Science: A Way of Knowing

Science: A Way of Knowing

This is an interdisciplinary class that introduces science as a social practice, a historical endeavor, and as a way of interacting with policy and law.

Drawing from university level History of Science, Philosophy of Science, and Science and Technology Studies, this course will present these ideas at a middle school level.

Section 2: March 18-April 22

Class Details

Section 2
Part 1: March 18-March 25
Part 2: April 1-April 8
Part 3: April 15-April 22

Class Size:
2-8 participants

Age Range: 11-14 (10 with instructor approval)

All 3 Parts: $170
All Parts with Feedback: $200

Part 1 Only: $60
Part 1 with Feedback: $70

Part 2 Only: $60
Part 2 with Feedback: $70

Part 3 Only: $60
Part 3 with Feedback: $70

What is science? This class will look at science as a way of knowing the world around us.

How is science done? We will discuss how science is done in standard practice and why it is that way.

Who is science? Who does science? Who can be a scientist? Are there ways that science excludes some people? What does this mean for the quality of science that is done? When is science? We will also discuss how scientific practices came to be and what science means to society.

Why is science sometimes controversial? We will discuss why science and other parts of society, like public health and lawmaking or policy can conflict with science.

Part 1 will introduce and explain what science is as a social practice of knowledge creation and understanding things. We will discuss what counts as science and look at different ways it is done (methods, research). We will explore different types of sciences together and discuss how people get into them as a career path.

Part 2 will look at the science in history and across global cultures. We will discuss how science helped ancient people solve problems in their lifetimes. We will consider how culture and social norms affect how science is done.

Part 3 will explore and discuss science and policy. We will look at both how science affects policy, and how policy/laws affect how science is done, such as in research ethics. We will explore these relationships by looking at current and recent controversies about/within/involving science. This is an interdisciplinary class that introduces science as a social practice, a historical endeavor, and as a way of interacting with policy and law.

Drawing from university level History of Science, Philosophy of Science, and Science and Technology Studies, this course will present these ideas at a middle school and high school level with the goal of teaching students why science is how it is, expanding our understanding of science beyond a white, European context, and recognizing how science affects us and how society affects science.

This course is intended to be both approachable to students who are not science-oriented and to students passionate about science who want to learn more about how science is done.

Section 2

Part 1: March 18-March 25- Live meeting Thursday from 4-5pm  Eastern / 3-4pm Central / 2-3pm Mountain / 1-2pm Pacific

Part 2: April 1-April 8- Live meeting Thursday from 4-5pm  Eastern / 3-4pm Central / 2-3pm Mountain / 1-2pm Pacific

Part 3: April 15-April 22- Live meeting Thursday from 4-5pm  Eastern / 3-4pm Central / 2-3pm Mountain / 1-2pm Pacific

Google Drive, Zoom required. Discord recommended. Webcam and Microphone optional. Headphones/earphones required (to prevent feedback).

1-2 hours outside of class each week

Read/listen/watch and recall relevant information.
Communicate facts and information to peers and instructor.
Focus attention on relevant material.
Take initiative to research about a chosen topic as preparation for class.
Ability to accept ambiguity and complexity in moral issues (no clear right/wrong, no good/bad people)

Students will understand definitions of science, research, methods, and disciplines.
Students will understand how science as a social practice of knowledge creation arose in different cultures throughout history.
Students will understand that social customs and culture shape how science is done.
Students will learn and discuss how science and social policy interact
Critical thinking and research skills.

Student-centered learning: students will be encouraged to choose topics that are interesting to them that we connect to course concepts.

Historical discussions of science may include upsetting topics like epidemics, starvation, poverty, systemic oppression of women and minorities, religious institutions. Policy discussions of science will include conflict, public health issues, social unrest, systemic oppression, evolution vs creationism controversies (as historical cases studies).

See this teacher’s policies on things like refunds, missing class, and behavioral expectations. (Click here to see the policies.)

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