Applied/Concrete

Science and Cooking Labs

Pia Sörensen details how the Science of Cooking class conducts lab assignments through actual cooking experiences. For this example, she navigates through the Molten Chocolate Cake Lab/Heat Lab, but also attached three other examples for more resources. This experiment is supposed to help students understand the concepts of science and cooking in a practical setting by actually cooking or baking with the scientific tools and knowledge acquired through class.

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.

Floor Plan

This is an activity for Lioudmila Zaitseva's Elementary Russian class. She goes through a floor plan illustration on the board and calls on volunteers to label the parts, then place a corresponding image in the specific zone of the plan. This is a fun way for students to remember their vocabulary, basic verbs, and basically conduct a general review.

Understanding Diaspora

Benjamin Weber created an activity that spans across the entire class to help students understand the concept of “diaspora” through constant reiteration of concepts from some excerpts given to the class by the instructor. Students learned how to close-read excerpts, write reflections, and create their own ideas about the theme of the class.

Wave Dispersion and Mathematica

Elizabeth Petrik, a graduate teaching fellow for Physics 15c, created this Mathematica activity to help students build physical and quantitative intuition about wave dispersion. The usage of Mathematica in this activity allows for students to not only solidify the concepts they learned in class, but also create a working program that helps them understand wave dispersion in another medium.

HMS/BWH Case Study

For her sixth section, Kirstin Woody Scott prepared this activity based off of the HMS/BWH case study on Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee and tuberculosis. This activity allowed students to discuss and present the knowledge of the case they had reviewed in lecture and tackle policy realities in global health. Students prepared oral arguments to take on the role of different stakeholders and defend their positions when faced with cuts to global health funding.

Understanding the mechanisms of evolution: random genetic drift

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.

Red Light, Green Light: Cell Division and Angelina Jolie

Created by Paul Ogg, Melissa Krebs, Vida Melvin, Amanda Charlesworth, and Melanie Badtke, this lesson teaches how cells regulate cell division using some lecture interspersed with interactive activities including clicker questions, pair/share, and class discussion, applying concepts to Angelina Jolie's BRCA1 mutation.

Shakespeare on Acid: To ionize or not to ionize?

This lesson, created by Graciela Unguez, Erika Abel, Vanessa Castleberry, Rizalia Klausmeyer, Aaron Snead, Martina Rosenberg, William S. Garver, and Marcy Osgood for the National Academies Summer Institute for Undergraduate Education in Biology uses clickers, pair and share, and other exercises to help students "understand the effect of environmental pH on the ionization status of weak acids and weak bases."

Coevolution Case Study

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.

Open Review Discussion

Students used a platform called Open Review (www.openrev.org), developed by the members of the Harvard physics department, which is a PDF annotation tool that is tailored to discuss scientific publications openly. Every week, students read two publications related to research in the Harvard Physics Department and used Open Review to discuss them online and learn about the academic research.

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