Practice-oriented Science Education for Business Students

By Shari Laprise, James Philips, Vikki Rodgers and Chuck Winrich.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Practice-oriented project work outside the classroom provides greater opportunities to explore applications of concepts derived from class lectures and textbook readings. At Babson College, a small business college, the science program is structured to develop general scientific knowledge and explore applications of science through technology. Course assignments – including group projects and laboratory exercises - are designed to bridge the gap between science and the business realm. To demonstrate how science, technology, bioethics, and business intersect to produce viable solutions to current medical, environmental, and societal problems, all students in required intermediate courses participate in an integrated capstone project, in which they come up with an idea for a new product, based on an existing or emerging technology. The students then create a fictional company based on this novel idea, and produce a business plan for bringing the product to market. Students also participate in campus environmental audits, in which students collect data and evaluate and interpret their results in order to determine the environmental impacts of colleges and universities. This mimics the corporate environmental impact analyses done by businesses to comply with environmental laws and reduce environmental impacts and costs. For example, students perform a measurement survey to determine the carbon storage potential of campus trees as part of the larger goal of calculating the campus carbon budget. Such field experiments offer students a unique perspective as the real world becomes the classroom. These practice-oriented assignments complement theoretical class discussions and provide a window into the role of science and technology in society.

Keywords: Science, Society, Business Education, Practice-oriented

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.235-242. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 752.371KB).

Shari Laprise

Assistant Professor, Math/Science Division, Babson College, Babson Park, MA, USA

James Philips

Associate Professor, Math/Science Division, Babson College, Babson Park, MA, USA

Dr Vikki Rodgers

Assistant Professor, Math/Science Division, Babson College, Babson Park, MA, USA

Chuck Winrich

Lecturer, Math/Science Division, Babson College, Babson Park, MA, USA