Skip to main content

Northwestern College Preparation Program

IN FOCUS Seminars

IN FOCUS Seminars

IN FOCUS Seminars are designed to expose students to top Northwestern faculty highlighting themes relevant today. They do not have the time commitment or cost of a college credit course. These two-week noncredit seminars are structured like a college seminar course. Faculty will lead the seminar through discussion, readings and study, enabling a rich learning experience. Only College Prep students are able to enroll in the seminars, which will appear on your official Northwestern University transcript upon successful completion. If you wish to request credit at your high school for a seminar, discuss this with your counselor ahead of time since the acceptance of credit depends on your school's policy.

BEGIN APPLICATION REQUEST INFORMATION

 

2018 IN FOCUS Sessions

Session 1
(June 25–July 6)
Session 2
(July 9–20)
Session 3
(July 23–Aug 3)
Crime, Crisis and Genocide: Global Justice in the 21st Century Life, Death, and Justice in Health Care Fake News! Misinformation and Public Opinion
How to Think Like a Scientist So You Want to be a Doctor? How to Build a Just Society:  Reading and Writing about Social Justice
Legal Interpretation and Communication The Future is Female: Wonder Women in STEM
Writing for College Success

HIV and AIDS: A Humanitarian Approach to Global Health

These opportunities are once in a lifetime and you will learn so much from it. I made so many friends and had an amazing time! I would love to go back.”

Darby Billing, College Prep 2016

I had always been interested in medicine and the Northwestern University Insight into Medicine program was a perfect fit! I learned about the path to become a physician, different types of healthcare systems in the world and a great look at the Northwestern campus!  READ MORE.

 

Darby Billing

Crime, Crisis and Genocide: Global Justice in the 21st Century

June 25–July 6

Instructor: Jeff Rice, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Weinberg College Adviser

Enrollment Capacity: 24

As we have seen in recent years, international courts of justice have risen to the forefront of global response to genocides, civil wars and other crises which involve mass killings.  From trying Nazis to the fomenters of the genocide in Rwanda, we watch government officials and ordinary people stand on trial charged with crimes against humanity.  Students in this seminar will tackle recurring questions which arise before and during these trials.  Where was the rest of the world while these killings occurred? What laws were broken? What are the standards of criminality and when does global justice take precedence over national sovereignty? We begin with the origins of the law against genocide as well as the historical and philosophical roots of the principle of sovereignty.  We will examine the cases of Rwanda and either Darfur or Syria; how these crises began and how they were fueled (both internally and through international action and neglect).  Our findings will address whether the decision to try killers is easier than the decision to intervene in an effort to stop the killing.  We will consider the advantages and disadvantages of the overall policy that the United Nations seeks to enact called “The Responsibility to Protect” or R2P.

Methodology

Through reading background material, survivor narratives and watching documentary film footage, students will be introduced to the origins and the unfolding of genocides. Lectures, group discussions, invited speakers, and journal writing assignments will be mixed together to develop a deeper understanding of humanitarian crises.

Objectives

At the end of this course, students can expect to be able to:

  • Provide an historical understanding to the genocide in Rwanda and the humanitarian crises in Darfur (one question will be whether Darfur is, in fact, genocide).
  • Assist students in understanding the relationship between civil wars and genocides asking the question of whether genocide is the intended result or a by-product of war.
  • Investigate the complexity of international intervention: can it work, what are the long term problems, does it violate norms of sovereignty, when is it necessary?
  • Look at the effectiveness of post-genocide tribunals, the role of the International Criminal Court, the United Nations, and court proceedings in Rwanda.

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in humanitarian issues, comparative history, Africa, or trans-national justice. No previous knowledge of any of these issues is required — just passion.

A Typical Classroom Session

Each day there will be a mix of lectures, films, discussions, and quiet time for writing. While this session would be a half day held on the Evanston campus, some days will be full days with field trips offsite or on-campus activities. On full days, there will be field trips or other seminar activities that will require attendance beyond the typical classroom schedule.

9:30–10:15am:

Lecture and discussion on the topic for the day

10:15–11:00am:

View documentary or discuss film/activities from previous afternoon

11:00–11:15am:

Break

11:15am–11:45pm:

Small group discussion based on talking points offered by the instructor

11:45–12:15pm:

Class-wide presentations based on small group discussions

12:15–12:45pm:

Introduction of next day’s themes/topic

Field trips/afternoon activities

Films to be shown during the classroom sessions will be Frontline Documentaries and videos of trials for war crimes.

