Laura Frost, Ph.D. is the Director of the Whitaker Center for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education and Professor of Chemistry at Florida Gulf Coast University. The Whitaker Center serves as a regional hub for expertise and leadership in STEM education reform across all levels of education and through community partnerships.
On campus, the Whitaker Center supports the professional development of FGCU STEM faculty. One program, supported by the National Science Foundation, encourages faculty to apply evidence-based practices to their introductory STEM classrooms and examine changes in student learning. The Center also supports undergraduate STEM research efforts through hosting an annual fall research symposium and offering research scholarships.
As director of the Whitaker Center for STEM Education at Florida Gulf Coast University, Dr. Frost coordinates several engaging STEM programs with the K-12 community including:
- Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science (GEMS) a Saturday program for middle school girls
- Summer Research Opportunity (SRO), a two-week summer research experience for middle school students
- FGCU High School Solar Go-Kart Challenge with Middle and Elementary Solar Challenges
- STEM Institute Summer Workshop for K-12 Teachers held at the Conservancy of SW FL
Dr. Frost is actively engaged in reforming STEM education through inquiry-based teaching and learning approaches and has demonstrated increased student learning in her courses. She has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops on guided inquiry learning approaches and its alignment with cognitive processing. She is currently disseminating these tested techniques across STEM disciplines. In addition, she is author of a series of guided-inquiry activities and a chemistry textbook for the health professions (Pearson Education). Her textbook takes a unique, integrated approach to the delivery of chemical topics and student learning that has been shown to increase student interest in the course.
Dr. Frost received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Kutztown University and Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. She has been teaching chemistry in higher education since 1995. In 2007, while at Georgia Southern University, she was honored with the Regent’s Award for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning by the University System of Georgia and was inducted into the Regent’s Hall of Fame for Teaching Excellence.