About Grinnell College & Science
Teachers and counselors will find the Grinnell science faculty to be strongly committed to curricular reform efforts, which are designed to yield graduates who are prepared to work collaboratively to ask and answer scientific questions nobody has yet thought of. The experience of taking an introductory science course at Grinnell is qualitatively different from that of taking an introductory science course elsewhere.
How is the experience of learning science at Grinnell distinctive? Early mentoring experiences enculturate new science students (especially those from traditionally under-represented groups) to the scientific community at Grinnell. Innovative inquiry-based courses at the introductory level guide students to learn science as scientists practice it. Intermediate-level courses generally involve more group work and lead students to collaborate closely linking, for example, molecular biology with organic chemistry, theoretical mechanics with differential equations. Mentored advanced projects at the upper level, where students carry through an original research project from proposal to investigation to a product that is presented externally, as a poster at a regional or national research conference or as a paper in a peer-reviewed journal.
NSF reports that Grinnell is the eighth most productive source in the nation of future science doctorates, per 100 undergraduate degrees conferred. We believe this remarkable productivity arises in part from our distinctive is due in part to our retention of science majors through the Grinnell Science Project mentoring program, in part to the innovative ways we teach science at Grinnell. Grinnell won a National Science Foundation Award for the Integration of Research and Education in 1998. Since then, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute has supported Grinnell's curricular innovations with quadrennial awards totaling $4.9M, including a $1M capstone award in 2012. President Obama recognized the Grinnell Science Project with a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2011.