Student taking notes on book

Science Education Interdisciplinary Minor

Science operates within a larger context influencing and being influenced by society. Education has the goals of preparing individuals for personally self-fulfilling and responsible lives as well as addressing national needs such as economic viability. The ability of scientists to communicate and respond to the general public is a vital skill for scientists in the 21st century. The Science Education Minor (SEM) will allow Furman students the opportunity to study how science and society intersect and develop skills needed to share science knowledge with the general public. For students who later become professional scientists and physicians, a curriculum that builds the skills necessary to communicate the nature of scientific inquiry is also advantageous as the graduates interact with their communities and serve as mentors in professional training.

The minor is not intended as a program leading to teacher certification. It provides students with an introduction to the field so they can make informed decisions when considering career options later in life. These decisions may well include graduate school, preparation for teaching in the public and private sector, and/or employment as resource consultants in museums, state parks, or businesses. For students who become professional scientists and physicians, the concentration will provide background for communicating about science with the public.

The goal of the minor is to explore the interactive link between the natural sciences and society and to prepare students to be able to help make science accessible to the general public. To that end, the SEM will consist of at least 20 credits and will be available to students majoring in computer science, biology, chemistry, earth and environmental science, neuroscience, and physics. The minor will require field experiences that can be completed in various local settings including undergraduate laboratories, state parks, schools, camps or science museums.

Interested students should talk with a faculty member on the Science Oversight Committee. Students wishing to declare a science education minor should consult with the minor chair, Michael Svec, in Hipp Hall 101R.  Dr. Svec will serve as the minor advisor during their course of study.

For more information contact Dr. Michael Svec.