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Science Journal Spotlight: Teaching and learning in a remote world

22 November 2021

Due to the global pandemic, many members of the college adapted their research and teaching methods to accommodate a mostly remote workplace. The pandemic also revealed several opportunities for outreach and innovation that might not have otherwise been apparent. The Summer 2021 issue of the Science Journal highlights how the college has embraced these changes and opportunities. 


Students in BMB 490 write down their observations of cells while in the tissue culture room. Credit: Emily Bell, Penn State

A new approach to undergraduate research.
Penn State biochemist Emily Bell didn’t let the pandemic stop her from launching a new, first-of-its-kind series of research courses for undergraduates. The courses involve students in the entire scientific process—from forming a hypothesis to designing and conducting experiments to analyzing and presenting their results.


David Chen, a senior Schreyer Scholar in Penn State’s Integrated Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Program in Statistics

Statistical computing boot camp teaches crucial skills to life sciences undergraduates.
Statistics major David Chen created a virtual workshop series to help students get first-hand experience with research data—a need that has only grown during the pandemic.


Kelly Gómez-Campo works on an experimental setup for measuring light responses in corals. Credit: Isabel Martínez-Rigerio

A World of Aquatic Discovery.
Although the Penn State Scientific Diving Program had to pause some activities during the pandemic, it never stopped preparing its researchers to safely conduct underwater research.


Computer screen with webinar and hands with notepad in front

New PIVOT Webinars Highlight Nonacademic Career Options.
Hiring freezes in academia due to the pandemic highlighted the need to help jobseekers at Penn State understand the breadth of job opportunities available to them. The college quickly launched a webinar series to provide examples of careers in industry, government, nonprofits, and other areas outside of academia.


John Asbury

Magnitude Instruments: Making the Jump from Lab to Business.
Penn State chemist John Asbury and his graduate students have developed their own spectrometer to better understand how certain material absorb light. Although many aspects of the resulting company’s work have been put on pause due to the pandemic, they have turned their focus to a much-needed remote-friendly activity: marketing.

View the rest of this issue at the Science Journal web page.