^ Back to top ^

 

Legal Interpretation and Communication

June 25–July 6

Instructor: Lesley Kagan Wynes, Clinical Assistant Professor of Management, Assistant Dean for Academic Experience, Kellogg School of Management

Enrollment Capacity: 32

The American legal system is premised on the idea that legal rules are subject to creation, change, and interpretation.  In our common law system, government actors and private citizens alike take part in the process of defining the legal principles and understanding how those principles apply to resolve disputes and controversies.  In this intensive seminar, you will learn the fundamentals of creative legal interpretation, the cornerstone of law school learning and the legal profession. This process of interpretation and re-interpretation of legal ideas (often called “thinking like a lawyer”) is what students learn through the Socratic dialogue in law school and must master to succeed on law school exams, and it serves as a the foundation for oral and written communication in all areas of legal practice.

Methodology

During the two weeks of this program, we will survey five main topics: 

  • Introduction to the American legal system and sources of law
  • Reading and briefing cases
  • Mastering the Socratic Method
  • Legal reasoning and analysis
  • Oral advocacy and persuasion

In the classroom, you will hone your critical thinking skills as you work on a client-based legal problem and communicate your analysis of how the law applies to the client’s problem in a clear, concise written form. You will also learn the fundamentals of law school exam success and participate in a mock oral argument exercise. Last, you will develop teamwork and collaboration skills by working in groups inside and outside of class. Outside the classroom, you will take part in the lawyering process — from the federal courthouse to the Northwestern Law Bluhm Legal Clinic to the conference room of a Chicago law firm. Through these experiences, will get practical perspectives on future careers in the law and insight into how the legal system operates. 

Objectives

At the end of this course, students can expect to be able to:

  • Preview the experience of law school and introduce strategies for successful student behavior (on the pre-law and law school levels)
  • Teach students how to read and analyze legal sources and apply the law to a client’s problem
  • Understand the unique ways that lawyers communicate with other lawyers, clients, and judges
  • Develop teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Prepare students to conquer the college admission process and to maximize pre-law learning opportunities during the undergraduate years
  • Inspire students to select the professional path that best suits their personality traits, analytical strengths, and intellectual interests

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in a career in the law or government and want to better their critical thinking and analytical skills. No previous knowledge or experience with legal studies is required.

A Typical Classroom Session

While this session would be a half day held on the Evanston campus, some days will be full days with field trips offsite or on-campus activities. A detailed daily schedule will be provided before the program begins.

9:30–10:15am:

Understanding the Socratic Method

10:15–11am:

Law School 101: Understanding Legal Education -Open discussion of readings about the purpose of legal education, teaching methodologies employed by law professors, and the types of legal education (doctrinal, theoretical, and clinical).

11–11:15am:

Break

11:15am–noon:

Reading and Briefing Cases. Lecture and discussion on reading a legal decision (a “case”)
Introductory lecture on “case briefing” (a law school classroom preparatory strategy)

noon–12:45pm:

Rule Development and Application. Introductory lecture on rule development. Analytical exercise: understanding rules and how to apply them to a client’s story


Tentative Field Trips / Afternoon Activities may include:

  • Understanding the Judicial Process
    Tour of the federal courthouse and visit with Federal District Court judge; opportunity to observe lawyers presenting argument in court; lunch with Assistant United States Attorney.
  • Careers in the Law
    Panel discussion with practicing attorneys about the legal profession.
  • Inside the Mind of a Defendant
    Program on criminal confessions and Miranda rights in the Bluhm Legal Clinic at Northwestern University School of Law.
  • Life as a Law Student
    Tour of Northwestern University School of Law and brown bag lunch sessions on successful student behavior, study strategies, and best undergraduate practices in preparation for law school. 

Resources and Materials

Required text for the course will be Writing a Legal Memo by John Bronsteen.  Students are expected to bring the book to the first class. Other reading and analytical assignments will be provided for the students. Readings will be excerpted from textbooks on legal reasoning and analysis.  Additionally, students will read edited legal decisions and complete exercises designed by the seminar’s professor.

