professions.
The award recognizes her contribution to innovative, competency-based teaching through her use of illustrated novels. For a list of the six national winners and details about their projects, go to the website.
“The significance of this award is that the medical academy recognizes the importance of the contribution of undergraduate education in the production of well-educated and skillful medical practitioners,” Grant said. “It’s also significant that the academy recognizes the Illustrated Novel Mastery Project not only produces educational materials but also provides an educational process that promotes student engagement at the same time that it hones students’ intellectual acumen.”
Grant’s students write and create science-based novels, which are used by some Menomonie High School science students as supplemental texts.
Grant has received two other awards for the novel project: a Milton Pella Grant of Excellence from the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers in March; and a Front and Center award from WSST in 2012.
Thanks to the grant, a website is in the works to facilitate dissemination of the novels to K-12 science teachers and to generate ideas for future novels to be used in K-12 classes on an individual basis.
The website is being developed with help from UW-Stout students in the Web and Internet Programming course taught by Associate Professor Wan Bae, computer science. They are working with support from the project Infusing Diversity Across the Curriculum and guidance from the Nakatani Teaching and Learning Center and Learning Technology Services.
To learn more about Grant’s use of illustrated novels to teach science, go here.