Class participation

Class participation refers to your

•participation in class discussions,

•asking questions of speakers and panel members, and

•completion of the peer evaluations in a timely, fair and thoughtful manner.

Your class participation should follow from the readings and the speaker’s presentations. For each class you are expected to do assigned reading(s). Participation that is grounded on the readings--whether reporting on them or critically assessing them against other knowledge your have or your own experiences will be considered of a high quality. Thoughtful responses to others’ comments, reflections from your own experiences, sharing of materials that you have observed on TV or read in the paper are also forms of class participation, but participation that consists only of these forms is not sufficient.

[NOTE: If you find active class participation very difficult but want to stay in this class we might explore other alternatives. You need to consult with instructors immediately about this issue.]

As part of your class participation you will evaluate each student presentation. Using a form that lists the criteria to be used, you will evaluate the presentations. This form is to be submitted through the web page within a week of the presentation. (Because your classmates’ grades are affected by this rating, no delays are possible. If you miss a class presentation, turn in an evaluation of the readings.) Giving the same rating to all criteria and/or all respondents does not qualify as a fair or thoughtful evaluation.

We require everyone in this class to use e-mail regularly. Minimally the e-mail will be used to forward information that is pertinent to the class. Optimally, we may use it to continue through e-mail discussions that begin in class.

Your grade for class participation will be based on self-evaluation and instructor’s evaluation.

Your class participation will be assessed both in terms of quantity and quality using the criteria listed in the second paragraph of this section.


Summary of one of the panels or visiting speaker’s presentations

Pairs of students will prepare summaries of the public presentations made by the visiting speakers and the panels. These summaries will be posted in the web page, thus they should succintly convey the basic information about the presentations. These summaries will include:

*full name and titles of presenters and of their presentation

*what they said was the focus (issue, or population, or policy, etc.) of their presentation

*frameworks or theories behind the information they presented

*methods used in collecting the information they presented

*any definitions they used

*any important statistics they presented

*results or conclusions reached by the authors

If the presenter or panelist does not address the issues above you may want to ask them about it during the

question and answer session. Write this report in 600 words or less one week after the panel or speaker’s talk. Your grade will depend on an accurate and complete summary of the panel or presentation you have chosen that meets all of the appropriate items listed above.


Class presentation

Each student will make a class presentation on one of the topics marked with square bullets in the syllabus. Students will work in teams of two or three people; students must agree about grading by the time that the proposal for the presentation is submitted. In your presentation you will provide

*definitions of the issue under consideration

*relevant statistics about the issue, if appropriate

*frameworks or theories behind the readings chosen

*results or conclusions reached by the authors

*your own critical analysis or interpretation of the readings

These presentations should be 25 minutes in length, including time (8-10 minutes) for a discussion session with the other students.

Students must agree among themselves about the division of labor for all of the steps below since half of your grade on class presentation (15% of your final grade) will be graded jointly with your co-presenters. As part of your class proposal please describe what agreements you have made among yourselves regarding division of labor. If after reaching this agreement difficulties arise, please communicate with the instructors before the graded activities (writing of the abstract and list of readings, presentation) are due.

Because many students have never made a class presentation, I will detail all the steps under four headings: preparation, mechanics in preparation for the presentation, presentation, and summary of the presentation. You should keep in mind the evaluation form of the presentation as you prepare each of the steps below.


1. Selecting a topic. It is likely that some topics will be selected by more than one person. In that case you can choose to form a team or to switch to another topic. Because of the number of days available for student presentations in this class, most people will work in pairs.

2. Finding readings. First, you should do a computer library search. You should review reference lists of materials assigned by instructors or visiting speakers--these may lead you to other references. You may also consult with the instructors.

3. Consult with the instructors about the approach you want to take and the readings that you want to include in your presentation. The student(s) will base their presentation on at least three readings.

[NOTE: If you borrow materials from the instructor: Materials that you assign for your presentation must be returned a week before the presentation. All materials must be returned by the last day of classes. If material is not returned, course requirements will be considered as incomplete.]