^ Back to top ^

 

How to Think Like a Scientist

June 25–July 6

Instructor: Professor Andrew J. Rivers, PhD, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

Enrollment Capacity: 24

Modern science has revealed fantastic stories of the universe well beyond our direct experience–from invisible subatomic particles and their gargantuan forces, to powerful black hole collisions that ripple spacetime millions of light years away. In this course, we will examine the story of the evolving scientific method that serves as the engine of discoveries that birth technological revolutions and expand our understanding of the universe. Our lens will be the story of astronomy–the first efforts of mankind to look beyond our sphere. We will discuss scientific methods developed in parallel with discoveries in the heavens from the enlightenment era to modern day, learning how the once-distant laws of heaven and Earth unified and changed the course of human history. From there, we’ll expand our lens to push the limits further, as science confronts the problems of a changing and dense landscape of data and information. We’ll look to modern examples like climate change, scientific bias and pseudoscience. The next evolution of the scientific method–and in society– will challenge both limitations in our tools and ourselves. Our ultimate goal is to construct a pocket lens of knowledge so students can sharpen their view of a noisy, information-filled world.

Field Trips and Interactive Experiences Include:

  • In-class demonstrations will be used to elucidate concepts. For example, we will build our own spectroscopes and use iPad interactives to explore the solar system.
  • Guided excursions will include expert-led trips to the Northwestern Dearborn Observatory and the Chicago’s Adler Planetarium including the Planet Nine sky show.
  • Guest presentations from Northwestern experts from disparate fields.
  • Invited panel of Northwestern undergraduates to discuss their experiences of scientific research at Northwestern.

Methodology

Lectures, group discussions and interactive exercises will be combined to develop a deeper understanding of the universe and how we know what we know about it. Students are expected to come prepared to each class by completing the readings and by participating in on-line discussion boards.

Objectives

At the end of this course, students can expect to be able to:

  • Develop understanding of scientific theories about the universe and their foundations built on observation, predictions and testing.
  • Analyze levels of certainty in the fundamental theories compared to alternative ideas.
  • Develop familiarity with theoretical and experimental methods of science and apply those methods to claims encountered in news, politics and everyday life.

Assignment

Students will research a current controversial scientific issue and analyze the topic through the lenses explored in class. Students will discuss their topic and conclusions in a short class presentation.Students will choose, develop and refine their research topic in collaboration with the professor and T.A.


Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who have passion for science, whether or not they plan to pursue undergraduate majors in scientific disciplines. No special expertise is required, but some background in algebra is helpful.

A Typical Classroom Session

The seminar will be a mixture of half days and full days. On the full days, there will be field trips or other seminar activities that will require attendance beyond the typical classroom schedule.

9:15–10:15 a.m.:

Lecture and discussion with interactive demonstrations

10:15–11:00 a.m.:

Class Activity: e.g. Build a spectroscope and make observations

11:00–11:15 a.m.:

Break

11:15am–noon:

Small group discussion on a scientific debate (e.g. climate change)

Noon–12:30 p.m.:

Class discussion and introduction of next days topic

Afternoon

Field trip and afternoon activities (two or three over course of two weeks)

Afternoon

Arranged individual meetings with students to discuss project

 

Resources and Materials

Scientific concepts will be supported by on-line readings and interactives, organized via Northwestern’s Canvas Learning Management System. Discussion boards on Canvas will set the stage for in-class conversations. 

^ Back to top ^

 

 

Writing for College Success

June 25–July 6, 2018

Iinstructor: Charles Yarnoff, PhD, Associate Professor of Instruction in Writing, The Writing Program, Northwestern University

Enrollment Capacity: 26

What do college professors look for when evaluating student writing? This course teaches practical and effective strategies for meeting professors' expectations when writing at the college level. You will learn about the conventions of writing in a range of academic disciplines and in different types of papers, such as close readings of texts, reflective responses, and research-based persuasive essays. Through creative exercises, intensive in-class writing, and discussion of thought-provoking articles, you will develop your critical thinking skills and learn to communicate your ideas clearly and persuasively. In addition to preparing yourself for writing papers in college, you will have the opportunity to work on producing a draft of your college admission essay.

Methodology

Class sessions will include brief lectures on writing topics, discussion of readings, peer editing of students’ writing, and in-class writing. Through these methods, you will learn about the different kinds of papers you will write in college, and techniques for drafting and editing your own papers. You will also learn how to use the Northwestern University Library’s extensive databases in order to do research. Finally, you will read examples of college admission essays, draft your own, receive feedback on it, and write a revision.

