Science of Nature

The "Science of Nature" Course

The “Science of Nature” (NS) is a two-semester, custom-designed integrated science course offered as one of the university courses for freshmen students (~1000). The course aims to initiate curiosity and desire for learning “scientific thinking” in students, and at the same time introduces some of the basic concepts of physical, chemical, and biological sciences in connection with questions concerning the nature and our daily life. Based on backward course design the course has a modular structure addressing four questions from everyday life listed below. The aim is to promote essential skills for future engineers and other professions, such as critical thinking, problem-solving skills and teamwork, as well as scientific literacy.


  The Module Questions

    NS101
  1. Are we alone in the universe?
  2. Is antibiotic resistance a big threat for the humankind?
    NS102
  1. Can we stop/reverse climate change? 
  2. Can we ever comprehend the workings of the brain?

Contents


Learning Objectives

Check out the following links to see the list of weekly Learning Objectives of NS101.

Universe Module 

Antibiotic Module 


Module Posters

Click on posters to view.

          


Example Materials

SU implements a Learning Management System called “SUCourse”, based on Sakai and managed by our IT unit. All NS course materials are shared with students on SUCourse, organized by module weeks.

Click to see an example SUCourse page of Week 1 of the Universe module.


Syllabus

Course Book 
There is no course book. There will be weekly resources provided on SUCourse under the module page (Universe Module or Antibiotic Resistance Module). 

Recommended Books
"Conceptual Integrated Science", P. G. Hewitt (available in the Information Center, on student reserve) 
"Science of Nature I", M. A. Alpar (PDF version available on SUCourse. Turkish version, "Doğayı Öğrenmek - Fizik" will also be available at the Information Center, on student reserve; several copies available for purchase at Homer) 

Top Hat (Online Response System) 
In lectures, we will be using an online response system called Top Hat accessible from tophat.com on your web browser, or through free Top Hat app if using tablet. If you have not used the system before, please review this "Getting Started" guide before the first lecture. You must log in Top Hat with your SU email account name or it will not be counted. 
You must bring a laptop or tablet connected to SABANCIUNIV WiFi to each lecture. All cell phones are to be kept turned off during the lectures. 

In order to allow all students to use Top Hat efficiently, please connect only one device to the internet during the lectures.

Science of Nature courses aim to initiate a curiosity and desire for learning “scientific thinking” in students and at the same time to introduce some of the basic concepts of physical, chemical and biological sciences in connection with questions concerning the universe, nature and our daily life. 

The NS 101 course consists of two modules “(1) Are we alone in the universe” and “(2) Is antibiotics resistance a big threat to the existence of humankind?” Scientific methodology and fundamental concepts in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences are introduced through an integrated approach in the framework of these questions. 

Upon completing NS101, students will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate skills for critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving through integration of different concepts and information.
  2. Distinguish among scientific laws, hypothesis and theory and use them to differentiate facts from fiction.
  3. Apply mathematical concepts to solve quantitative problems.
  4. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of the terminology, major concepts and theories of one or more fields in physical, chemical, and biological sciences.
  5. Describe the role of science and technology, and develop skills for communicating scientific concepts and facts to society in general.
  6. Demonstrate professionalism and ethics when using scientific approach to make informed decision in daily life situations.

Academic Integrity Policy -- YOU MUST READ AND FOLLOW 

Each student will be evaluated only for her/his own work. Students are encouraged to work and study together; however, what you put down on your worksheets, quiz and exam papers should be your own work in your own words. Be aware that you will not be helping your friends by allowing them to copy. If your friends want to make use of your worksheets or, exams or quizzes, to allow this is not helping them. Such behavior, as all forms of cheating, is unfair and disrespectful to yourself, to all the students in the class, to your instructors and teaching assistants, and to the University. A student involved in cheating has misused the trust extended to him or her. If discovered, such behavior will have DISCIPLINARY consequences for all parties involved. 

Violations of academic integrity will result in zero grades for that worksheet or exam, both for those who cheat and those who allow and help them cheat. In all such situations, those students will receive a warning and will be asked to have a face-to-face meeting with the faculty member. Then if repeated, no matter how minor, cheating will result in immediate disciplinary action and failing the course. 

