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Course Details

Spring 2015-2016
MSE 407   No Audit

Communicating Science and Technology in the Modern World

Craig B. Arnold
Daniel J. Steinberg

One of the most important skills science and engineering professionals can develop in their career is the ability to communicate their research. This course, aimed at science and engineering students, is not intended to be a journalism course or a teacher education course but rather seeks to familiarize students with concepts and methods to effectively communicate technical content to a wide array of audiences. Practical science communication and educational theories will be examined. Students learn from hands-on methods focusing on interactions with the public, guest lecturers, assigned readings, discussion, and project development.

Sample reading list:
Randy Olson, Don't Be Such A Scientist: Talking Substance
Dierking and Pollock, Questioning Assumptions: An Introduction
NSF, Science and Engineering Indicators
Randy Olson, Houston, We Have A Narrative
John D. Bransford, Ann L. Brown, and Rodney R. Cocking, How People Learn
John H. Falk, Lynn D. Dierking, The 95 Percent Solution

Reading/Writing assignments:
Regular reading assignments and problem sets will connect with the theme for each week. Students may also be assigned to view short videos on education and outreach topics in their weekly assignments. Writing assignments will be required for the mid-semester and final projects.

Requirements/Grading:
Design Project - 30%
Papers - 15%
Oral Presentation(s) - 30%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Problem set(s) - 15%

Other Requirements:
Open to Juniors and Seniors Only.

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
Open to juniors and seniors. Sophomores and freshmen may enroll with permission of the instructor..

Other information:
The course will involve a combination of hands-on assignments and guest speakers to support the curriculum. Students will develop table top presentations and present them to public and K-12 audiences. The development of their projects will be the centerpiece driving the classroom discussions on theory and practice of communication, as well as education and overall evaluation.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
43776 L01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm Th        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled