The Science and Mathematics Educational Research Collaborative (SMERC)
SMERC is the research arm of CASTLE. SMERC consists of a multidisciplinary group of discipline-based education researchers, who study how students learn the STEM disciplines, apply science to problem solving, and become enculturated as scientists. This research is a form of inquiry-based scholarship that brings together deep knowledge of the sciences and scientific practices with cognitive psychology and pedagogical theory.
Faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and students explore areas in discipline-based education research, including physics, biology, chemistry, and engineering education. Various groups of SMERC researchers are involved in several externally funded projects.Read More
SMERC members invite guest speakers from other colleges and universities to present to interested faculty, staff and students. The seminars and workshops occur approximately once per month and are open to all. Topics include conceptual understanding of disciplinary content, development and analysis of active learning classrooms, and cultural identity within STEM—to name a few.Read More
The SMERC team runs a weekly journal club open to all. Links to readings are posted online for interested participants, in preparation for discussions. Topics include theoretical frameworks about learning, quantitative and qualitative research methods, reform teaching practices, and research-based assessments—among others.Read More
The summer experience focuses on developing emergent areas of research with the use of models and representations in STEM. Undergraduates from across the country spend the summer on the RIT campus doing discipline-based education research with SMERC faculty mentors. The work concludes with an end of summer symposium of poster presentations and talks.Read More