Advanced Laboratory Class

Joe Peidle developed this class with Melissa Franklin to help expose advanced physics students to apparatuses that they may encounter in a real research lab. Students come into experimental lab sections to perform simple activities with the staff to learn how to use the apparatuses throughout the entire class.

Baroque Gestures Activity

Students learn about the importance of gestures in baroque opera through viewing and practicing them.


  • to teach students that baroque opera involved body movement as well as music, and that physical motion and musical material were intimately linked in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • to demonstrate how stage gesture can affect one's interpretation of an opera scene.

Class: Music 97a: Music History and Repertory: Medieval to Baroque

Bring a Goddess to a Party

Students were expected to have researched one goddess from the ancient Near East as described in several primary and secondary sources. The description of the activity on the syllabus is as follows: Choose a female deity or demon from the ancient Near East that you find captivating. Now imagine you have just invited her to a party at Smith College. Describe what she looks like and what she will wear to the party. How will you introduce her to your friends? Tell them where she is from, what her interest are, and explain her special talents, as well as any personality traits that might make for awkward social interactions.

Cells vs. Buildings

Created by Kostia Bergman, Erin Cram, Wendy Smith, Scott Dobrin, Presque Isle, and Judith Roe, this lesson for an intermediate Cell Biology course encourages students to take a big-picture view of the cell by comparing cells to buildings in order to think about the dynamic processes within cells. The lesson utilizes a jigsaw and quick write.

Clinical Trials Smackdown

This activity teaches skills in critical assessment of the peer-reviewed published literature.  It focuses on analysis of clinical trials in mental health, but the principles and methods are readily generalizable to other scientific literature.  The “Smackdown” approach represents an augmentation of the traditional “journal club” mode of teaching critical scientific reading skills.