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A Class Above

October 8, 2009
Under the tutelage of Patricia Fausset, students taking the Introduction to STEM Disciplines class at Ventura College check the efficacy of gene uptake using RT-PCR.

Under the tutelage of Patricia Fausset, students taking the Introduction to STEM Disciplines class at Ventura College check the efficacy of gene uptake using RT-PCR.

A new class at Ventura College seeks to help students answer a fundamental question, “What’s your major?”

Probably the soundest advice would be for students to major in something that interests them. Luckily, for students considering a STEM major, there is no shortage of options. For many, however, all the options make it difficult to choose just one.

To help these students find the right fit, Ventura College has launched a new class called Introduction to STEM Disciplines. This interdisciplinary class brings students and faculty together to discuss the opportunities offered by the various STEM disciplines.

The class is designed to highlight research opportunities within each discipline, so students take part in exercises that allow them to work with some of the sophisticated instrumentation available at Ventura College. From checking the efficacy of gene transfer using a Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) technique to checking the purity of solutions using Gas Chromatography, students engage in activities typical for each discipline.

Although the goal of the class is to help students determine which STEM major is the best fit for them, it is also designed to help students clarify their research interests within that major. To help in this determination, they’re asked to present a final project describing their research interests and how the technologies used during the STEM class could facilitate their research.

If you’d like more information concerning this class or the STEM program at Ventura College, feel free to contact us!

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