Teaching Nuclear Energy: The Challenges of Interdisciplinarity in the Classroom
33rd Annual CNS Conference - 2012 June 10-13

Presented at:
33rd Annual CNS Conference
2012 June 10-13
Saskatoon, Canada
Session Title:
WFS - Education

Brett McCollum (Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB)
Duane Bratt (Mount Royal University, Calgary, AB)


Drs. Bratt and McCollum teach a third year undergraduate course entitled “The Science and Politics of Nuclear Energy” at Mount Royal University in Calgary. To the best of our knowledge this is the only course of its kind offered in Canada that combines science and politics of nuclear energy in the same course and taught by specialists in both of those areas. The presentation would cover the following key points. Why was the course conceived? What was the role of MRU’s focus on General Education? How was the course conceived? What is unique about it? What is the course content? How is the material delivered? ·         What is the student profile? Explaining the success of the course. From Winter 2011 when there were only 5 registered students in a 30 seat course, to 31 registered students in a 30 seat course in Winter 2012. Challenges of a multi-disciplinary course, ie., science students who are afraid of writing long political papers, social science students who are afraid of the periodic table and math. Challenges of teaching such a course in Calgary, ie., lack of a nuclear industry, lack of guest speakers, etc.   The methodology for the course includes:   Demographic statistics from student enrolments Content analysis of course documents Instructor’s views on the course A student survey. 

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