Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Faculty Spotlight #4

Posted by | Start the discussion

Sustainability is practiced all throughout PCC, from innovative waste management and learning gardens to solar energy and active transportation. But do you know about the faculty who include sustainability in their classes? Every week on our Sustainability blog and social media accounts we will share a faculty member who integrates sustainability into their course curriculum. PCC faculty have the ability to educate and extend sustainability efforts to students, creating positive change in our communities. Follow our Sustainability Blog and PCC_Sustain on Instagram and Twitter to learn about these inspiring faculty members! If you are a faculty member or know of one practicing sustainability efforts, please email sustainability@pcc.edu to be featured!

At Sylvania Campus, Linda Fergusson-Kolmes teaches Principles of Biology (BI 211) and integrates sustainability in creative ways to process the material learned in biology. At times, chemical chemical processes are challenging to understand because they are abstract. This year she partnered with the Maker Space to take a box of outdated magnets from the Foundation and turn them into an awesome study aid.

Students learned about the Maker Space, how to use some of the materials and created something they could bring into Lab and share with their peers. These included all the steps in Cellular Respiration- Glucose, Pyruvate, ATP, NADH and all the enzymes, oh my!  There is nothing like some sparkly materials to remind you where the energy is!

Linda was inspired to add this activity to her course to learn about how the brain works and learning how to see these structures. The chemical details of a structure are hard to ‘see’ if you have no context. The process of making a set of magnets to order the process, slows folks down, and has them use their hands. It puts them in community with others, while they make their very own memory aids.  

She’d like to thank Amy Petit at the Maker Space for helping make this happen! And to Briar Schoon and Peter Ritson for sending her the magnets to up-cycle.

Start the discussion

PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.