Enhancing Scientific Communication Through a Life Sciences and General Education Partnership (2020-22)

Principal Supervisor(s): Dr. CHEUNG Hang Cheong Derek, Dr. LO Chun Yeung Edwin, Dr. NG Ka Leung Andy, Professor SHAW Pang Chui

Co-supervisor(s): Dr. CHUI Pui Yi Apple, Dr. NGAI Hung Kui

It is compulsory for undergraduate students of all disciplines to take the course In Dialogue in Nature (UGFN), in which students are expected to understand the modern scientific method and reflect on the issues arising from the classics in the course. On the one hand, Non-science background students tend to find it difficult to fully comprehend the essence of scientific method without hands-on experiences. On the other hand, students from School of Life Sciences (SLS) lack opportunities to communicate scientific knowledge to non-science communities in their major studies.

This project is a collaboration between SLS and OUGE and comprises two parts. The first part is a Science Communicator Training Scheme (SCTS) for senior SLS students. They are provided with training and opportunities to hold UGFN1000 Experiential Experiment Workshops (UEEW) developed based on selected texts in UGFN1000, with minimum assistance from the instructor. The second part is UEEW for undergraduate students currently studying UGFN1000. They can participate in workshops in one of the three themes provided, including (1) Antibiotics in action: Natural Selection and Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria; (2) The Secret of Life: Adaptation of the Avery-MacLeod-McCarty experiment; and (3) Life Below Water: Coral Adoption.

Two rounds of SCTS and UEEW were run in 2020/2021 Term 2 and 2021/2022 Term 1. A total of 18 SLS students joined SCTS, and around 300 UGFN students participated in UEEW. Feedback from both SLS students and GEF students is positive in general. SCTS students gave an overall score of 5.2 out of 6 marks on the satisfaction of the whole scheme. UEEW participants reported a score of 5 out of 6 marks that UEEW has enriched their learning experience in UGFN1000.