Loyola Marymount University (LMU) Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering professors Vincent Coletta and Jeff Phillips have been awarded a grant of $90,017 to fund their latest project, “Thinking in Physics.”

The grant was awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the professors’ new endeavor, which will carry through 2009.

“We were delighted to hear that the NSF recognizes the importance of our Thinking in Physics project,” said Coletta. “We are aiming to change the way students think, and thereby improve their prospects for success in science and engineering. We have been successful in our pilot program. Now we will be able to help many more students.”

Thinking in Physics aims to provide additional help for students with limited reasoning skills, improving their skills and their views about learning, providing the foundation for successful careers in science and technology, according to LMU.

Birute Vileisis, director of sponsored projects at LMU, who works closely with faculty to facilitate their search for funding, said she believes the key reason for receiving the grant is because it is a “very well thought-out concept.”

“Once we had clearly identified the problem, we sought a solution,” said Phillips. “The result is TIP (Thinking in Physics), which was inspired by the work of other scientists who have worked on cognitive development, especially Philip Adey in Great Britain, developer of a cognitive acceleration program for middle school children.

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