An open letter from faculty, Viveca Sulich, Science,fall 2006.
During the fall of 2006, the day classes for Human Biology atRaritan Valley Community College participated in a service learningproject in conjunction with the Homeland Security Project. The course is intended to give students a basic understanding ofthe human body in health and disease. This was a perfect fitfor the class, since one of the requirements for the course is toresearch and present a disease of choice to the class. Thisproject was modified to include a disease as a consequence ofterrorism.
The students worked either individually or in groups of up tothree. They researched a disease that has the potential to beintroduced by terrorists and one that affects the human body. Each group and/or individual presented a different disease so theclass was exposed to many different diseases. They wererequired to create a brochure to educate the public and/or give anoral presentation, preferably a power point presentation, to theclass. The presentations took place throughout the semester,and were correlated as best as possible to a particular body systembeing covered in class.
Participation in this project benefited both the students andthe general public. Firstly, the students learned a greatdeal of information pertaining to their researched disease. Secondly, the class was exposed information about a vast array ofdiseases with the potential to be a threat to the society. Itwas interesting to see the approach of each student, as well as,their choice of disease. Additionally, this was also alearning experience for me, as the instructor. I learnedabout some new threats and interesting information from thebrochures and presentations. Lastly, this research couldprovide useful information for the community.
Overall, the project was successful. The students enjoyedlistening to the presentations of their peers, and appliedthemselves in their research to produce useful information for thecommunity.
Raritan Valley Community College
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