4. Selecting the readings. The reading(s) should be selected because of centrality to the issue and to the approach that you want to pursue, it should serve to frame your presentation. Readings need not be in agreement with each other, when this is the case you must address in your presentation these disagreements or discrepancies. The suplemental readings should be selected because they clarify, expand, challenge, etc. the core reading(s). Keep in mind the bulleted list in the first paragraph of this section.

Materials that address issues of gender and race in the context of science and engineering are central to the concerns of this course. Materials that address socially defined identities that may also characterize ethnic minorities or women (for example: disabilities, sexual orientation) and that have also affected their participation in science or engineering in the U.S. Reports on the scientific or engineering work by ethnic minorities or women and their impact on the disciplines or professions are also relevant to some topics.

Popular journals can be used to illustrate issues, but should not be chosen as the main sources of information. Videos or other audio-visual aids are appropriate, speak to the instructor about how to use and obtain these.

5. Deciding on the format of the presentation. Presentations can follow any format: lecture, conference-style with a poster or overheads, role playing, debates, inclusion of poetry, video, etc. Do what feels most appropriate to the task; feel free to consult with the instructors about this.

6. Preparing the one-page abstract of the presentation. In 250-300 words describe your presentation.

addressing the five items listed in the first paragraph under the section of class participation. Be sure to mention each reading. An annotated example will be found in the web page. This abstract is due the day of the presentation and will be posted in the web page.

7. Preparing the list of readings. The list of readings should be prepared in American Psychological Association style. Examples of this style will be distributed in class. The list is due the day of the presentation and will be posted in the web page.


1. Bring to the class an electronic version of the abstract and the list of readings. The abstract will reflect what the content of the presentation is without summarizing it. For example, the abstract will say: "The impact of gender on the status of women in science departments was considered." while the summary would be: "At every level of the academic ladder women of all ethnicities were under-represented."

2. Bring six copies of each reading at least one week before the presentation to class. Four of these will be placed in reserve in the Odegaard Undergraduate Library and in the reserve section of the Physics Library.

3. Print a copy for the instructor of each article that you use in your presentation that you did not obtain from the instructor. Return to the instructor the same copies that were lent to you.

4. E-mail the list of readings to the e-list.


[NOTE: You should anticipate having no more than 20 minutes for the whole presentation. Divide the time to make jusstice to the readings and to allow each presenter her/his fair time. Allow 8-10 minutes at the end for student questions.]

1. Introduce the topic. Each class should be started by an introduction of the topic and an explanation for the approach chosen in discussing it. A rationale should be provided for the choice of the readings. If the readings chosen did not include statistics about the issues, and it is appropriate to do so, then the presentation leader(s) should include them here.

2. Format of the presentation. While the focus of the presentation should be the readings, you are free to format the presentation in any way you feel is most effective. Regardless of the format that you choose, the content of the presentation should cover the items listed in the next bullet.

3. Content of the presentation. Address all of the following:

*definitions of the issue under consideration

*relevant statistics about the issue, if appropriate

*frameworks or theories behind the readings chosen

*results or conclusions reached by the authors

*your own critical analysis or interpretation of the readings

Make your presentation in such a way that it builds on each reading if they agree with each other, or clearly set up the differences if they don’t. You can go from the broad to the detailed or vice versa. Keep in mind the goals presented at the beginning of this syllabus. Feel free to draw comparison between your readings with those used by speakers or other students.

4. Answering questions. Facilitate all students’ participation. Be sure to pay attention to all students’ contributions. If someone has not participated you may want to be particularly encouraging of their participation.


[NOTE: This is an individual summary of the presentation. This three page report on the topic of the presentation is due one week after the presentation.] These

1. Prepare a summary of the presentation and the conclusions you reach. This summary will flow from the readings and the approach you have selected, and makes reference to the articles. You may also note any subtantial points raised during the class discussion. The abstract you submitted may serve as an outline to use for this summary. Attach to this summary a copy of the abstract, the reading list as well as any handouts or copies of overheads that you used.


