At Truman, as at most Universities, each STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) major has a curriculum that provides learning experiences for its students that lead to deep mastery of their major content area. This specialized training usually begins in the first semester of college.
Truman’s STEP Office has developed courses that introduce the study of science and mathematics in an integrative fashion and that explore the inter-relatedness of the branches of science and mathematics.
- STEM 101: Integrative Freshman Seminar
- This course prepares you for earning a degree in science or mathematics at Truman in many of the ways that a traditional, major-specific Freshman Seminar does. Topics include study and time management skills, campus resources, co-curricular opportunities, academic expectations, and academic planning. Unlike the major-specific Freshman Seminars, this course presents the STEM disciplines in an integrated and interdependent fashion. By the end of the course, students will have a better idea which majors reflect their interests and talents, and they will have the tools to succeed in their chosen STEM major. This course is appropriate for any student who has an interest in, aptitude for, or curiosity about STEM majors. This freshman seminar should be taken in addition to a major-specific freshman seminar. This course is typically taught by a team of professors from Truman’s STEM disciplines, so students get to see integration of ideas at work and also witness challenges of integrative thinking. It is offered each fall semester. A natural follow-on course is the Integrative Inquiry Seminar (below).
- STEM 105/110 Integrative Inquiry Seminar
- This course presents science as a way of knowing and will serve as an early introduction to scientific literature, professional development skills, and scientific communication. Topics include ethics and scientific misconduct, the importance of writing papers and grant proposals, searching the primary literature, interpreting data, writing a survey of literature, preparing scientific posters and giving scientific presentations. By the end of the course, students will be prepared with the skills to engage in an independent research experience with a faculty member. This course is appropriate for any student who would like to prepare for a research experience. Throughout the course, students will work to develop a research proposal. Students who take this course in the Fall and work with a research mentor are eligible to submit their finished proposal to Truman’s TruScholars program the following Spring. This course is offered each Fall semester. STEM 110 is a writing-enhanced, two-credit version of the course.
- CHEM 350: Analytical Chemistry for the Life Sciences
- Biology majors are often surprised to discover that the chemistry requirements of their major is only one course shy of a chemistry minor. Biology majors most often choose Quantitative Analysis to complete their chemistry minor, and find its intensely quantitative nature rather frustrating. This alternative course for the life sciences presents many of the same techniques and principles, but provides students with more experience with instrumentation than they would get in the traditional Quantitative Analysis course. This course can also fulfill requirements for Truman’s Forensic Science minor and will be an option for the Biochemistry major that will be offered soon. With statistics as a prerequisite, the course uses an inquiry-based modular approach to apply chemical analysis and statistics to solve biological problems.This course is offered regularly every Spring. This course would be appropriate for Biology majors seeking the chemistry minor, and other chemistry minors.