When Technology Meets the Humanities
Level 1: Grade 7 - Grade 10
Level 2: Graduating Seniors
~10 hours to complete the course
60 or 90-min weekly seminar (2-4 students per group)
2021 Summer Sessions (Pacific Time)
7/7-8/11, Wednesdays, 4:30-6:00 pm (4 students)
7/8-8/12, Thursdays, 4:30-6:00 pm (4 students)
Dates & times by arrangement (2-4 students)
Over years of guiding STEM students into most competitive STEM summer programs such as the NIH Summer Internship Program and most selective colleges such as MIT, we have noticed a great hurdle for students during the admissions process: to be able to discuss with width and depth the complex relations between science, technology, and society.
The humanities emphasize communication, empathy, curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, clear writing, and problem-solving. This course will help students demonstrate during college admissions their potential as emerging STEM leaders with the vision to serve humanity and apply humanities skills to their future work in STEM fields.
Through exploring what science and technology make of the world and what the world makes of science and technology, students will learn to:
Articulate the significance of science and technology in contemporary society
Demonstrate their understanding of the critical role of STEM leaders in service of humanity
Adapt to new STEM challenges with valuable interdisciplinary thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities.
Instructor: Dr. Prusko
Dr. Prusko is a university educator with over two decades’ experience teaching literature, writing, and communications courses. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. She is the recipient of a Faculty of Arts Teaching Award and the William Hardy Alexander Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. While teaching is her main focus, she also researches and publishes in the areas of Shakespeare, early modern drama, and children’s literature.
PhD. in English
Questions to Explore
In what ways can those working in STEM fields understand the larger significance of their roles as members of their wider society?
When employers hiring in STEM fields require ‘communication’ skills, what does that really mean? What can the humanities teach us about communicating in STEM fields?
What can the humanities teach us about the ethics of technical and scientific communication?
Why and how might scientific writing use elements of narrative to reach a broader audience? For example, during the pandemic, how have health authorities applied features of storytelling to help the general public understand the facts of the disease and of vaccination?
Why and how is it important to apply human judgment to our increasingly digital lives?
When we use social media, how do we represent ourselves? Why? What factors are at play when we write a post, create a story, or select a picture or video to share? How does our sense of ourselves and our audience play into our interactions on social media?
Homework & Feedback
Classes will be structured around a close-reading of texts and a discussion of the important questions they raise. Students will be encouraged to bring new writing to each class for the instructor to edit and provide feedback. Students can expect to complete a variety of writing assignments, including argumentative writing about the use of social media and other technologies, and persuasive writing in the form of project and policy proposals. Upon completion of the course, each student will receive overall feedback from the instructor.
“Dr. Prusko embraces and celebrates innovative and novel ideas, which allows her students to truly thrive in their own explorations of literature. She has been a huge inspiration in both the academic and personal facets of my life.”
“The writing methods she introduced have proven to be invaluable across a variety of subjects and situations; when my friends are struggling with their writing, I recommend the techniques I learned from Dr. Prusko. Her enthusiasm and skill are truly remarkable.”
“I absolutely loved this course. Dr. Prusko is an amazing teacher who really cares about her students and takes time to make sure they understand the material. She is always willing to help and provide constructive feedback and is great at promoting class community and discussion.”
“Dr. Prusko is an incredible teacher and clearly knowledgeable and passionate about literature. Her class was challenging, but she provided constructive and helpful feedback and really encouraged us to do our best. She encouraged class discussions which were always interesting and helpful to the topic we were discussing.”
“I found myself working hard in this class because I felt compelled by the topic, and because I felt Dr. Prusko was very invested in our advancement in the class.”
“I think that the way Dr. Prusko is prepared, honest, humorous, and knowledgeable made learning more interesting and I enjoyed it. She was easily my best teacher.”