The Math and Science Learning Center has its origins in the Physics Learning Center, which was created in 1984 as a division of the Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy. The Physics Learning Center was a place for students to use physics instructional materials and meet with other physics students and peer tutors. In addition, the Center served as a laboratory for instructional innovations that created physics courses that targeted improving learning, especially for students underrepresented in physics and engineering. In the early 1990s the center expanded its services to other disciplines and became the Math and Science Learning Center (MSLC). The MSLC continues to offer support for innovative courses in the sciences, and provides support services and materials for students. The MSLC focus on interactive science and collaborations with faculty, including two grants from the NSF GK12 program, provided a base for developing strong outreach programs and ties to the local K12 community. The MSLC continues to provide special events and tours for K12 students, and collaborates with the Rutgers Science Explorer and the Geology Museum to provide a variety of outreach programs.
The unique combination allow us to increase our capacity to implement outreach programs and will foster strong, lasting connections among K-12 communities in NJ and STEM graduate student professional development.