The Physics Learning Center (PLC), part of Missouri S&T's LEAD Program, is designed to encourage students to take charge of their learning by working in informal cooperative groups. The PLC is staffed by experienced faculty and peer instructors who act as guides rather than tutors when students initially ask for help. They employ Socratic methods, giving students hints as to how to proceed and drawing attention to errors in thinking. Instructors do not try to frustrate students needlessly, but do encourage them to take responsibility for developing their full career potentials.

The Physics Learning Center provides mastery learning assistance for several physics courses during scheduled afternoons and evening hours. Students voluntarily attend the PLC to improve their mastery of the course's material and to hone skills needed for success in their academic and in their professional careers. These include:

         Clarity of physical insight, analysis and communication;

         Expert methods of problem solving, with validated mastery;

         Insightful physical interpretations and analyses of numerical results;

         Assured confidence through actual achievements;

         Experience with spontaneous teamwork and leadership.

The Physics Learning Center has been an overwhelming success. Students come to realize that the insight, techniques, and precision of thought that they develop will contribute significantly to success in their future careers. The PLC also helps students enhance interpersonal skills in a spirit of cooperative learning.

For more information, contact LEAD Director Prof. Jeffrey Winiarz [, +1 (573) 341-6733] at the Chemistry Department, Missouri University of Science and Technology, 400 W. 11th Street, Rolla, MO 65409, USA.