Innovation through Institutional Integration (I-Cubed or I3) is a National Science Foundation (NSF) award program. I3 challenges faculty, administrators and project partners to think strategically about the creative integration of NSF-funded awards to provide students with an interdisciplinary, cross-curriculum, technologically current approach to laboratory science. Scientific practices are converging, leading to exponential growth in discoveries and applications. Emerging technologies are broadly based on computational thinking and information literacy. Interdisciplinary collaboration in science and technology require adequate integrative efforts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate education. The main goal of the I3 project at City Tech is to bridge the individual STEM departments within the College of Arts and Sciences with the School of Technology and Design to transform STEM laboratories at City Tech in order to make them more effective vehicles for interdisciplinary learning. Through the optimization of laboratory learning, students will be better equipped to compete in the industry work force and will have the necessary tools to succeed. In addition to helping students, the I3 project will enable faculty to strengthen relationships with faculty in different departments by working with other NSF-funded projects on their own campus or on neighboring CUNY campuses. This project will enhance collaboration between faculty members from different disciplines and will also increase mentoring and partnership activities at the institutional, faculty and student levels.
Mechanisms of integration are :
- Creation of a multi-dimensional model of lab practice across all STEM departmentsas a tool for benchmarking lab transformation.
- Creation of a cross-project matrix for grant funded projects that charts diversity goals, outreach to high schools, research engagement of students, involvement of industry, and significant learning outcomes.
- A management structure led by the provost, two academic deans,and a biologist on the faculty that will be continuously advised by a City Tech I-Cubed Incubator Advisory Board comprising members of departmental advisory boards and the PIs of current grant-funded STEM initiatives.
- Location of professional development activities for the wider STEM faculty in the Faculty Commons, a college-wide center for teaching and learning.
- Enhancing communications by using the cross-project matrix as a communication tool and establishing a strong web presence for all I-Cubed activities.
City Tech was awarded a NSF Computer & Information Science Engineering Pathways to Revitalized Undergraduate Computing Education (CPATH), another NSF STEM related planning grant after the award of I-Cubed. The grant entitled NSF-CPATH Planning for Institutional Transformation through Computational Thinking will also be integrated into I-Cubed.