One half of your grade for the presentation will be based on your peers’ evaluations, your own evaluation, and my evaluation. If there are 25 students in the class, each evaluation will count 1/26th of the total (25 students plus the instructor). The remaining half (15% of your final grade) will be allocated to the written materials: abstract, readings selected, summary.


Short reports

For each of the sections of this class (Overviews, Issues, Agenda for Action) each student will prepare a short report with a maximum of three pages. You will choose the content of the report. Those reports to be posted on the web can be submitted electronically. The rest of the assignments must be submitted in hard-copy, two copies of each assignment; with a maximum of three pages each.

Report on Overviews (to be posted on the web page for this class, due on Friday 16 April)

This report will complement the information you have learned about the status of ethnic minorities and women with information that is of interest to you. This report will have two parts:

1. a statistic or number about a group (one - two pages)

2. a number about an individual (one - two pages)

The statistical/group part of the report will focus on a number or figure of interest to you that you would like to explore over at least five instances. The following are examples of the kinds of statistics that may be used for your short report; feel free to develop your own question about any such figure or statistic.

*what has been the proportion of women undergraduate students in physics nationally for the last five years (or for 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, currently)

*how many ethnic minorities are registered in five different physical science departments at the UW

*what are the five institutions with the highest percentage (or total number) of women of color in engineering in the U.S.

*identify five different ethnic minority groups and find the numbers of girls from those groups that take calculus (or physics) classes in high school

Having done the research, you must write an explanation of what the number indicates and what is its significance with regards to the topics of this class.

The number about an individual refers to something about that individual that makes them unique or of historical significance. The following are examples of the kinds of numbers about an individual that may be used for your short report; feel free to develop your own question about any individual.

*who was the first woman of color to graduate with a degree in [write here the name of your major] in the U.S. OR at the UW

*who is the only woman or ethnic minority to hold a particular position in science (for example, full professor in a department, or the only dean of engineering in the West Coast)

*who is the most distinguished (and why) female chemist or nuclear physicist in the U.S. or the U.W. or the world

Having identified the individual, you must write a report that documents your claim about their uniqueness or historical significance.

Please comment on the ease or difficulty of finding the information for each type of number; note any sources that were particularly useful.

Report on issues (due on Friday 14 May)

This report will be a personal reflection on climate issues as described in the classes and readings of the section on "Issues" of the class. The "Issues" section begins with Marjorie Olmstead presentation on "Climate at the professional level" on the second hour of 16 April and ends with Taft Broome’s presentation on "The Heroic Engineer" on 10 May).

A personal reflection is intended as an opportunity to use both cognitive and affective aspects of our experience in and out of the classroom. For example,

*a reading in this class reminded you of some experience you have had in a science or engineering or math class and now you find yourself re-interpreting that earlier experience and perhaps re-experiencing the emotions of that first experience

*during a discussion in this class you did not feel free to share your thoughts about a topic because you were concerned with your classmates’ reactions, but you can see the tie between that experience and the experiences of ethnic minorities or women in science or engineering settings

*you found a statement in an article that contradicted what you have learned in another context through readings or personal experience

*you see a TV report or news or listen to a radio program and find yourself arguing with what you’re seeing because of what you are learning in the class

Using incidents such as those described above as the basis for the report, you will then reflect critically on the incidents or experience. Make reference to the specific article or if not an article, to specifics of the discussion, or TV news, or conversation, etc. What were your thoughts or feelings at the time? Do you have a sense of what may account for that: your own personal knowledge, your awareness of some kinds of behaviours or systems that are considered normative by some people? What is your position in this context--are you in a position to make a difference, or to just be a critical observer?

A good reflection (that will receive a high grade) will be clear in its references to incidents or articles, will indicate that reflexion has occurred about the what/why/how for what is being described. A good reflection will indicate how the knowledge you are gaining from your participation in this class has grown as the quarter has gone by--for example, something that seemed obscure or difficult in the beginning is clearer now; or the knowledge has served to question things that you may not have given a second thought to previously. It will also state clearly what your position is.

