GEOS 106
Being Human in STEM Fall 2019
Division III Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed GEOS 106 / PHYS 106 / STS 106

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This course combines academic inquiry and community engagement to investigate the themes of diversity and social climate within STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines. Students will examine how diverse identities including but not limited to gender, race, disability, sexuality, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, and ethnicity shape the STEM experience both at Williams and nationally. We will ground our understanding through critical reading of primary scholarly research on topics such as implicit bias, identity threat, and effects of team diversity on excellence. From there, we will execute small group projects. Students will design, execute, and evaluate interventions that relate to the course goals and that have direct relevance to Williams students, faculty, and staff. For example, a student group could implement a survey of minoritized STEM students, or create a qualitative interview-based assessment of how socioeconomic status impacts students’ abilities to participate in STEM fields. Course work includes weekly readings, reflective/opinion writing, in class discussion, and the development and presentation of a group project.
The Class: Type: Class discussions, group project work (out of class time required)
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1980
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Short response papers, class discussion participation, leading class discussions, group work, and final project.
Enrollment Preferences: DIV III majors; statement of interest may be requested if course over-enrolls
Unit Notes: Does not count towards GEOS or PHYS major credit
Distributions: Division III Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GEOS 106 Division III PHYS 106 Division III STS 106 Division II
DPE Notes: This course explicitly addresses the intersection of marginalized identities and the STEM experience. Students will learn how to critically address how issues such as gender, race, ethnicity, and disability impact participation in and the experience of STEM fields. For example, students will read and critique literature documenting bias in STEM fields, and will also learn about and create interventions that can address these biases.

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