Advancing undergraduate student success
This interdisciplinary collaborative in the College of Science is making a difference for undergraduate students at Mason.
What is the STEM Accelerator?
The STEM Accelerator is an interdisciplinary group of faculty who collaborate on programs, grants, and interventions to help the undergraduate students in the College of Science at Mason. Beginning in 2011, the Accelerator committed to work toward:
- Increasing the number of STEM majors,
- Improving retention rates of STEM students,
- Reducing the time to graduation,
- Helping STEM graduates join the workforce or continue their education.
In 2021, we identified the following 5-year goals:
- Contribute to the growing body of literature on STEM education
- Elevate the value of teaching in COS
- Be recognized as educational role models and mentors to new faculty and GTAs in COS
- Mentor MS and PhD students in STEM education and discipline-based education research
- Advance pedagogical innovation, teaching assessment, and peer evaluation
The Accelerator faculty have diverse backgrounds, expertise, and training. Their combined efforts contribute to support student learning outcomes and increase persistence in challenging STEM programs.
Accelerator Activities By Season
Awards and Honors
- Professor Kelly Knight, College of Science Dean's Award for Excellence in AJEDI, December 5, 2022, Learn more
- Dr. Rebecca Jones, College of Science Dean's Impact Award, December 5, 2022, Learn more
- Professor Kelly Knight, University Teaching Excellence Award Winner, 2020, Learn more
- Dr. Ben Dreyfus, University Teaching Excellence Award Winner, 2020 Winner for General Education, Learn more
- Dr. Julia Nord, University Teaching Excellence Award Winner, 2017 Winner for General Education, Learn more
Learning Assistants (LAs) are College of Science undergraduates who participate in undergraduate instruction, course innovation, peer-to-peer tutoring and mentoring. LAs have unique opportunities to work closely with COS faculty and help their peers. Learn more here.
Grants related to STEM Education
- Dr. Ben Dreyfus (Co-PI), NSF EAGER #2329874, Quantum Teaching and Learning in Elementary Classrooms, $299,769
- Dr. Ben Dreyfus (Co-PI), NSF Award #2044232, Cultivating Physics Identity and Belonging for Women in Physics, $299,001
- Dr. Tina Bell (PI) and Dr. Rebecca Jones (Co-PI), NSF Noyce #2050638, Supporting, Mentoring and Retaining New STEM Secondary Educators Through Major Transitions from Recruitment to Highly Effective Teacher, $1,199,552
- Dr. Tina Bell and Dr. Rebecca Jones, Strategic Investment Fund 2022 for STEM Bridge Camp, $179,400
The STEM Accelerator is committed to sharing the excitement and joy of science, engineering and mathematics with the community. We regularly coordinate camps, workshops, competitions, and seminars designed to increase access and success in STEM.
Recent Publications and Presentations
- “Encouraging creative chemical communication via infographics”, Rebecca M. Jones, Poster Presentation, Gordon Research Conference, Visualization in Science and Education, Bates College, Lewiston, ME, July 17, 2023.
- “The unexpected emotional cost of teaching chemistry in a pandemic”, Rebecca M, Jones, Frontiers in Education, STEM Education Section, Vol. 8, March 16, 2023, doi: 10.3389/feduc.2023.1120385, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2023.1120385/full
- “The Rural and Diverse Student Scholars Program: An Ecosystem of and for STEM students
Rebecca M. Jones and Mary Emenike, Poster Presentation, Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence Conference, Arlington, VA, October 24, 2022.
Opportunities for engagement in STEM at Mason are abundant. The Accelerator offers various student centered opportunities, such as STEM Boot Camp, the annual College of Science Undergraduate Research Colloquium, and the LA program.
Service to the Community
- Dr. Julia Nord
- Gem Mineral, and Fossil Show, November 2023
- Dr. Kelly Knight
- FOCUS Camp and FOCUS Academy
- Dr. Tina Bell
- Women Leaders in STEM at Mason
- NOYCE Program PI
- Dr. Rebecca M. Jones,
Who is the STEM Accelerator?
Exploratory Hall, Room 1404
Exploratory Hall, Room 1405
Exploratory Hall, Room 1406
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Planetary Hall, Room 319
Exploratory Hall, Room 3420
Exploratory Hall, Room 3453
Connect with the STEM Accelerator
Exploratory Hall 1400