First Day of Class

Today was the first day – and for all accounts I SUPPOSE it was a success.

I had 18 people enrolled at class time, but only 15 showed up. So it is a small, intimate group – which I really like.

The lecture was just talking about units of measure in science, significant figures, and what science is. And it went “okay” – there were moments when it was fantastic – like when I was telling the story of the discovery of cisplatin and how it relates to the scientific method. There were other times when it was boring – like talking about how many feet are in a yard and converting units from one measure to another.

The highlight of the class, in my opinion, was the case study. They were working as a group to talk about an issue. The case study I did in the first week was called “Thinking Inside the Box”. I grouped them into four groups. And gave them a box with random objects in it. Not household items that they could identify. Their goal was to make observations about what was in the box without being able to open it. Then we went through their observations to see which ones were true observations and which ones were hypotheses.

Then I had them each design experiments to test what was in their boxes. They came up with putting the boxes in water, applying a magnet, putting the box in an x-ray or MRI. And they said what they would expect to see in the box based on their observations.

It was very interactive and they seemed to enjoy the exercise a lot.

And just like in “real science” – they didn’t get to know what was in the box. Because in real science you don’t get to just look at the answer in the back of the book – rather you have to just use the evidence that you’re given to come to conclusions about the unknown.

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4 Responses to First Day of Class

  1. OOH! That sounds great! I love the “experiment”. Was that your idea? It’s awesome. It sounds like they’ll be a good group. =)

    • SS4BC says:

      I actually got the idea from a science case study website. I’m going to keep doing them, because I think they’re lots of fun. Also because I think that they help illustrate the “real world” application of scientific principles more than a lecture would.

  2. Leigh says:

    This acutally sounds great. I always loved classes where the teachers went the extra step to make it interactive instead of just focusing on reciting the materials. Sounds like you’re off to a good start!

  3. Jessie says:

    wow, that sounds like a fun class!! Way to go!!

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