We have mutual trust and respect for each other as individuals while sharing a collaborative learning experience. This is very valuable for all of us, and having to lose this trust and respect would be very regrettable.

Weekly organization of this course is shown in the table below. Each week, there is a set of specific learning objectives for you to achieve. You can find the learning objectives listed in the module page on SUCourse. It is your responsibility to check SUCourse frequently and follow assignments and announcements.

In-Class Out-of-Class Responsibilities
Monday Active Lecture (Section A / B / C) By 11:00 am, submit the virtual lecture  assignments on SUCourse.
Tuesday Active Lecture (Section D / E)
Wednesday Active Lecture (Section F / G)

Check SUCourse for the virtual lecture set for the next week (in Module page). 
Start working on it early. Check SUCourse for the review problem set (in Module page).
By 10:00 pm, submit the homework of the previous week on SUCourse.

Thursday Recitation (Sections A1 - A6)
Each Student must take online quizzes given at the end of recitations.
Check SUCourse for the review problem set (in Module page).
Friday Recitation (Sections A7 - A10)
Each Student must take online quizzes given at the end of recitations.
After 4:00 pm, check SUCourse for the homework for this week (in "Tests & Quizzes").

Saturday 
Sunday

Work on the review problems and take the homework assessment of this week. 
Complete and submit the virtual lecture assignment of the upcoming week.

There will be two exams (each one at the end of each module) and 14 weekly sets during the semester. 

The overall course grade will be evaluated based on the exams, assignments and lecture participation, each weighing as given in the table below. Please note that 55% of your course grade is based on your exam performance because the exams assess your individual achievement level of the weekly learning objectives.

Virtual Lecture * 10%
Active Lecture 10%
Exams 55%
Recitation * 10%
Homework * 15%

* Lowest 3 grades will be dropped.

Exams: The exam scores are out of 100. There will be bonus points in each exam; therefore, it is possible for you to score above 100 on the exams. 

The first exam will include the topics from the first module, and the second exam will include the topics from the second module only. 

Virtual Lecture Set: The aim of virtual lecture is for you to learn the basic concepts of the upcoming week before the in-class active lecture. Each virtual lecture set includes several interactive videos and quizzes in a sequential order. Three submissions are allowed for each quiz until the due time. The virtual lecture sets are 10% of the total grade. It is due at 11:00 am on Mondays, and no late submission will be accepted. 

Active Lecture: During the active lecture hours, you will be actively working with your peers to apply and deepen your understanding of the concepts you learned from the virtual lecture set, with a guidance of the instructor. You must complete the virtual lecture set in order to get maximum benefit from the active lecture each week. Also, you MUST bring your laptops or tablets to each lecture. No cell phone use is allowed during the active lectures. 

You are not allowed to submit answers to TopHat questions from outside the classroom, or submit for another student. Such cases are considered as academic dishonesty and require disciplinary action. 

The active lecture grades will be calculated based on your participation during the lectures. Your cumulative percentage (total points you get/ maximum available points) is recorded as your lecture grade. 

The final Top Hat % will be converted to the lecture participation grade as follows:

  • If > 80% = 10 points (regardless of your %, 10 points is the maximum you can receive)
  • If below 80%, the lecture grade = 10 x (your %) / (80%) points 

  • Recitation: The aim of the recitation worksheet is to enhance conceptual understanding in the collaborative, student-centered learning environment through practice problem solving, hands-on experiments, simulations and group discussions. You MUST bring your laptops or tablets and your notebook to each recitation. A quiz will be given at the end of each recitation. Recitation grades are 10% of the total grade. 

    Please come to the recitations on time so as not to affect your group mates. No latecomers are accepted to the recitations, and no cell phone use is allowed during the recitations. You are not allowed to submit quiz from outside the classroom, or submit for another student. Such cases are considered as academic dishonesty and require disciplinary action. 

    Homework: The aim of the homework is to reflect your understanding of the week’s contents and concepts. Homework assessment must be submitted on SUCourse by 10:00pm on Wednesday, every week. No late submission will be accepted, but until the deadline you can retake the homework assessment five times, to improve your grade. Only the highest score will be recorded. Homework grades are 15% of the total grade.

For Virtual Lecture, Recitation and Homework, the lowest 3 grades will be dropped when calculating the average of each item and the following formula will be applied to calculate the overall grade. 

