Syllabus (Fall 2010 – Univertisy of Missouri)

Science Outreach: Public Understanding of Science

Course syllabus 2010, University of Missouri


This course/workshop is aimed at promoting public understanding and appreciation of science.  The students will develop presentations that increase awareness of the impact of science on many aspects of our daily lives, and will deliver them to adult audiences around the community/

The presentations will highlight the role of scientific research in advances in medicine, the food we eat, the hi-tech items that we use, the way we approach aging problems, environmental management and more.  The talks will emphasize that these accomplishments are all the results of the cumulative work of thousands of scientists all over the world, who work to understand basic phenomena, to share their knowledge between different scientific disciplines, and to help translate that knowledge to the pharmacy, the bedside, the food industry, the farming industry, the factories, urban planning and government policies.

Through the process of preparing the presentations – in class, and with assistance from a faculty mentor outside of class – the students will gain the necessary scientific knowledge related to their subject of choice, learn to integrate material and concepts, and present them in a manner adequate for non-scientific audiences.  Delivering the presentations should enhance the students speaking skills, and discussions in class following each presentation will reflect on the effectiveness of the talks.

Course requirements and grades*

Preparation of a presentation and a handout
Preparation of an Instructional Document (see below)
Delivery of the presentation to the class
Delivery of the presentation in three venues and submission of presentation reports
Deliver a short radio presentation of the topic on “Radio friends” on KBIA
Evaluate the presentations at different points along the process

*  Final presentations, handouts and instructional material will be handed in on a CD, at the end of the course.

Homework assignments
Homework assignments will be posted weekly on Blackboard.

Persuasive Messages: The Process of Influence by William Benoit and Pamela Benoit

Course plan and broad calendar
The course will be divided into 3 parts:

Part 1 (weeks 1-4)    – Choosing topics; building the presentations and class discussions on related issues.

Part 2 (weeks 5-10)    – Delivering the presentations to the class, and analyzing their effectiveness.

Part 3 (weeks 11-15) – Delivering the presentations to audiences in their venues and analyzing the experience to improve the presentations.  Switch class presentations (see Below).

In the first two parts of the course every session will start with each student reporting on their progress in the process and on issues that arose while trying to build the presentation, explaining how they solved them or asking for class input.

Detailed syllabus will follow.

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