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Canceled - NDSU Teach-In


Why Science?: Let's Figure It Out Together

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
3 - 5 p.m.
NDSU Memorial Union // Great Plains Ballroom

FREE to attend // Click here to register

With rapidly shifting social, economic, and political ideals in the country and the world, many students, staff, and faculty seek evidence-based facts to help formulate an informed perspective. NDSU’s ongoing Teach-in Series, Why Science?: Let’s Figure It Out Together will examine how science can help resolve disputes over current issues affecting our society through collaboration and dialogue.

Many NDSU classes offer credit and extra credit opportunities for students attending this event. This is a chance for students, faculty, and staff to have their voices heard regarding issues that affect them.

Pizza will be served at the event for participants. Participants who take advantage of our passport program will be entered in to a door prize drawing.

Registration is not required but allows the Office of Teaching and Learning to prepare an adequate amount of food and seating.

What is a Teach-in?

Call For Proposals

Offering / Obtaining Credit



Event Poster

Event Sponsors


Call For Proposals

We recently sent out a call for proposals. The proposal deadline has been extended to September 1, 2017. The Teach-in will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Call For Proposals form

Who can propose a session?

We seek breakout panel session proposals from NDSU faculty, staff, and students. Students who propose to offer a session must have at least one faculty or staff member on their panel.

We encourage interdisciplinary collaboration among presenters. The Teach-in will be structured in a series of mini panel discussions. Panels will have 2-3 presenters of varying expertise sharing knowledge and engaging in dialogue with one another and the audience.

We seek a variety of viewpoints on a diverse range of issues affecting American society in 2017. We ask that every issue presented includes a scientific portion in the overall dialogue. The goal is a civil dialogue based on testable facts that allows participants to come to their own conclusions.

What topics can you propose?

Ideal topics are ones that are timely, address social and political issues of concern to NDSU faculty, staff, and students, and are fact-based. The aim is to create a forum for intellectual discourse on why science matters in current hot topic issues and how scientific inquiry can help mediate societal conflicts.

Topic Examples Include:

The impact of science on war
Access to affordable education
Environmental choices
Sanctuary cities
Who gets to have public health?
Gun control
Addressing the overloaded prison system
Women-specific healthcare
Immigration topics (labor, citizenship, criminalization, etc.)
Equal pay
National security
Military spending
Stem cell research
Legal marriage limitations
Welfare: What is it and who gets it?
Gender identity
Minimum wage
Mandatory vaccinations
The polarization of media
An evolving perception of democracy

Breakout panel session details:

  • Panels need to have 2 or 3 presenters
  • 35-minute sessions with a 5-minute break between sessions.
  • Anticipate up to 20 participants in each break-out session. (Depending on student participation numbers.)
  • A proposed session could be offered 1-3 times throughout the Teach-in.
  • Breakout sessions are an open format allowing students to attend as many or as few as they choose.
  • Some technology is available upon request.
  • A committee of faculty, staff, and students will review all submitted proposals and decide on final breakout panel sessions.
  • Accepted proposals will be assigned times for their Teach-in presentation.
  • All presenters will meet prior to the Teach-in to discuss expectations and guidelines for all presentations.
  • If you need assistance in finding additional panel members, the Teach-in planning committee may be able to assist.

Proposal Guidelines:

Proposals should be no more than 250 words and should describe the topic, the expertise and/or background of the panel presenters, an explanation of how the topic relates to the proposers’ research, teaching, or community work, and the proposer's availability between 3 and 5 p.m. on October 4th.


What is a Teach-in?

Merriam Webster defines a teach-in as, "an extended meeting usually held on a college campus for lectures, debates, and discussions to raise awareness of or express a position on a social or political issue."

The first known use of a teach-in was March 24 & 25,1965 on the campus of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor. (Retrieved from The University of Michigan teach-in addressed one of the most pressing public issues of the day: our nation’s rapidly escalating war in Vietnam.  The event drew more than 3,000 students, faculty, and other participants. (Retrieved from

University of Michigan Teach-in Documents

Teach-in Poster

Teach-in Schedule

Teach-ins are meant as a peaceful, action oriented, discussion(s) that urge students, staff, and faculty to think critically about tough topics. NDSU's teach-in series is designed as a way to inform students, faculty, and staff regarding a myriad of tough topics facing our country today.

NDSU Past Teach-ins
Tough Topics 2017: Let's Figure It Out Together - March 23, 2017

This was the inaugural teach-in at NDSU, it focused on a variety of tough topics that face college students and individuals in 2017.

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The full schedule will be posted as soon as break-out session proposals are reviewed and decided upon. The schedule times listed below are tentative.

3 to 3:35 p.m. - Breakout Sessions

3:35 to 3:40 p.m. - Break

3:40 to 4:15 p.m. - Breakout Sessions

4:15 to 4:20 p.m. - Break

4:20 - 4:55 p.m. - Breakout Sessions

4:55 - 5:00 p.m. - Teach-in Take-aways

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Offering/Obtaining Credit


Award Credit For Students Attending The Teach-In

Faculty and Instructors are encouraged to use the Teach-in as a required or extra credit assignment for their class or classes. Attendance at the Teach-in will be monitored using student ID card scanners, and attendance at individual sessions will be monitored via the Passport System (see explanation below). Assigning credit for the Teach-in may be done in a number of ways, including:

  • attendance at one to three sessions,
  • using the session topics as research for papers or projects, and/or
  • using the session topics as a way to begin classroom discussions on current, real-world issues.

Regardless of how credit is assigned, attendance at the Teach-in is a great way to incorporate nonconfrontational, discussion-based academic experiences into the class curriculum.

If you plan to offer credit or extra credit for students who attend the upcoming Teach-in, please let the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) know which classes and how many students are in your class or classes. Providing your course information allows us to plan the approximate number of event passports we need for students earning credit.


Passport System

Students seeking credit or extra credit will take advantage of our Passport System to get credit for a course or to register for a door prize. The way the Passport System works is:

  1. As students enter the ballroom they will be given a card and instructions to have their passport stamped at each breakout session they attend.
  2. Presenters will receive a stamp or supply of stickers to place on the passports at the end of the session.
  3. Students are eligible for the door prize if they have attended all three breakout sessions. Verified passports with three stamps will be entered into a door prize drawing.
  4. Students are responsible for ensuring they have the appropriate number of stamps to earn credit for a course.

Breakout Sessions

All breakout sessions will include short presentations of facts on the issue at hand as well as a discussion or question and answer portion. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and contribute to a civil discussion.

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This event is FREE. Registration is not required but allows the Office of Teaching and Learning to prepare an adequate amount of food and seating. Participants may attend as many or as few sessions as they would like and feel free to move between sessions as desired.

Registration form


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Event Sponsors


NDSU logo

Office of Teaching and Learning
Rapid Reponse Team
Office of the Provost


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Office of Teaching and Learning
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7015
Campus address: Family Life Center (FLC) 314
Mailing address: Dept 2020 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108-2020

Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2018 9:40:00 AM