Faculty Perspectives on SENCER at Butler

"My classes are grounded in student engagement throughout the whole semester.  Students sit in small groups at tables facing each other and work on projects together each day.  They actively talk with one another the whole class time.  And in other classes, such as when studying codes and secret messages, their more individualized work is complemented by collaborative problem-solving as they work together to decipher a list of messages." -Karen Holmes, Mathematics and Actuarial Sciences

"Students really gain a new perspective when they see two professors asking each other questions.  In one of our courses, we start with an important issue and then work backwards to the discover the science in the issue.  For example, in a course on food, we talk about organic farming and food safety and then work back to ecological principles that explain why pollution magnifies in the food chain.  It is really a good way to get students to understand why they need to care about societal issues and how science can explain and help resolve problems." -Phil Villani, Biological Sciences

"Students reignite their love of science with a combination of content, pedagogy, and community engagement that highlights how applicable science is to real issues in the community.  Students cannot help but engage and become passionate about the material and by the science. Our foods course is built on broad interdisciplinary approaches (linking general biology, botany, chemistry and psychology).  And co-teaching the course with someone from another discipline has been an awesome experience for me as an instructor, and again demonstrates to students that science (all kinds of science) matters." -Tara Lineweaver, Psychology

"What happens when a physics professor, a chemistry professor, and an English professor get together?  "Indy Power"! Because the issues associated with energy generation are so multifaceted, solving them requires knowledge from several different fields.  Focusing this multidisciplinary perspective on the topic of power generation in Indiana, the course covers the science behind and the social history of power generation and its impacts on our culture, our economy, our environment and our health.  Interacting with guest speakers from all facets of the energy industry, students gain a sophisticated understanding of energy and its uses." -Carol Reeves, English

"Goggles are on, hydrometers are ready, and real-world connections are all around! This is what you get when you combine science exploration resources and talent from one of the top children's museums in the world, curious 2nd and 3rd graders from Indianapolis Public Schools, and enthusiastic Butler University College of Education students. In our high energy Science and Social Studies Methods course, a shared learning experience is ready for all and the secret is the power of community engagement. A true appreciation of how complex science and social studies ideas are integrated in our daily lives is not only explored but experienced!" -Catherine Pangan, Education

"I encourage students to put scientific knowledge and scientific method to immediate use on matters of immediate interest to students. In teaching statistics, students have a lot of flexibility in working on projects that interest them.  They use real data in which they can apply the scientific methods they are learning. We study issues in various educational fields, from biology to business to education to international affairs.  The course serves students with diverse backgrounds and interests, and we find projects in which students can see the relevance of statistics in their day-to-day lives." -Lacey Echols, Mathematics and Actuarial Sciences