Created by Khoa Nguyen, Michal Brylinski, Benjamin Maas, Kristy Stensaas, Suniti Karunatillake, Achim Herrmann, and Wolfgang Kramer, this teachable unit aims to implicitly enable scientific modeling skills among the students. With developing a conceptual model from a set of observations as the underlying goal, variations in atmospheric oxygen content provides context.
With the knowledge of the motion of the sun, the ability to find solar declination online, and how time can be used to find longitude from previous lectures in class, students must make a device to measure the altitude of the sun using a straw, protractor, and string weighted down to make horizontal.
This activity was made by John Huth for his Primitive Navigation class, so his students will have practical experience working with primitive navigation tools through this experiment. This activity will help students understand navigational stars.
This is an in-section activity created by John Huth for his Primitive Navigation course where students walk small distances and use their analysis to learn small angle approximation, statistics, and prepares them for future assignments.
There are two attachments for this activity: a handout detailing the assignment, as well as the accompanying worksheet
John Huth developed this activity for his SPU 26: Primitive Navigation class. The purpose of this assignment is to establish a baseline for their navigational skills. Students navigate Harvard campus to hold a course and estimate a traveled distance to see how successful they will be without any special training.
The activity took place as part of an ongoing unit on various forms in Classical music, and also contributed to a larger, semester-long conversation about the ways in which we deal with the nebulous concept of "style" in music. Coming into the class itself, students possessed a basic knowledge of musical rudiments such as melody and harmony. For the activity itself, students had already been introduced to the idea of "Theme and Variations" form, and had listened to several examples.
Kellie Carter Jackson, a Harvard College Fellow, created the game “Name Five” for her AAAS118 class. In the beginning of the class, she goes around the room and asks students to list five notable people of different ethnicities to help students understand the world and the power dynamics within it.
Created by Ned Dochtermann, Erin Gillam, Timothy Greives, Kristina Holder, Steve Travers, and Jennifer Weghorst, this lesson focuses on the evolutionary mechanism of random genetic drift. Students explore how population size affects allele frequencies by engaging in a group activity that involves generating and plotting data, interpreting graphs, and formulating hypotheses. Read more about Understanding the mechanisms of evolution: random genetic drift
Created by Jillian Banks, Jeremy Brown, Cindy Gordon, Chris Gregg, Travis Marsico, Chris Osovitz, and Rebecca Symula, this activity focuses on the importance of temporal scale and specifically seeks to resolve the common student misconception that evolutionary change is only observable on a single timescale. It utilizes index cards in an interactive jigsaw. Read more about The Problem of Scale in Evolution
Created by Laura Conner, Susan Hester, Anne-Marie Hoskinson, Mary Beth Leigh, Andy Martin ,and Tom Powershis, and contributed by Yale University's Center for Scientific Teaching, this case study lesson reinforces the concept of coevolution and gives students practice with the analysis and interpretation of data.
Students embarked on this lab-based activity to help understand the species of Costa Rica. Graduate Student Teaching Fellow Alexis Harrison created this activity for her OEB 167 class to allow students to see and interact with preserved specimens from the Museum of Comparative Zoology, so they can further understand the types of animals they will see on their spring break trip to Costa Rica. Read more about Costa Rican Specimen Scavenger Hunt
In OEB 119: Deep Sea Biology, groups of students have to present and lead discussions on scientific papers throughout the semester. Before class each week, all students have to read an assigned scientific paper and post a summary paragraph and two questions to an online forum. A group of students has to prepare a short presentation about one part of the paper, so that each paper is presented by a different group of three to four students each week. Read more about Paper Presentations and Discussions
In OEB 191: Physiological and Biochemical Adaptation, students present one or two papers in primary literature to the class and lead the discussion. After retrieving the papers from online sources or the library and reading them, the presenters prepare a PowerPoint show to explain and summarize the findings. Read more about Presenting Primary Papers