Objectives

Through this course you will:

  • Become familiar with the types of papers you will write in college
  • Learn about the expectations professors have for writing
  • Learn strategies for drafting and revising college papers
  • Learn how to do research using a university library’s databases and primary source material
  • Produce a draft and revision of your college admission essay

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in improving their writing to help prepare themselves for college. No previous knowledge of college writing is required.

 

A Typical Classroom Session

The seminar will be a mixture of half days and full days. On the full days, there will be field trips or other seminar activities that will require attendance beyond the typical classroom schedule, such as student research.​

9:00–10:00am:

Lecture and discussion on the topic for the day

10:00–11:00am:

Follow-up on previous day’s activities, e.g., peer editing of a paper followed by time to work on revision

11:00–11:15am:

Break

11:15am-12:00pm:

In-class writing, e.g., starting to work on a paper or practicing editing techniques

12:00-12:15pm:

Introduction of next day’s topics

 

Resources and Materials

Readings will include examples of writing assignments from various Northwestern University courses; articles about effective writing; readings for analysis and critical reflection; handouts on editing techniques; and examples of college admission essays.

^ Back to top ^

 

Life, Death, and Justice in Health Care

July 9–July 20
Instructor: Professor Mark Sheldon, Assistant Dean Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Department of Philosophy, Medical Humanities and Bioethics, Feinberg School of Medicine

Enrollment Capacity: 24

On a seemingly daily basis, we are confronted by stories in the media that focus our attention on various issues in bioethics. Furthermore, many of these issues stand powerfully at the center of our political discourse. Some of these questions result from the development of new technologies — when does life begin, when does it end, when should it end? Other questions relate to the increasing cost of medical care — who should receive a heart transplant, what is our responsibility to the millions of individuals who do not have health insurance, should medical resources be allocated on the basis of age? And then there are issues specific to the doctor/patient relationship — what should doctors tell and not tell patients, how much confidentiality should be protected by the doctor/patient relationship? In this thought-provoking seminar, students will expand their ability to analyze the ethical dimensions of these challenging social issues.

Methodology

The seminar will consist of discussion primarily of a variety of important and timely readings. There will also be brief lectures for the purpose of providing a context for the discussion. Since the topics considered will be intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically complex, it will be important to have time to reflect thoughtfully on the issues, to examine a variety of perspectives, and to develop the skill of listening carefully to what others have to say.

Objectives

The seminar has no particular objective other than enabling the participants to develop insight into and appreciation for the way philosophical analysis and argument can contribute significantly to clarifying the ethical and conceptual issues in these very complex matters. 

Applicants

The seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in philosophy, medicine and public policy. No previous knowledge with any of the topics is required, and one does not have to be focused on medicine as a career. The topics under consideration have implications for all members of society.

A Typical Classroom Session

Each day will be a mix of brief lectures, extensive discussions, film clips, and small group (two or three students per group) presentations. The challenge for each group is to present an analysis of a case relevant to the topic, ultimately working together as a hospital ethics committee would, presenting and defending the group’s resolution of the case to the seminar at large.

While the sessions on the Evanston campus will consist of half days (9:30am–12:45pm), allowing for group presentations and permitting the different groups to prepare for their presentations, other days will be full days when a field trip is appropriate, for instance to the Museum of Science and Industry or the International Museum of Surgical Science.

Resources and Materials

Students may be asked to purchase one book, but it is more likely that the relevant readings will be available on line for download. The readings will be accessible readings from philosophy, medicine and law journals.

^ Back to top ^

 

So You Want to be a Doctor? (Seminar is Full)

Formerly known as the "Insight Into Medicine" seminar

July 9–July 20 
Instructor: Sarah B. Rodriguez, PhD, Senior Lecturer, Global Health Studies, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, Lecturer, Medical Education, Feinberg School of Medicine

Enrollment Capacity: 20

This course provides high school students with an opportunity to critically examine what medicine is and what it means to practice medicine. By framing this course around these fundamental questions, we will explore what it means to be a medical professional, why someone chooses to become a doctor, what the path to medical school consists of, and what it is like to go to medical school. As part of this experience, students will obtain hands-on learning, including how to take a medical history of patients and take basic health measurements. We will also explore the importance of non-physiological factors (such as social, cultural, environmental) on sickness and disease. Because the practice of medicine involves critically analyzing information and working in teams, students will participate in presenting and analyzing materials from a variety of sources and working on team-based projects.

