AEW-31806 Trending Topics in Biology and Chemistry of Soil and Water

Course

Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Lecture8
Tutorial8
Group work5
Excursion (one day)8
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. IA van de Leemput
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. RNJ Comans
B van der Bolt
prof. dr. TW Kuyper
prof. dr. AA Koelmans
dr. IA van de Leemput
dr. ir. MMPD Heijmans
dr. ir. JJM de Klein
Examiner(s)dr. ir. JJM de Klein
dr. IA van de Leemput

Language of instruction:

English

Continuation courses:

MSc-thesis, MSc-Internship

Contents:

In this course, students will determine the content themselves, facilitated by the participating chairgroups. During the scoping-phase in period 4 and 5 students will identify and discuss current trending topics in science, within the field of biology and chemistry of soil and water. ‘Trending’ topics are those controversial topics that scientists argue about at this moment. This scoping will be done in an interactive way, including group meetings and online discussions. Participation in this scoping is mandatory and will be assessed (go/no-go). At the end of the scoping phase, the final topics that will be covered in the course will be selected, and working groups will be formed. During the course, students will acquire background knowledge on the selected trending topics through lectures, literature searches, and consultation of external experts. They question themselves why the topic is trending, what are the current controversies and identify the gaps of knowledge. Students will write a group report in the form of a perspective paper, and present their findings in a creative way (short movie, game, pitch presentation, debate). Moreover, students will write an article for a popular scientific magazine or newspaper on the selected trending topic.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- identify and discuss current trending topics in the field of biology and chemistry of soil and water;
- describe the relevance of the topic in earth and environmental science; 
- formulate learning outcomes related to the content of the course; 
- identify current discussions, controversies in science on a trending topic based on literature review, and expert interview(s);
- formulate outstanding pressing questions related to the topic; 
- find creative ways to present acquired knowledge in a meaningful way to fellow students;
- present acquired knowledge to a broader audience through popular science writing;
- present acquired knowledge to a broader audience through popular science writing;
- provide constructive feedback.

Note: learning outcomes related to the content of the course will be formulated in the beginning of the course

Activities:

- take actively part in face-to-face and web-discussion to scope the topics for the course;
- study background of selected topic from literature and group discussion;
- attend lectures by staff and/or guest lecturers;
- visit external institution and interview expert(s) on the topic;
- present findings in creative way; 
- write an perspective paper;
- write an article for a popular science magazine.

Examination:

Students should actively participate in the scoping phase and do the assignments. A go/no-go decision to join the course is made at the end of period 5. Students will receive a go, if they completed all tasks during the scoping phase. The final mark for the course will consist of:
- group report (50%);
- group presentation (20%);
- individual popular science article (25%);
- peer feedback (5%).

Groups have the possibility to re-divide the group marks among group members.

Literature:

To be announced.

ProgrammePhaseSpecializationPeriod
Compulsory for: MEEEarth and EnvironmentMScC: Biology and Chemistry of Soil and Water6WD