Overall Grade= [Midterm I] × 0.275 + [Midterm II] × 0.275 + [Recitation] + [Homework] + [Virtual Lecture] + [Active Lecture] 

Please note:

  • The first decimal place of 5 and larger will be rounded up to the next integer (e.g., 67.5 → 68).
  • If your exams' average (Midterm I and Midterm II) is below 30, you fail regardless of your overall course grade.
  • Failing to take one of the exams will result in failing the course.
  • The letter grade ranges which will be used as a guideline, are provided in the table below.
  • If your course grade is in the range of 49-40, your status will be reviewed by instructors based on your exam average and course participation.

  • Letter Grade Ranges Conditions
    A 100-90 Exam average ≥ 30
    A- 89-85
    B+ 84-80
    B 79-75
    B- 74-70
    C+ 69-65
    C 64-60
    C- 59-55
    D+ 54-50
    F 49-0


    NA Policy:

  • If you miss one of the exams, you will automatically receive NA for the course.
  • If you otherwise fail the course and you have attempted less than 50% of all non-exam assessments (including active lecture attendance), you will receive NA
Week Begins Ends Topic Recitation *
0 5 Feb 9 Feb Introduction to NS101: Why NS? What is Science, 
Scientific Method, Scales in Nature
Intro
UNIVERSE MODULE
1 12 Feb 16 Feb UNV1:What is life? Where do we come from? 
Our planet and the Solar system.
UNV1
2 19 Feb 23 Feb UNV2: What makes planets go around the Sun? 
What holds the Solar system together?
UNV2
3 26 Feb 2 Mar UNV3: How did the Solar system form? Is it unique? UNV3
4 5 Mar 9 Mar UNV4: How did life on Earth begin? Building blocks of life, 
first form of life on Earth.
UNV4
5 12 Mar 16 Mar UNV5: How can we look for ET life? Atom and EM spectrum. UNV5
6 19 Mar 23 Mar UNV6: Possibility of life on other planets UNV6
Midterm I Exam: Mar 24 (Saturday), 15:00-17:30
ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE MODULE
7 26 Mar 30 Mar ABR1: Introducing the problem of antibiotic resistance. ABR1
SPRING BREAK
8 9 Apr 13 Apr ABR2: How do bacteria multiply? How do they defend 
themselves?
ABR2
9 16 Apr 20 Apr ABR3: How do drugs get into bacteria - Diffusion. ABR3
10 23 Apr 27 Apr ABR4: Structure of biomolecules & Why they are targets 
for antibiotics?
ABR4
11 30 Apr 4 May ABR5: How antibiotics work- binding and drugs. ABR5
12 7 May 11 May ABR6: How do drugs interact with their targets? ABR6
13 14 May 18 May ABR7: How bacteria respond to drugs- Evolution. ABR7
Midterm II Exam: May 18 (Friday), 17:40-20:10

* UNV: Universe module worksheet 
  ABR: Antibiotic resistance module worksheet



Learning Objectives

Check out the following links to see the list of weekly Learning Objectives of NS102.

Climate Module 

Brain Module 


Module Posters

Click on posters to view.

          


Example Materials

SU implements a Learning Management System called “SUCourse”, based on Sakai and managed by our IT unit. All NS course materials are shared with students on SUCourse, organized by module weeks.

Click to see an example SUCourse page of Week 1 of the Climate module.


Syllabus

Course Book 
There is no course book. There will be weekly resources provided on SUCourse under the module page (Climate Module or Antibiotic Brain Module). 

Recommended Books
"Conceptual Integrated Science", P. G. Hewitt(available in the Information Center, on student reserve) 
"Science of Nature I", M. A. Alpar (PDF version available on SUCourse. Turkish version, "Doğayı Öğrenmek - Fizik" will also be available at the Information Center, on student reserve; several copies available for purchase at Homer) 

Top Hat (Online Response System) 
In lectures, we will be using an online response system called Top Hat accessible from tophat.com on your web browser, or through free Top Hat app if using tablet. If you have not used the system before, please review this "Getting Started" guide before the first lecture. You must log in Top Hat with your SU email account name or it will not be counted. 
You must bring a laptop or tablet connected to SABANCIUNIV WiFi to each lecture. All cell phones are to be kept turned off during the lectures. 