Methodology

This class will consist of lectures, discussion of readings and assignments, small group and individual in-class work, student presentations, visiting speakers and class trips. Students are expected to come prepared to each class having done the readings and with comments and questions ready from which to participate in discussion.

Objectives

At the end of this course, students can expect to be able to:

  • Describe the path toward applying to medical school
  • Outline what the first year of medical school consists of, and how medical education has changed
  • Summarize how health care is paid for in the United States, as well as alternative models for funding health care
  • Appraise the importance of socioeconomic impacts on health and illness
  • Learn how to work as a team to present a case

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in issues and careers related to medical practice and health care systems. No previous knowledge of any of these issues is required.

A Typical Classroom Session

Each day will be loosely organized around a topic such as: The American Health Care System

9:00–10:00am:

Presentation by instructor on the economics of health care

10:00–11:00am:

Students will present researched information on health care delivery in America covering the private and government sectors

11:00–11:15am:

Break

11:15am–12:15pm:

Discussion and debate about alternative ways of delivering and funding health care and what role the government should play in funding health care

12:15–12:30pm:

Case study and discussion

Field trips/afternoon activities

 

Tentative Field Trips/Afternoon Activities

The seminar will be a mixture of half days and full days. On the full days, there will be field trips or other seminar activities that will require attendance beyond the typical classroom schedule, such as student research and presentations.

Resources and Materials

A reading list will be sent prior to the start of the program so you can prepare for the seminar. During the seminar, you will be given assistance with sources for your presentations and will gain experience in using online databases and the Northwestern University Library.

^ Back to top ^

 

Fake News! Misinformation and Public Opinion

July 23–Aug 3
Instructor: Jolie C. Matthews, Assistant Professor, School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University 

Enrollment Capacity: 15

Fake news. Misinformation. Propaganda. “Post-truth.” We live in a climate of rising distrust, polarity of opinion, and intolerance for oppositional views. The vast array of media content available today can increase exposure to diverse perspectives, yet customization and choice can result in the ability to follow predominantly like-minded content while dismissing other information as “fake” and/or produced by “biased sources.” But what is fake news or a biased source? How do we identify and guard ourselves against either? This seminar explores source credibility and trustworthiness when it comes to media content, with a focus on how to define, determine, and protect oneself against “fake news.”

Not only have traditional, mainstream news organizations expanded their digital presence from Facebook and Twitter to Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube, the number of digital spaces, apps, and platforms used on a regular basis to access information has grown, with aggregators such as Flipboard, Feedly, and Google News potential resources, as are “digestible” and fun sites and apps like theSkimm or Buzzfeed. This seminar examines news acquisition and knowledge sharing practices across various media platforms on micro and macro levels. In addition to exploring how different media organizations and digital media platforms explicitly and implicitly shape the creation and presentation of news content, students will be asked to analyze how they personally decide on what is a “biased” source, as well as the role their own bias plays in how they read news and accept information from different type of sources.

Methodology

Before students can fully unpack “fake news,” they first need an understanding of what constitutes “news,” for underlying assumptions and attitudes about this can vary widely. From reading articles on how previous research has defined “news” to in-class exercises where they interview themselves and their peers and discuss their personal definitions, students will create a class rubric for how to score “credible information,” which will then be used as the course transitions into how to identify and guard against “fake news.”

Through a combination of individual and group exercises, students will learn about and directly apply tips and practices for spotting fake news, such as checking the source of an article (author, site history and ownership, timeline of information, etc.) to multiple corroboration tactics. Students will also focus on self-reflection, even as they build skills, in terms of how, why, and when they tend to accept information at face value, how often do they check the origin or trustworthiness of a source, and how they can do a better job of doing so in their day-to-day life. They will be asked why and if it matters how accurate a comment or post on social media is, and whether meaningful dialogue (or genuine harmfulness) can occur in these spaces. They will be asked to write their own news articles as well as “re-write” articles that already exist to see the effects of perspective in shaping how information is presented, and they will personally test the importance of being able to identify and protect against misinformation by engaging in a project where they will implement and spread “fake news.”

