Evaluation of the Small World Initiative at Yale University
Yale University’s Small World Initiative aims to achieve two goals: 1) to engage students in research early in their careers in order to increase the number of students graduating with science degrees; and 2) to lay groundwork for scientific discovery by leveraging the strengths of crowdsourcing.
Using authentic scientific research as inspiration, this initiative addresses a worldwide health threat, the diminishing supply of effective antibiotics. Students discover antibiotics from soil bacteria in their local environment with creative experimental design. The course provides the venue for the investigation of biological and chemical soil diversity and a platform from which to teach biological concepts. This initiative is sponsored by Yale University’s Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.
Christine Fabian is evaluating the program by gathering information from faculty implementation surveys and student assessment surveys.