An Interdisciplinary Course in Quantitative and Scientific Literacy

Cathy Ann Godbois

Lancaster Campus Harrisburg Area Community College
1008 New Holland Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17601

Grant Number: DUE: 9651137

At Harrisburg Area Community College, as in many community colleges, students majoring in business and social sciences are required to take at most two courses in mathematics or science disciplines. Often these students elect to take college algebra which neither prepares them for a data oriented environment in the workplace nor exposes them to scientific methodology. These students, who typically comprise one-half of the enrollment in college algebra in many colleges, need an interdisciplinary course which will provide them with the requisite skills and knowledge. Further, such a course should provide a sound foundation for continued course work in mathematics, including applied calculus, and should address the learning styles of students historically underrepresented in the sciences and technology. This project is developing a laboratory manual and textbook for an interdisciplinary course in quantitative and scientific literacy. In this laboratory course, data collected by the students is being analyzed to determine both the scientific principles it illustrates and the properties of the function category for which the data is a numerical representation. The project is providing an avenue to ensure that an increasing number of non-science majors will have the requisite skills and knowledge that will enable them to be competitive in their careers and successful in their lives.

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