Development of the Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences MEDL-CMC
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In 2015 the Virginia Tech Department of Geosciences took a leading role in increasing the level of support for Geoscience instructors by investing in the development of the Geosciences Modeling and Educational Demonstrations Laboratory Curriculum Materials Center (MEDL-CMC). The MEDL-CMC is an innovative curriculum materials center designed to foster new collaborative teaching and learning environments by providing hands-on physical models combined with education technology for instructors and outreach coordinators. The mission of the MEDL-CMC is to provide advanced curriculum material resources for the purpose of increasing and sustaining high impact instructional capacity in STEM education for both formal and informal learning environments. This presentation describes the development methods being used to implement the MEDL-CMC. Major development methods include: (1) adopting a project management system to support collaborations with stakeholders, (2) using a diversified funding approach to achieve financial sustainability and the ability to evolve with the educational needs of the community, and (3) establishing a broad collection of systems-based physical analog models and data collection tools to support integrated sciences such as the geosciences. Discussion will focus on how these methods are used for achieving organizational capacity in the MEDL-CMC and on their intended role in reducing instructor workload in planning both classroom activities and research grant broader impacts.