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CHID 496 H: Focus Groups

Meeting Time: 
Th 11:30am - 1:20pm
Location: 
PAR 120
SLN: 
12336
Instructor:
Phillip Thurtle

Focus Group Description

Class Title: Science Reformulated
Student Faciliator: Alexander (Alec) Sullivan
Email: awsully@uw.edu
Supervised by: Phillip Thurtle

<p dir="ltr"><strong>Science (Re)formulated</strong></p>
<p dir="ltr"><em>Course Description</em></p>
<blockquote>
<p dir="ltr"><em>“I like the scientific spirit—the holding off, the being sure but not too sure, the willingness to surrender ideas when the evidence is against them: this is ultimately fine—it always keeps the way beyond open—always gives life, thought, affection, the whole man, a chance to try over again after a mistake—after a wrong guess.”&nbsp;-Walt Whitman</em></p>
</blockquote>
<p dir="ltr"><span>Beyond an academic field, science provides both a paradigmatic lens and a systematic way of being/knowing. This course aims to contextualize and complexify basic scientific concepts (e.g. bonding, atomic structure, the periodic table, etc.) through experiential learning and free discussion. We focus particularly on chemistry as platform for discussing specific cases in the macro and the micro (i.e. biology and physics) which begins in the second half of the quarter. Overall, the class&nbsp;actively attempts to cultivate an appreciation of the scientific spirit!</span></p>
<p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p>
<p dir="ltr"><em>Syllabus</em></p>
<p dir="ltr"><span>Week 1: Magic &amp; Sorcery ~ Introduction to Wonder and Growing Fungi</span></p>
<ul>
<li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Readings: Excerpt from “Tales of Science and Sorcery” by Clark Ashton Smith</span></li>
<li>History: <a href="http://www.hyle.org/journal/issues/3/delre.htm#n20">http://www.hyle.org/...
<li>Quarter-long Project: Fungal Edibles or Decomposition</li>
</ul>
<p dir="ltr"><span>Week 2: Chemical Language ~ Why is the sky blue?</span></p>
<ul>
<li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Thinking like a scientist: Skepticism and Questioning</span></li>
<li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Nomenclature...</span></li>
</ul>
<p dir="ltr"><span>Week 3: Maps and Models ~ Complexified </span></p>
<ul>
<li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Periodic Table</span></li>
<li>Atomic Models</li>
</ul>
<p dir="ltr"><span>Week 4: Experimentation ~ Silica Garden and Transmutation Lab</span></p>
<ul>
<li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Silica: </span><a style="line-height: 1.5em;" href="http://www.edu.pe.ca/agriculture/garden.pdf">http://www.edu.pe.ca/agricu...
<li>Transmute: <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/diy-alchemy-how-to-transmute-c...
</ul>
<p>Week 5: Chemical Concoctions ~ Cooking Class</p>
<ul>
<li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">Based on Patricia O’Hara’s class “Molecular Gastronomy and Food Science: from Test Tubes to Taste Buds” (Amherst College)</span></li>
<li>Modernist Cuisine is an interdisciplinary team in Bellevue, Washington, founded and led by Nathan Myhrvold.</li>
<li>Reading:<a href="https://www.acs.org/content/dam/acsorg/education/resources/highschool/ch...
</ul>
<p dir="ltr"><span>Week 6: Chemical Activism ~ Are all chemicals bad?</span></p>
<ul>
<li><span style="line-height: 1.5em;">The ethics of chemistry and corporate responsibility.</span></li>
<li>Brief read: <a href="http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/archive/ci/30/i12/html/12chym.html">http:/...
</ul>
<p>Week 7: Macro! fungi fungi fungi</p>
<ul>
<li>Started in week 1 (or 2)</li>
<li>Reading:&nbsp;<a href="http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?sid=2de1c196-6d73-4978-83...
</ul>
<p dir="ltr"><span>Week 8: Micro! Everyday Physics</span></p>
<ul>
<li>Still pining a topic down, based on this link:&nbsp;<a style="line-height: 1.5em;" href="https://www.brainscape.com/blog/2015/06/basic-physics-concepts/">https:/...
</ul>
<p>Week 9: Viral Societies &amp; Biodesigned World ~ A day of interests</p>
<ul>
<li>I'll discuss my interests for a little bit, then let others bring in a topic of their choice within and/or in intersection with science</li>
</ul>
<p dir="ltr"><span>Week 10: Science! ~ A Review and the Status of Education, STEM and more</span></p>
<ul>
<li>Perhaps Pier Bourdieu... Perhaps open discussion.</li>
</ul>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><em>Syllabus Expanded</em></p>
<p>Each week expands on the last. We start with magic and sorcery in order to feel the whimsy and peculairity of science. The following week does not focus on "talking like a scientist" but simply understanding the paradigm they navigate, the questions that can be asked and even answered, and basic concepts like nomenclature, writing voice, etc. We build to maps and models, discussing the periodic table, measurement, atomic structures as constructs (with a historical narrative) to explain the natural world.&nbsp;</p>
<p>From the little basics, we can have a little fun! The next two weeks have "labs" with transmutation (reminiscent of alchemy), silica garden, and a cooking class. These are essential, although the most difficult to obtain materials. I'm working on that.&nbsp;</p>
<p>The following three weeks dive into areas in science, beginning with chemistry and the (fairly accurate) stigmas attached to manufactured chemicals. The following week focuses on the macro, fungi, and the next class on the micro, physics. I'm working out the specifics for discussion.&nbsp;</p>
<p>The last two classes are discussion based. One explores interesting areas of science (my interests may come up) and the last class focuses on higher ed. and STEM. This is not to "burn" the other side of campus; rather, it discusses the benefits of science, the value of interdisciplinarity, and perhaps ways to make STEM more inclusive.&nbsp;</p>
<p dir="ltr"><em>Learning Objectives</em></p>
<ul>
<li dir="ltr">
<p dir="ltr"><span>Cultivate an appreciation and perhaps even a love (gasp!) for science, its paradigm and ways of navigating the world.</span></p>
</li>
<li dir="ltr">
<p dir="ltr">Develop a critical vocabulary in the chemical language in which students can critically assess the macro (biological) and micro (physical) properties of their surroundings.</p>
</li>
<li dir="ltr">
<p dir="ltr"><span>Discover scientific concepts in their complex context, with opportunity to greater discuss sociopolitical influence.</span></p>
</li>
</ul>
<p>&nbsp;</p>

Catalog Description: 
Credit/no-credit only.
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
October 5, 2016 - 9:02pm
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