Scope - Science Online

SCOPE Project Workshop:

Supporting Scientific Collaboration Online

March 19-22, 2008
San Diego Supercomputer Center
University of California, San Diego -- La Jolla, CA

The SCOPE Project is an opportunity to participate in the construction and exploration of novel approaches to undergraduate biology education. We use the idea of a Problem Space as a curricular and pedagogical resource to support collaborative curriculum development and student driven scientific investigations. Problem Spaces link together existing e-science resources, web-based productivity and communication tools, and open educational resources in ways that promote communities of inquiry.

In this workshop undergraduate biology educators will learn about tools and instructional approaches for engaging students in scientific investigations. Participating in this workshop will set you up to collaborate with other SCOPE faculty on the development and implementation Biology Problem Spaces.

Audience: This workshop is designed for faculty teaching introductory biology courses in a variety of post-secondary settings (community colleges, four-year colleges and research intensive institutions) reaching diverse student populations (majors and non-majors, first generation college students, and other unrepresented populations). You do not need to have a technical background using specific computer tools but you do need to be interested in engaging your students with investigative learning opportunities.

The SCOPE NSF award supports registration, materials, housing and most meals, although travel costs must be covered by participants. Some support for travel is possible for a limited number of applicants. Stipends of $250 are also available for SCOPE faculty who sustain collaborative partnerships and produce educational resources.

This workshop provides opportunities:

  • to collaborate in the development of curricular activities for introductory biology, microbiology and bioinformatics courses;
  • to integrate the use of scientific data and analysis tools into undergraduate biology curricula;
  • to engage in tree-thinking and phylogenetic hypothesis testing;
  • to consider problem solving approaches for undergraduate education and research; and,
  • to explore data visualization tools and techniques.

Please see the tentative schedule for additional information about the course content.

What you'll take away with you:

  • two books featuring investagive activities: Microbes Count! (2006) and Biological Inquiry (2007);
  • experience with online resources including tools, datasets, problem spaces, simulations;
  • access to all participant projects presented in the workshop.
  • ongoing collaborative support from SCOPE project staff and other SCOPE faculty for the duration of the project;
  • a permanent account on the SDSC Discover Data Portal, a Moodle-based learning management system used to deliver and share curricular resources generated by you from this workshop.

Activities will include:

  • using online data sources and analysis tools including - Biology Workbench, Protein Data Bank, Case IT!, and ESTEEM Modules;
  • working with online Problem Spaces (e.g., HIV evolution, West Nile Virus, and Citrus Canker);
  • discussions of strategies for engaging students with biological problem solving;
  • exploring the role of data visualization in biological research.

The San Diego Supercomputer Center's (SDSC) mission is to innovate, develop and deploy technology to advance science. SDSC is involved in an extensive set of collaborations and activities at the intersection of technology and science whose purpose is to enable and facilitate the next generation of scientific advances. SDSC is an organized research unit of the University of California, San Diego. With a staff of more than 400 scientists, software developers and support personnel, SDSC is an international leader in data management, biosciences, geosciences, grid computing and visualization. For more than 20 years, the SDSC Education Group has an established reputation for delivering outstanding curricular resources for science, math, and engineering education. For more information, visit