The Course

A major priority in the design of this course is the engagement of students as scientists and citizens. This is accomplished through the variety of techniques described below.

*Note - This "course" is actually composed of five courses: ENG 218, Technical Communication; EDU 608, Directed Practicum; EDU 630, Science Methods for Elementary Schools; ESC 203, Introduction to Environmental Science; and BIO 408, Biological Research. Of these five, only three syllabi are present. They are listed separately below*

EDU 608 - Directed Practicum (Acrobat (PDF) 153kB Jul17 08)

ENG 218 - Applied Communication]

[file 12703 'ESC 203 - Introduction to Environmental Science (Acrobat (PDF) 117kB Jul17 08)

Classroom Management

The "glue" that makes this project work well is that each faculty member has taught their course for at least eight semesters so they know the timing of each activity, where students are likely to have problems, and the community resources that may have new opportunities available to enrich the class. Two of the faculty team live in Hampton so they stay abreast of changes in land use, construction, changes in town personnel or
other issues that may impact the course. The faculty team also communicates weekly either in person or by email and all offices, labs, and classrooms are within a few hundred yards of each other so we all know where we are in each others syllabus at all times and can slow up or speed up as necessary. Additionally, two of the faculty team are untenured and two of the tenured members have not yet made full Professor so the
goals of publishing, presenting, and promoting the SENCER ideals through Riverscape are priorities for the team. Finally, Anne Pierce and Judith Davis had previous experience with inquiry based problem centered student instruction through a PT3 project called Thinkquest. Therefore it was not a great leap for them to create a project that would attract a real audience. Integrating the idea of civic responsibility was the only really new component.

Pedagogical Methodologies

Field Trips

Field Trips to Areas of Interaction Between Man and the Natural Environment

  • Hampton Road Sewage treatment plant
  • MAIDA - production and handing of potentially hazardous wastes
  • Amory Seafood - production and handling of organic wastes
  • Harwood Mills water treatment plant
  • Newport News Park - natural functioning of a lake/forest ecosystem

Weekend Trips

  • Day trip - Nuclear power plant
  • Overnight trip - camping in Blue Ridge Mountains