Annual CAS Hands On Day scheduled for Sept. 17

Identifying bones. Major pong. Instrument petting zoo.

Chancellor Furst-Bowe and Dean Romero checking their heart rates after various stimuli at the Biology booth.

These are just a few of the many activities intended to show students what a major or interdisciplinary minor in the College of Arts and Sciences can offer. They are also part of the college’s annual Hands on Day, which will occur Sept. 17.

Dean Wendy Shaw said many students may not know what the CAS majors are about, but the intent of Hands on Day is to help student see what the college has to offer.

“They see a major like history or geography or even mass communications, a whole bunch of things and they really don’t know,” Shaw said. “They think it’s just going to be very boring, straight lectures, there’s not much you can do with a degree in it, these kinds of ideas.”

Anthropology department chair Jennifer Rehg said for forensic anthropology, the department will display bones for students to identify. Rehg said the identification came about by happenstance at last year’s event.

The focus last year, according to Rehg, was “the science of fingerprints” and there were additional “skeletal elements to flesh out the table.” Rehg said students were more engaged with identifying the bones as opposed to the fingerprint activity.

“In forensic anthropology, one of the principle activities is identifying bones and, in particular, trying to distinguish human from non-human…,” Rehg said.

Forensic anthropologists should also be able to gather information about a person’s age and sex from bones, according to Rehg.

Rehg said it is important for anthropologists to be able to “interpret the skeletal material of potential victims of crime.”

“It really is kind of the hallmark of forensic anthropology,” Rehg said.

Brian Hinterscher, College of Arts and Science advising coordinator, said the academic advisers collectively created the concept of major pong. The idea behind major pong is that students throw a ping pong ball at plastic cups that each have a department written inside the cup. Advisers at the table talk to students about the major and direct them to that department’s booth at Hands on Day, according to Hinterscher. Last year was the first year for major pong and Hinterscher said it “seemed to go over well.”

Hands on Day, according to Rehg, is a chance for the college to highlight its different disciplines and relate the curriculum to real-world scenarios. Rehg said it is good for students to “see how those disciplines get applied in a variety of ways.”

Shaw, who came up with the idea for Hands On Day, said she wanted to show students there is more involved with CAS studies than “just sitting in a classroom and memorizing dates and locations.” The idea, according to Shaw, was to showcase all of the areas in the college and engage students “rather than have static tables.”

Hands on Day is important to the college, according to Shaw, because it helps spread the message that there is “such a wide variety of majors” for students to pursue.

“We want people to explore what a major’s all about rather than just take a stereotype of it…,” Shaw said, “and then the other part is there’s also a lot of opportunities for employment that go along with these majors.”

All 20 departments, 13 interdisciplinary minors, advising and the University Museum participate in the event, Shaw said.

This year’s event will take place in the Goshen Lounge and is being held in conjunction with the Career Development Center’s Career Day. Shaw is the originator of Hands on Day, which was first held in 2010.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: AnthropologyGeneral CAS Stories

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site