University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder has engaged in major initiatives to improve undergraduate STEM education – the Science Education Initiative (SEI) (initiated by Dr. Carl Wieman, the SEI funded postdoctoral fellows in 7 STEM departments over 8 years, including APS, PHYS, EBIO, IPHY, GEOL, MCDB and CHEM), and the Association of American Universities (AAU) STEM Initiative (currently active on campus).  These campus initiatives have led to many improvements in our undergraduate courses, and departments.

Campus Leaders

Stephanie Chasteen, PhD

Research Associate and Course

Transformation Specialist

Center for STEM Learning




TRESTLE was designed with the Science Education Initiative as one strong model for how to spread the use of research-based techniques.  While many other campuses are experimenting the postdoctoral model, at CU the TRESTLE grant is intended to build on the existing expertise that was developed through the SEI.  TRESTLE is a project of the Center for STEM Learning.

To learn more about the initiatives at CU Boulder, visit the CU Boulder TRESTLE website.

We are building and spreading teaching expertise in the following ways:

  1. Course transformation awards to support those with existing expertise in continuing to learn about evidence based teaching practices, and to spread that knowledge. Awards made to date include:
  2. TRESTLE Scholars communities, to bring both experienced and novice users of evidence-based teaching practices together, and broaden our community of experts.
  3. Shared Innovation Discussion Group (ShInDiG), based on University of Kansas’ C21 group, to generate cross-departmental community around teaching and learning.
  4. Expert advisors who are available for individual consultations with faculty around issues of teaching and learning and education research.


Work has included the following projects:

Course awards:

  1. Integrative Physiology: Developing case studies across the foundational curriculum.
  2. Mathematics: Building a quantitative reasoning course for social science students
  3. Physics: Transformation of Experimental Physics 1
  4. Environmental Studies: Quantitative analysis and critical thinking for the environmental studies major

TRESTLE Scholars communities:

  1. Learning goals: Developing program and course learning goals for the Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Major (facilitator:  Stephanie Chasteen)
  2. Group activities: Designing and facilitating group worthy activities (facilitator:  Jenny Knight)
  3. How can I help students take charge of their own learning?  (Facilitator: Becca Ciancanelli)
  4. Exploring course based undergraduate research experiences (Facilitator:  Lisa Corwin)
Stephanie Chasteen introduces the TRESTLE project at the University of Colorado Boulder