Taking STEM Classes As a Non-STEM Student
Hey everyone! I'm currently very surprised that it's already week 4 here at Dartmouth, but I'm so excited that the term is fully feeling like a normal college experience. The air is getting crisper and cooler, I have started putting all my shorts back in storage, exchanging them for jackets and sweaters, and it's hitting that fall has truly arrived in Hanover!
I thought I could spend today writing a bit about a recent development that's happened this term: my involvement in STEM classes as a person that applied to college wanting absolutely nothing to do with STEM for the rest of my life. I'm currently taking ENGS 12, a design thinking class in the engineering department, as well as EARS 14, a meteorology lab in the earth sciences department. Both of these classes have been incredibly interesting, and I honestly only have positive thoughts about them.
I am taking ENGS 12 to satisfy a prerequisite requirement for the human-centered design minor program, which basically aims to take engineering design principles and apply them to social science disciplines. The class follows a project-based approach, where we basically learn fundamental principles of all design types. Some of our projects focus on product design, others look at experience and other formats; some are collaborative, others individual. Overall, this class has been an extremely interesting way to gain insight into the principles behind modern design.
My meteorology class, which satisfies the SLA (science lab) distributive requirement, is an introductory, well-rounded dive into weather patterns and the science behind it. In the first three weeks, we've examined the processes that cause cloud formation and precipitation, charted different patterns in sun position and the resultant effect that this has on the environment. We also have daily presentations and discussions about current climate and weather related events, which have been as interesting as they are informative. EARS 14 has been a great introduction to the earth sciences at Dartmouth.
Both of these courses are obviously not the most rigorous STEM experiences, but they both were originally added to my schedule to fulfill degree requirements, and they both have surpassed my expectations and been incredible experiences. I like that these classes have been pretty easy to digest, and the material has been engaging. Both have hands-on methods of teaching and have allowed non-STEM majors to learn important concepts, which I am extremely grateful for. The interdisciplinary nature of my education here is constantly reminding me how lucky I am to be at a school like Dartmouth, and has made this term an enriching and positive experience.