Objectives

At the end of this course, students:

  • Will learn to define, argue, and reflect on what constitutes “news” by organizations, researchers, and most importantly themselves and their peers
  • Be aware of the role of bias in how “news” is written but also read. Bias is a bilateral rather than unilateral issue, and students must recognize their own bias along with the bias that exists in others
  • Have an awareness of how to look for and truly understand who/what is the source behind the content they see
  • Understand how and why “fake news” is disseminated (and accepted), and how to determine the “trustworthiness” of sources through skill-building exercises
  • Consider the benefits and challenges of news aggregators and feeds versus individual websites or organizations for acquiring “news”

Applicants

This seminar is designed for college-bound high school students who are interested in:

  • Media institutions and media culture, journalism practices
  • Polarity in the public sphere and the role of “fake news” in increasing that polarity
  • News production and consumption habits
  • Reflection on personal media habits and the messages encountered in daily life
  • Learning how to collect and analyze social media data for research purposes

A Typical Classroom Session

Most class sessions will be half days, but some days will be longer due to field trips, guest lectures, or other activities beyond the normal schedule.

9:30–10:15am:

Lecture and discussion of readings

10:15–11:30am:

News/media skill building exercises 

11:30–11:45am:

Break

11:45am–12:45 pm:

Fake news case study or news/fake news rubric activity

 

Resources and Materials

Some readings will be distributed (or links provided) at the start of the course. Students will additionally gain experience using different online databases and tools to search for and gather content, considering the pros and cons of various platforms for information access and credibility. Film and television clips along with other multimedia sources will also be part of this seminar. 

^ Back to top ^

How to Build a Just Society: Reading and Writing About Social Justice

July 23–August 3
Instructor: James O'Laughlin, Associate Professor of Instruction, Writing Program; Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Weinberg College Adviser 

Enrollment Capacity: 18

What principles and what social practices and institutions are crucial for a just society? How can these take into account the impact of current and past injustices, such as those regarding race, economic standing, gender or the environment? In this seminar we'll examine these questions in the context of the United States.

We'll start with close readings of a few primary texts to identify key concepts and issues. Then we’ll deepen that inquiry with a broader range of texts that produce complications in thinking about social justice, including a few short stories and a film. Students will each write a short paper (2 pp.) in response to one of the readings and get feedback on their analyses.  We'll then work in groups of four or five to create short proposals for a just society, in which class members weigh in on one or more of the principles discussed in the seminar, and which they present at the end of the course, offering reasons and commentary on how they arrived at their proposals (and how they handled disagreements among group members). icipate in presenting and analyzing materials from a variety of sources and working on team-based projects.

Methodology

A mixture of brief, introductory lectures, large and small group discussions, readings, a film screening and a field trip, all to enable students to develop perspectives on the key issues and challenges in creating a just society.

Objectives

  • Students will become familiar with some contemporary arguments about social justice
  • Students will learn approaches for analyzing and supporting arguments about social justice
  • Students will learn some key challenges in coordinating priorities for social justice

A Typical Classroom Session

Most class sessions will be half days, but some days will be longer due to field trips, guest lectures, or other activities beyond the normal schedule.

9:00–10:00am:

Discussion of the topic/reading for the day

10:45–11:00am:

Break

11:00–11:30am:

Small group work on specific questions (usually taken from large group discussion); sometimes beginning with short individual writing reflections on key topics

11:30am–12:00pm:

Small groups report out to the large group on insights from and challenges raised in their groups

12:00-pm-12:30pm:

Synthesis of discussion threads and questions raised; overview of some issues for the next class

 

Readings

Readings may include the following:

  1. John Rawls, selections from Justice as Fairness
  2. Charles Mills, selections from Black Rights/White Wrongs
  3. Peter Singer, from The Most Good You Can Do
  4. Martha Nussbaum, "Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism"
  5. Martin Luther King, "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
  6. Carl Knight and Zofia Stemplowska, from Responsibility and Distributive Justice
  7. Thomas Nagel, from Equality and Partiality 8.
  8. Amartya Sen, from The Idea of Justice
  9. Amy Gutmann, "Democratic Citizenship"

^ Back to top ^

 

The Future is Female: Wonder Women in STEM

 
July 23–August 3
Instructor: Shelby Hatch, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Chemistry, Weinberg Adviser

Enrollment Capacity: 15

High school students of all genders will be inspired by the stories of wonder women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) from historical greats like Zhenyi Wang and Marie Curie to modern-day masterminds. This exploration will traverse time and geography and a myriad of scientific fields. Students will learn about accomplished women scientists’ and professionals’ resilience and success stories and how to chart their own educational and career pathways to become the STEM super stars of the future. In reading aboutwonder women of the past, and before meeting wonder women of the present, students will learn some of the science/math/coding behind what they did/do. In this course, students will also discover the history behind the creation and success of everyone’s favorite superhero, Wonder Woman. Students will each also create their own STEM superhero, receiving instruction on drawing, writing, and storyboard construction.

