Drowning in Garbage - a Course Proposal

October 31, 2018

We are trying to create a new course that will give students a different kind of experience and perspective on the research process.  This will be a lower division (200-level) class devoted to the study – and hands-on analysis – of modern material culture, specifically recycling and refuse from the SFU Burnaby campus. 

The general goal is to study how the SFU community recycles, composts, and throws away material, the types of material included, and how successful (or unsuccessful) we are in separating these.  Although the course will be archaeological in nature (understanding human behaviour through material culture), we hope it will have appeal to people in other disciplines.

The specific goal is to create a course were students learn the type of practical analytical skills that can be applied in the real world: collecting data, compiling data, analyzing data, and using data to answer research questions.  We want to create a course that will teach students about these data-related practices and do this while offering a Breadth-Science credit (and possibly a Quantitative credit).  Students will be conducting lab-based research projects where they will use actual data to answer real world questions about current attitudes and practices that relate to recycling, composting, and garbage disposal. 

To try to gauge interest, we invite students to take this short survey; if you would like to be entered to win a gift card, please provide your email contact information.

Thank you for taking the time to read this!