Teaching Freshmen About Water, Energy, Food, the Environment, and Public Policy in an Interactive Classroom
Friday, 18 December 2015
Poster Hall (Moscone South)
Opportunities and tradeoffs related to water, energy, food, and the environment will be of critical concern for the next generatiion of people on Earth. Better future decisions are likely if those who are now students explore these issues from scientific and multicultural approaches using cross-cutting concepts. In the Fall of 2015 at the University of Kansas, this topic is the focus of one of the Freshman Honors courses. These courses bring 10 freshmen from different backgrounds together to develop skills in discussion, understanding different viewpoints, researching a focused topic, and expression through read and writing. The course coordinator is a specialist in the very nerdy field of numerical simulation of environmental systems. Invited speakers will come from, for example, the KU Law School and the English Department. A Policy Conference with adversarial and collaborative role playing will be conducted toward the end of the class. The roles played will include politicians, scientists, and native Americans. A poster will be developed for presentation at a KU Symposium and AGU, which will hopefully (at the discretion of the students) provide an interactive experience for the audience. Please come see how the class turned out and provide discussion and suggestions.