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Dordt College News

$600,000 grant funds summer research and learning camps

October 17, 2013

Dordt College received a collaborative grant with Hope College from the National Science Foundation for approximately $600,000. The grant proposal, titled “Developing Integrated Metabolic Regulatory Models (iMRMs) for the Investigation of Metabolic and Regulatory Diversity of Sequenced Microbes,” will allow Dordt College to use its share of the money, approximately $250,000, for undergraduate and high school summer research and learning.

The college will host undergraduate research students for eight- to 10-weeks in the summer to do research on the regulation of metabolic processes across a wide range of bacteria. Dr. Nathan Tintle, Dordt College professor of statistics, says that “the grant will help provide funding for students to come to Dordt’s campus to participate in cutting-edge interdisciplinary research.”

Since coming to Dordt College in 2011, Tintle has worked on and continues to work on several projects with colleagues from Hope College, where he taught prior to his appointment at Dordt. “Collaboration with leading faculty in the sciences at institutions from around the world, is a necessary part of any cutting-edge research endeavor. Today’s meaningful scientific problems cannot be tackled by any single researcher, from any single discipline.” says Tintle. “This grant will cement an important, long-standing relationship with a number of researchers at Hope College for years to come.”

In collaboration with colleagues at Hope and other institutions, Tintle has developed a Systems Biology Knowledgebase for the Department of Energy and created a textbook that could change the content and teaching methods of most introductory statistics courses.

The new grant also supports opportunities for high school students to participate in IDEAS, a weeklong, interdisciplinary science, summer academic camp. At IDEAS (Inter-Disciplinary Explorations Across the Sciences), students explore, in depth, of one of five areas of the sciences: 1) agriculture, 2) bio-medical sciences/environmental studies/chemistry, 3) computer science, 4) mathematics/statistics, or 5) physics. They also participate in research related to bacterial metabolism.

Tintle believes that high school and post-secondary education often falls short “in capitalizing on the tremendous potential and interdisciplinary insights of our top students.”

IDEAS offers an opportunity for high-caliber, science-minded students to get a taste of cutting-edge collaborative research and work with excellent faculty and facilities at Dordt College. For more on IDEAS, visit www.dordt.edu/events/ideas. For more on Tintle’s undergraduate summer program, visit www.dordt.edu/statgen.

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