Dr. Wieman’s Story

Nobel Laureate professor reinvents teaching of science

Dr. Wieman’s Story
CategoryFaculty
NameCarl Wieman
ProgramDirector of the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative
ActivitiesNational Academy of Sciences, Academy Board on Science Education

 

The Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI), founded by UBC Professor and Nobel Laureate Dr. Carl Wieman, is changing the way science and other subjects are taught at UBC.

A study published in the journal Science has shown that the CWSEI’s pioneering approach is nearly twice as effective as traditional methods.

By introducing an IT-based approach to learning, the approach allows students to develop complex problem-solving skills, rather than simply memorizing facts. It also lets instructors and students monitor whether they are achieving predetermined goals and receive timely feedback on strengths and weaknesses.

For the past three years, more than 18,000 UBC students have been affected by the CWSEI through the transformation of courses. More than 40 courses in seven science departments are undergoing or have finished transformation, and it is now also used as an instruction tool in other faculties at UBC.

Wieman is currently on leave from the University as he serves in the position of Associate Director for Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

“The CWSEI has made an indelible impact on thousands of UBC students and we have no doubt Carl will effect wider change in science education in American schools through his new role,” said UBC President Prof. Stephen Toope. “We wish him the best in Washington and look forward to him rejoining us.”

For more information, visit the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at UBC.

Latest Stories

Previous
Sanaa Shaikh student story

Transitioning to university

How Sanaa found her community through UBC Okanagan’s orientations
student

Transitioning to university

"It was a very fun, welcoming, and supportive environment. At no point did I feel like lonely or lost, despite just having moved to a different continent." - Sanaa Shaikh, BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics
Veronica Grant UBC Story

Hitting the ground running

How UBC's orientations helped Veronica prepare for her first day and beyond
student

Hitting the ground running

"Nothing was more helpful than actually being on campus and interacting with UBC’s community, soaking up first-hand what my future studying here was going to look like." - Veronica Grant, BA in Political Science and Psychology
Sarah Jane SJ Steele UBC Story

Life after UBC: a career helping others

How Sarah-Jane fulfilled her dream of becoming a midwife
alumni

Life after UBC: a career helping others

"UBC Midwifery is distinct in offering only a select number of seats. We knew each other’s children's names, and we attended each other’s births." - SJ Steele, Bachelor of Midwifery

Giving back to her community

How Kaila volunteers her time to increase diversity and inclusion in Engineering
student

Giving back to her community

"Hearing [female students] say they want to be an engineer one day because of those events and initiatives is extremely encouraging" - Kaila Spencer, BASc in Civil Engineering

Life after UBC: working at Canada's biggest bank

How Nene uses his UBC degree to help advance AI in finance
alumni

Life after UBC: working at Canada's biggest bank

"UBC is a world-class institution where you can define not only your long-term career, but who you are and the impact you intend on having locally and globally." - Nene Azu, Bsc in Economics

Helping build community

How Jimmy's experiences on both campuses allows him to give back to others
student

Helping build community

"UBC values the diverse and multicultural backgrounds of each student. Because of this, I never felt left out." - Jimmy Chokmeesuk, BA in Psychology

Trading Texas for Vancouver

How Anna found her community in a new country
student

Trading Texas for Vancouver

"I knew UBC was for me when I stepped on to campus for the first time for a campus tour, and had that "aha" moment." - Anna Stone, BSc in Global Resource Systems

Making an impact on the planet

How Ainsley decided to study what she loved
student

Making an impact on the planet

"I knew that nature and forests were always something I was interested in, but I had no idea they were something I could study at university!" - Ainsley Hannah, BSc in Natural Resources Conservation
next