Methodology

Class time will include a variety of activities: discussions of readings, individual and small group in-class work (writing, drawing, and laboratory work), hosting guest speakers, and going on class trips.

Objectives

By the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Name and describe the scientific contributions of several historically important women in STEM
  2. Be aware of some of the challenges facing women in STEM fields
  3. Do some science
  4. Understand the science behind the scientists
  5. Have a better understanding of the career possibilities in STEM

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students of all genders who are interested in learning about the world-changing scientific contributions that women have been making, are making, and will continue to make, despite being significantly underrepresented in all STEM fields. No previous knowledge of any of these issues is required.

A Typical Classroom Session

9:30–10:00am:

Discuss yesterday’s reading of Alice Ball’s 1914 article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), “Benzolylations in Ether Solution”.

10:00–11:00am:

Laboratory experiment based on Alice Ball’s treatment for leprosy – isolating ethyl esters of fatty acids from awa root.

11:00–11:15am:

Break

11:15am–12:00 pm:

Discussion – What challenges did Alice Ball face, not only as a woman in STEM, but as a young black woman growing up in a predominantly white city?

12:00pm-12:45pm:

Writing/drawing time. Like Alice Ball, your STEM Superhero is presented the challenge of treating a debilitating and contagious disease. What scientific tools will they employ?

 

Resources and Materials

Some readings may be distributed (or links provided) at the start of the course. Film and television clips along with other multimedia sources will also be part of this seminar. 

^ Back to top ^

 

HIV and Aids: A Humanitarian Approach to Global Health

July 23 - Aug 3
Instructor: Jeff Rice, Senior Lecturer, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, Weinberg College Adviser

Enrollment Capacity: 24

As we have seen in recent months, the Ebola crisis in West Africa has become a global issue, not just for the treatment and containment of the disease, but for the questions it raises about the ways in which the international community should most appropriately and effectively respond. This seminar will examine the politics and paradoxes of humanitarian intervention in global health crises over recent decades.  What determines when humanitarian intervention is needed? How is intervention mobilized, measured, and evaluated?  Relief efforts to address these crises can be positive, but in many cases the results can be negative, causing more problems than they solve. The West’s response to famine, disease, natural disasters and civil war, by providing emergency food, medicine, and security may be a “band aid” approach, without addressing the underlying social and political factors that enable these crises to develop in the first place. How do we understand these paradoxes and how can such understanding guide our response to these crises around the world?

Students will delve into these topics, by intensively researching, discussing and debating the state of humanitarian intervention as it relates to global health.  Famine in Ethiopia, civil war in Syria, Ebola in Liberia, and HIV/AIDS around the world will be used as case studies for this seminar. 

Methodology

Through reading background material, first person narratives and watching documentary film footage, students will be introduced to the various humanitarian responses to particular global health crises. Lectures, group discussions, invited speakers, and journal writing assignments will be mixed together to develop a deeper understanding of humanitarian crisis and relief.

Objectives

  • Provide an historical understanding of particular recent health crises.
  • Investigate the complexity of international intervention: can it work, what are the long term problems, does it violate norms of sovereignty, when is it necessary?

Applicants

This seminar is appropriate for high school students who are interested in humanitarian issues, comparative history, Africa, or trans-national justice. No previous knowledge of any of these issues is required — just passion.

 

A Typical Classroom Session

Each day there will be a mix of lectures, films, discussions, and quiet time for writing. While this session would be a half day held on the Evanston campus, some days will be full days with field trips offsite or on-campus activities. On full days, there will be field trips or other seminar activities that will require attendance beyond the typical classroom schedule.

9:30–10:15am:

Lecture and discussion on the topic for the day

10:15–11am:

View documentary or discuss film/activities from previous afternoon

11–11:15am:

Break

11:15–11:45am:

Small group discussion based on talking points offered by the instructor

11:45am–12:15pm:

Class-wide presentations based on small group discussions

12:15–12:45 pm:

Introduction of next day’s themes/topic

Field trips/afternoon activities

Films to be shown during the classroom sessions will be Frontline documentaries and videos.

^ Back to top ^

Back to top