The Advanced Study Program in Science: challenging, motivating and inspiring our best science students
AbstractThe Advanced Study Program in Science is an enrichment program for science students at The University of Queensland (UQ) which targets highly motivated, high achieving students with an interest in research and a career in science. The program is coordinated across the full three years of the degree with the core aims of: • providing a cohort experience with a group of like-minded individuals which becomes a closely bonded learning community throughout the undergraduate experience and beyond; • exposing motivated and interested students to the research culture of the university and the myriad of career opportunities in science; • allowing these students to gain genuine research laboratory experience earlier and more intensely than in a regular undergraduate degree program; and • challenging these students to develop complex problem solving skills. The program has an enrolment of approximately 40 students per year and these students participate in a number of cohort building exercises including science camps, team assignments and social activities. The students gain academic credit for three specific courses, one in each year, which consist of seminar attendance, research projects, discussion groups and advanced laboratory exercises. The results of the research projects completed in second and third year are presented within an authentic science context at an Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium as either oral or poster presentations. The Advanced Study Program has been very successful in providing immediate and accessible links between the science research occurring at UQ and the undergraduate learning environment.