CCURI is supported through NSF #1524353 

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Muskegon Community College

Course Development

We continue to work on developing the Advanced Technology and Science Seminar (ATSS) course. This module-based course will introduce students to various STEM programs at MCC and give them hands on experience in various aspects of STEM research. In addtion, the course will serve to educate students on various aspects of scienctific research, scientific reading and writing, and laboratory skills. Course is expected to be offered in Fall 2013.

Algae Culturing

Zach Anderson is conducting growth potential experiments using the algae Chlorella sp. The results of this work will be used to to determine how much algae will be need to seed the photobioreactor being built at MCC's Silver Creek Energy Lab. The ultimate goal is oil extraction from the algae to be used for making biodiesel.


Students in Jeff Johnston's CAD 240 (Product Design) course are desgining and building a seed press for extracting oil from sunflower seeds grown at MCC's Silver Creek Energy Lab in Whitehall, Michigan. This screw-based press will allow whole seeds to be used, no dehulling nesessary. The hull waste can be used as animal feed. The press will be designed to be portable and hand powered, with an electric motor added in the future. This has been a interdisciplinary effort between CAD, Welding, and Machining Technology to build the pres

Student Presentations

Student Justin Kelsey presented a poster at the West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference on Saturday November 17. The event was held at the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Poster Abstract:

“Anaerobic Digester (A Look At Potential Substrates)”

A look at biogas production from manure; biogas being a mixture of methane, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and other minute gases(Meyer 2011). Methane is the largest concentration of gas produced in the process of anaerobic digestion, which is used to create the biogas from the manure on a bacterial level. While methane is the most abundant and important as far as industrial applications, our experiment measured total gas production, not just methane. Hopefully it will serve as the groundwork for more advanced experiments in upcoming semesters. Keywords: Anaerobic, digestion, manure, biogas, methane, green energy, renewable energy.

Vision and Change Implementation

Integrate Core Concepts and Competencies throughout the Curriculum

  • Introduce the scientific process to students early, and integrate it into all undergraduate biology courses

  • Define learning goals so that they focus on teaching students the core concepts, and align assessments so that they assess the students’ understanding of these concepts 

  • Relate abstract concepts in biology to real ­world examples on a regular basis, and make biology content relevant by presenting problems in a real ­life context 

  • Introduce fewer concepts, but present them in greater depth. Less really is more


Focus on Student ­Centered Learning

  • Engage students as active participants, not passive recipients, in all undergraduate biology courses

  • Use multiple modes of instruction in addition to the traditional lecture

  • Ensure that undergraduate biology courses are active, outcome oriented, inquiry driven, and relevant

  • Facilitate student learning within a cooperative context

  • Introduce research experiences as an integral component of biology education for all students, regardless of their major

Engage the Biology Community in the Implementation of Change

  • Promote more concept­ oriented undergraduate biology courses, and help all students learn how to integrate facts into larger conceptual contexts 

  • Ensure that all undergraduates have authentic opportunities to experience the processes, nature, and limits of science

High Impact Practices Implementation

Collaborative Assignments and Projects

Undergraduate Research

Service Learning

Community-Based Learning