One day in October, communications staff attended 15 undergraduate classes across campus to showcase Iowa’s academic offerings.
Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014:
8:30 a.m. — Introduction to Printmaking
Ink is applied to etched plates, paper lays in wait in a pool of water, ink is pressed into grooves, excess ink is scraped off, and the plate and paper become fast friends under the heavy wheel of the press.
9:30 a.m. — General Astronomy
When Tyler Stercula walks into class, he’s not expecting to hold a candle to a hydrogen-filled balloon and ignite a giant fireball in front of his startled classmates—but that’s what he does, with four different gases.
10:30 a.m. — Black TV Drama: “The Wire”
Teaching students how to analyze segments of the acclaimed HBO television series “The Wire” helps them understand the deliberate techniques the show’s producers and editors use to make the show a social commentary.
11:30 a.m.— Principles of Microeconomics
As students file into John Solow’s class at Pappajohn Business Building and take their seats, the opening riff of The Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man” starts to twang over the speaker. Then discussion ensues on the Moldova economy.
12:30 p.m. — Orientation to Elementary Education
Lara Shema walks down the halls of Lucas Elementary School in Iowa City, a floral notebook tucked confidently into the bend of her right elbow, a pen at the ready. She hopes to have a classroom of her own someday.
1:30 — Age of Dinosaurs
Christopher Brochu strides into the Pomerantz Center auditorium with a resin replica of a five-foot-long
jawbone tucked under his arm. Today’s lesson explores tyrannosaurs.
2:30 — Thermodynamics/Transport Lab
The 21 students in Gary Aurand’s chemical engineering lab are divided into teams as they study stirring and frictional loss. “When can you put a lid on a pot and leave it, and when do you have to stand there and stir?” he asks.
3:30 p.m. — Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Whether it’s getting a good grade, nailing a job interview, or asking someone out, Joseph Sulentic draws on lessons from a retired Navy SEAL commander when he tells his students they have to first win the battle in their minds.
4:30 — Human Biology
Iowans know about slicing into pork, but they’re not always taking a scalpel to a preserved fetal pig. That’s exactly what students in a biology lab do as they get a closer look at the organs that keep pigs—and humans—running.
5:30 — Introduction to Afro-Cuban Dance
As this session progresses beyond warm-ups, the students run through a routine with energy and intensity, crisscrossing the studio floor, limbs moving to and fro, faces expressing concentration and joy.