Smart Learning at Grinnell College

by Val McGinnis

At Grinnell College in Iowa, it's not Biology 101 that science-oriented freshmen seek out, it's Biology 150–an innovative, in-depth learning opportunity open to first-year students. 

To be a scientist, you first have to think like a scientist

Bio 150 is a hands-on learning course that trains first-year students in designing, conducting, and presenting original experiments. The emphasis is not necessarily on memorizing facts, but on learning to "think like a scientist." In addition to undergraduate research opportunities, students have access to scientific literature and equipment typically available only to upper-level researchers at other schools.

This course primarily lays quintessential groundwork in successful majors and post-graduate careers in science. Grinnell 's program has generated so much success that it is ranked eighth among all U.S. higher education institutions in producing science graduates who go on to pursue Ph.Ds and has been featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education

In January of 2011, the College's signature approach to learning and outreach was recognized through the Grinnell Science Project which received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, administered by the National Science Foundation.

To learn more about Grinnell College, contact the admissions office or, better yet, plan to visit campus and see for yourself how other students are taking advantage of these smart learning opportunities.