Science 113: First-Year Seminar in Science
Instructor: Dr. Joanne Fox. I absolutely loved taking this class with Dr. Fox. She is energetic, engaging and intelligent, and you can tell that she really wants to help all her students succeed.
Textbook: No textbook for this course, just a $10 custom course pack containing the course readings.
What We Learned: Defining the nature of science, elements of scientific argumentation, types of evidence, research and the scientific community, and how science relates to being an informed global citizen.
Assignments: There were various in-class writing assignments, some of which were worth more than others. At the end of each unit there was a “Unit Writing Activity” in which we were presented with a question and were expected to respond to it using the themes of that specific unit of study. There was also a research paper due at the end of the semester (worth around 30% I believe) that was on a scientific controversy. I wrote mine on climate change and global health, and found it to be a lot of fun. There were many opportunities for peer-review and instructor feedback on the paper throughout the semester, which really helped improve my writing and argumentation skills.
Speaker Series: My favourite part of this course was the Science & Society Speaker Series, a biweekly lecture for all the sections of Scie 113. Through lectures from various professionals, students got to learn about all the different places our science degrees can take us, such as studying seals in Alaska, battling climate change, coding computer programs, or reporting on the Vancouver evening news.
Midterms/Final: No midterms or final exams in this course! Definitely an added bonus.
Comments/Tips: I really enjoyed this course, and found it to be a fun and interesting way to fulfill the Faculty of Science’s communication requirement (I really didn’t feel like taking another English course). The small class size was amazing: it enabled lots of interesting discussion and debate, and allowed me to get to know my classmates really well. In order to do well in this class, all you need to do is participate actively in class discussions and pay close attention to the feedback you receive from your peers. Take SCIE 113! You won’t regret it.