Proposal Title

“The Spark of Life”: A Pilot to Improve Scientific and Prose Literacy

Proposal Abstract

Dr. Jim Konzelman and Dr. Laura Ng partnered to investigate whether exploring the scientific history of classical works of literature, such as Shelley’s Frankenstein, would improve students’ scientific literacy and their perception of how literature connects to life. They wanted students to be able to identify elements of scientific innovation in literature and understand how the author’s treatment of that innovation through traditional literary tools reflects social anxieties.

They chose Dr. Ng’s World Literature II for the pilot. Students read works dealing with science’s ethical application, humanity’s responsibility, and the definition of human. Dr. Konzelman, a chemist, would guest lecture explaining the scientific trends in each novel’s time period and the ethical concerns. Students completed many assignments, from discussion posts where they identified traits of the “mad scientist” and discussed which characters embody those traits, to final projects critically examining the treatment of innovations or creating their own short speculative fiction work. In this poster session, Dr. Konzelman and Dr. Ng will explain the methodology used in the study and the results from their first round of research. They will provide copies of assignments, the rubrics used for scoring, some sample student work, and aggregate data of the student performance.

Location

Room 113

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 27th, 4:00 PM Mar 27th, 5:30 PM

“The Spark of Life”: A Pilot to Improve Scientific and Prose Literacy

Room 113

Dr. Jim Konzelman and Dr. Laura Ng partnered to investigate whether exploring the scientific history of classical works of literature, such as Shelley’s Frankenstein, would improve students’ scientific literacy and their perception of how literature connects to life. They wanted students to be able to identify elements of scientific innovation in literature and understand how the author’s treatment of that innovation through traditional literary tools reflects social anxieties.

They chose Dr. Ng’s World Literature II for the pilot. Students read works dealing with science’s ethical application, humanity’s responsibility, and the definition of human. Dr. Konzelman, a chemist, would guest lecture explaining the scientific trends in each novel’s time period and the ethical concerns. Students completed many assignments, from discussion posts where they identified traits of the “mad scientist” and discussed which characters embody those traits, to final projects critically examining the treatment of innovations or creating their own short speculative fiction work. In this poster session, Dr. Konzelman and Dr. Ng will explain the methodology used in the study and the results from their first round of research. They will provide copies of assignments, the rubrics used for scoring, some sample student work, and aggregate data of the student performance.