This case study, contributed by the Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence, is intended to show that two enantiomers can have different effects on the body, and how the same drug can be used to treat different diseases or symptoms. It is also intended to help students begin to understand the process of FDA approval for drugs. This problem could be used in an organic chemistry class or in a class for non-science majors. Read more about Thalidomide: The pros and cons
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.
This was a semester long project. Throughout the semester, graduate students (many of whom had little previous exposure to the course material) studied the history of Chinese music theory, the Jesuit missionaries who transmitted it back to western Europe, and the reception of Chinese culture there in the 18th century. The website commemorating the exhibit and giving more information can be found at hcs.harvard.edu/soundingchina
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.
This activity took place as part of an ongoing study of the various conventional forms in Classical music (sonata, concerto, etc.), 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 this particular activity, students had already been introduced to the idea of a "Theme and Variations" form, and had listened to several examples. Read more about Theme and Variations: Understanding Musical Style
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.
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.
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.