Students Study the 'Rock Stars of Science' in Oxford, England

Three Columbus State University students traveled to Oxford, England over the summer to study "Rock Stars of Science." Co-created and taught by chemistry professor Kerri Taylor and history professor Ryan Lynch, the course allowed students to investigate the role of scientific innovators and to appreciate the importance of their contributions to society through a comprehensive study abroad experience.

Students spent 18 days from June through July immersed in the historical context and setting of central and south-eastern England. The program's intent was to challenge students - whose academic majors varied from biochemistry to communication to theater performance, - in to thinking critically about the relationship between science and society. Students lived in Columbus State's Spencer House in Oxford and made trips to London, Cambridge, and Greenwich.

"My experience in Oxford, United Kingdom, was the most incredible experience I have ever had," said Amanda Ellenburg, one of the students who participated in the class. "There are no words I can use to sum up my time in England."

The class explored a range of noteworthy scientists - from Charles Darwin to Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking - and studied how their discoveries impacted the lives of past and future societies, the cultural influence on specific scientific events, and their achievement, legacies, and memorialization. Then students explored their individual interests by selecting a person and topic to complete a paper and presentation.

The "Rock Stars of Science" class was the first-of-its-kind to utilize collaborative efforts with an interdisciplinary approach to chemistry and history.