30 May 2019

VIPEr Summer Workshop Season Begins!

Submitted by Joanne Stewart, Hope College

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had the familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Summer is here and the IONiC workshop season begins! It started with a “pre-season” workshop on May 3, 2019 at the ACS Great Lakes Regional Meeting. A big thank you to the workshop leaders: Kyle Grice, Kari Stone, Sarah Shaner, and Dan Kissel. This is being followed by another short workshop at the ACS Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting on May 31, 2019. See the previous BITeS post by Nicole Crowder for more info. Many thanks to Nicole and Kate Plass for leading this. [And to all Friends of VIPEr out there: Don’t hesitate to let us know if you would like to run a mini-workshop at a local or regional meeting. We are happy to supply VIPEr materials and swag.]

First up this summer is the community building and content building workshop at Smith College on June 4-7, 2019. This is the second in a series of five summer workshops held at different locations around the country and supported by IONiC’s current NSF grant. Betsy Jamieson and Anthony Fernandez will be leading the charge. The participants should look forward to a fun and productive time! In addition to learning how to use all of the great teaching resources on the VIPEr site, participants will walk away as VIPEr authors! While each summer workshop has its own personality, there’s no avoiding the support, inspiration, and “special sauce” that is a VIPEr workshop. If this sounds interesting to you, keep an eye on VIPEr during the winter for information about next summer’s workshop.

The other summer workshop this year is our first VIPEr Fellows workshop on June 7-10, 2019. The VIPEr Fellows are an amazing group of dedicated faculty from different geographic locations and different institution types. They are part of what is affectionately known as “The Grand Teaching Experiment.” This first cohort (there will be two more) taught their foundation inorganic course last year and collected tons of data about student learning and about their teaching. They are coming together this summer to share their teaching experiences with one another, look at the data they collected, and use what they have learned to improve their courses and incorporate new VIPEr Learning Objects. While every inorganic chemistry course may be unique, there are many shared topics that we teach, so it is always fun to share strategies for improving student learning and engagement.

We hope your summer is off to a great start. Let’s offer up a collective wish to the workshop participants and leaders for safe travels, productive work, inspiration, renewal, and new friends!