Week 1: Making friends

Welcome! Our Tuesday class information can be found here. You’ll want to access this during class to follow along with the agenda and other links. Below is information for things you’ll need to do in the week after our class meeting.

This week will look different from the rest (most of the time we’re on 2-week cycles). Our job this week to set up to use the technology for class – both digital technology and old-school pencil-and-paper technology. The readings and online activities are relatively brief, but make sure you can access and do all that is required. I’d set aside about an hour to do 1 – 4 (below) before class time on Thursday, then set aside another 2 – 3 hours to do item 5 by Sunday night at midnight.

  1. Sign on to google with your BSU log-in, and join our Currents Community for this course. In there you will see a topic at left: “Week 1 Introductions.” Click that, and create your own post that has a link for:
    • A meme that speaks to you
    • A science phenomenon that interests you
    • A website you visit more than most
    • A picture of something in your hometown that isn’t anywhere else
    • A song that’s stuck in your head
    • Something you’re good at
    • Something you’re bad at
  2. Create (or open) your account on Perusall, and join this class, using code ATKINS-ELLIOTT-AGP9H. Once there, you’ll see a one-page reading due by noon on Thursday. Read and comment. There is a copy of this reading in your box in case you can’t get on Perusall.
  3. In class on Tuesday, we looked at examples from scientists’ notebooks, and used those to generate ideas about (a) what role lab notebooks play and (b) what the standards for our notebooks should be. We have generated a tentative rubric we will link here – please read that and let us know if you have questions or suggestions.
  4. You will need a box of supplies for this course. If you have not received your box, email Leslie asap.
  5. Now for the real work: open your boxes. See what’s inside. You should have a lab notebook and a range of materials for your investigations this semester. (If they don’t look sophisticated, remember Shaler spent 100 hours with a dead fish, so bear with us.) Play around with them, keep track of your work in your lab notebook. What do you notice and wonder? or find interesting, surprising, or strange with respect to color? Post this in the Currents Week 1: Notice & Wonder. A few things to note: (a) there are printer inks in here – they are messy. If you investigate these, we recommend filling a cup with water and using the syringes to add a drop or two of ink. Wear gloves if you don’t want inky fingers. Use a workspace you don’t mind becoming stained. It will happen. (b) While we’ve selected materials that I have found generative for me and for students, we don’t have a specific idea in mind for this prompt… which is to say: (c) we don’t play the “guess what I’m thinking” game that can be common in teaching. If we ask a question, it’s because we are genuinely curious about what you notice and think, not whether or not you know what we notice and think! (d) posting on Currents can feel informal. And on the one hand, it should – these are tentative, early ideas we want to bounce off of each other. But it should still take time and thought as you describe what you notice, what you find, etc. – link photos if it helps, take it seriously despite its informality. If this step takes less than 2 hours, you’re not there yet.
  6. As always, Steve and Leslie are here to help! This is a very different kind of course. If you’re confused or unsure of what to do, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it wrong. Email or come to office hours. We love to chat. And we’re really looking forward to our work together this semester!