Report on policy issue in memo format (due on Friday 28 May)

Using what you have learned in this class and in the previous two reports about the status and the issues for ethnic minorities and women in science and engineering, prepare a report on a a policy issue using a memo style. In this report you must choose an issue and write an argument for what could be done that would make a positive difference for ethnic minorities and women in science and engineering. You can choose to target your proposed action or agenda for action at the level of the experiences of individuals or of groups, at any level of the educational or professional development, or at any discipline in science and engineering. Since this is an agenda for action at the UW, address your memo to a particular person or officer in the UW or the state that has the power to implement your proposal. Examples may be:

*to address the issue of retention of women in the physics major at the UW you write a memo to the chair of the department arguing for a proposed action that--based on your learning in this class--can be argued will very likely increase the retention of women in physics

*to address the effects of I-200 on applications to the UW you write a memo to the dean for undergraduate education and suggest ways of preventing a similar effect at the major level, specially aimed at the science and engineering majors

Thus, in this report you must identify an issue relative to a particular population, identify the level at which you want to work, organize the information learned from the class into a coherent argument for a particular proposal for action. The grade on this report will depend on how well you fulfill this description. The discussion of the last two days of classes will focus on these memos and the class as a whole will categorize and prioritize these agendas for actions.

Final project (due on Monday 6 June*)

(For Women 485 students only)

*proposal due 16 April

Each student registered in Women 485 will pursue a special project--group projects are encouraged. The project offers another opportunity to deepen your knowledge and understanding about one particular topic.

The following are examples of special projects, offered to give you some idea of the range of projects that are possible:

*do a project in conjunction with one of the offices or projects on campus that work to support or do research on issues for ethnic minorities and women in science and engineering (see note below about the NWCROW)

*analysis of textbooks used in your science department for how they present or consider women or ethnic minorities

*survey of of peers about some aspect related to ethnic minorities and women in science and engineering (****This requires Human Subjects approval--you will need to start right away)

*assessment of the status of women scientists (students, staff, or faculty) in your department

*designing a teaching unit on a scientific topic that reflects concerns discussed in this course

*content analysis of Larson’s cartoons for a view of what science/scientists are all about & how they are marked by socially defined identities such as gender, race, age, etc.

*traditional paper (This assumes a 12-15 pages paper based on at least ten bibliographic sources--of these at least five could not have been used as readings for the class. This paper cannot be used (or have been used) for a different class without significant changes or addtions AND permission of instructor.)

*your own idea of a special project

[NOTE: The NWCROW focuses on issues for ethnic minorities and women in science. The following projects related to activities of the NWCROW are available:]

*prepare a nomination of a woman scientist for an award

*content analysis of oral histories of women scientists using an existing coding scheme for information on mentors, self-esteem, or other issues.

*content analysis and write-up OR statistical analysis and write-up of data from the rural high school girls project

Topics for special project must be chosen with approval from the instructor. A written proposal (no longer than 3-4 paragraphs) must be submitted by . In that proposal you must specify what is your goal in doing this project and how it ties to the goals of the class. The special project is due the day when the final examination would have been held, and it must be typed.

If people work in teams, agreement about grading must be reached at the time that the proposal for the project is submitted. In grading your final project, these are the factors I consider in grading:

1. a clear thesis or purpose for your project

2. report on materials is accurate, the format is appropriate to the task

3. cover the issues thoroughly--if a traditional paper, the literature review is thorough

4. presentation fulfills the thesis/purpose and arrives at conclusions that can be deduced from the materials presented

5. creative and/or critical approach to the question or the issues

6. appropriate and complete references in APA style

Prof. Ginorio is ready to review drafts ahead of time--if done in a timely manner. (This means: if you do not wait until the last minute to do so; the turn-around time can be as much as two weeks.)