the dynamics of combining education and research: helping students to acquire scientific habits of mind, translating discoveries into instructional resources, brokering collaborations, and attracting larger numbers and more diverse populations of students to continue studying the sciences. Thus, the group’s intentions when designing the workshop were to provide the attendees with an initial community-building atmosphere and to provide material for a summary that could serve as a useful guide for both educators and scientists in any field. The planning group set out to inform the workshop participants about the many methods that can be used to meet educational goals and about how to design education projects compatible with their research and expertise.
The workshop included case-study discussions in small groups and larger group activities accompanied by discussion. The format was chosen as a way to demonstrate and model effective ways to communicate information and trigger learning. For example, at the beginning of the workshop Lou Gross encouraged participants to interact in small groups by leading them in an activity called the “polya-urn experiment,” which he used as an example of a simple manipulative experiment that can generate complex, nonintuitive results. Dr. Gross has used this experiment in groups from elementary school to graduate school, with learning objectives differing with level of experience. (See box.)
Diane Ebert-May later engaged the audience in a survey that used small Post-it notes to build bar graphs of participant responses to questions. Throughout the workshop audience members were encouraged to gather in small groups to discuss their reactions to presentations. All of these approaches served to model a variety of educational activities available beyond the formal lecture.
The scientific theme of the workshop was biocomplexity. NSF defines biocomplexity as referring to “the dynamic web of often surprising interrelationships that arise when components of the global ecosystem—biological, physical, chemical, and the human dimension—interact. Investigations of Biocomplexity in the Environment are intended to provide a more complete understanding of natural processes, of human behaviors and decisions in the natural world, and of ways to use new technology effectively to observe the environment and sustain the diversity of life on Earth” (http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2001/nsf0134/nsf0134.htm). Rita Colwell, director of NSF, further explained, “Biocomplexity is understanding how the components of a global system interact with the biological, physical, chemical, and human dimension, all taken together to gain an understanding of the