In order to allow all students to use Top Hat efficiently, please connect only one device to the internet during the lectures.

Science of Naturecourses aim to initiate a curiosity and desire for learning “scientific thinking” in students and at the same time to introduce some of the basic concepts of physical, chemical and biological sciences in connection with questions concerning the universe, nature and our daily life. 

The NS 102 course consists of two modules “(1) Can we stop/reverse climate change?” and “(2) Can we ever comprehend the workings of the brain?” Scientific methodology and fundamental concepts in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences are introduced through an integrated approach in the framework of these questions. 

Upon completing NS102, students will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate skills for critical thinking, reasoning and problem solving through integration of different concepts and information.
  2. Distinguish among scientific laws, hypothesis and theory and use them to differentiate facts from fiction.
  3. Apply mathematical concepts to solve quantitative problems.
  4. Demonstrate fundamental knowledge of the terminology, major concepts and theories of one or more fields in physical, chemical, and biological sciences.
  5. Describe the role of science and technology, and develop skills for communicating scientific concepts and facts to society in general.
  6. Demonstrate professionalism and ethics when using scientific approach to make informed decision in daily life situations.

Academic Integrity Policy -- YOU MUST READ AND FOLLOW 

Each student will be evaluated only for her/his own work. Students are encouraged to work and study together; however, what you put down on your worksheets, quiz and exam papers should be your own work in your own words. Be aware that you will not be helping your friends by allowing them to copy. If your friends want to make use of your worksheets or, exams or quizzes, to allow this is not helping them. Such behavior, as all forms of cheating, is unfair and disrespectful to yourself, to all the students in the class, to your instructors and teaching assistants, and to the University. A student involved in cheating has misused the trust extended to him or her. If discovered, such behavior will have DISCIPLINARY consequences for all parties involved. 

Violations of academic integrity will result in zero grades for that worksheet or exam, both for those who cheat and those who allow and help them cheat. In all such situations, those students will receive a warning and will be asked to have a face-to-face meeting with the faculty member. Then if repeated, no matter how minor, cheating will result in immediate disciplinary action and failing the course. 

We have mutual trust and respect for each other as individuals while sharing a collaborative learning experience. This is very valuable for all of us, and having to lose this trust and respect would be very regrettable.

Weekly organization of this course is shown in the table below. Each week, there is a set of specific learning objectives for you to achieve. You can find the learning objectives listed in the module page on SUCourse. It is your responsibility to check SUCourse frequently and follow assignments and announcements.

In-Class Out-of-Class Responsibilities
Monday Active Lecture (Section A / B / C / D) By 11:00 am, submit the virtual lecture  assignments on SUCourse.
Tuesday Active Lecture (Section E / F)
Wednesday Active Lecture (Section G / H)

Check SUCourse for the virtual lecture set for the next week (in Module page). 
Start working on it early. Check SUCourse for the review problem set (in Module page).
By 10:00 pm, submit the homework of the previous week on SUCourse.

Thursday Recitation (Sections A1 - A4)
Each Student must take online quizzes given at the end of recitations.
Check SUCourse for the review problem set (in Module page).
Friday Recitation (Sections A5 - A8)
Each Student must take online quizzes given at the end of recitations.
After 4:00 pm, check SUCourse for the homework for this week (in "Tests & Quizzes").

Saturday 
Sunday

Work on the review problems and take the homework assessment of this week. 
Complete and submit the virtual lecture assignment of the upcoming week.

There will be two exams (each one at the end of each module) and 14 weekly sets during the semester. 

The overall course grade will be evaluated based on the exams, assignments and lecture participation, each weighing as given in the table below. Please note that 55% of your course grade is based on your exam performance because the exams assess your individual achievement level of the weekly learning objectives.

Virtual Lecture * 10%
Active Lecture 10%
Exams 55%
Recitation * 10%
Homework * 15%

* Lowest 3 grades will be dropped.

Exams: The exam scores are out of 100. There will be bonus points in each exam; therefore, it is possible for you to score above 100 on the exams. 

The first exam will include the topics from the first module, and the second exam will include the topics from the second module only. 

Virtual Lecture Set: The aim of virtual lecture is for you to learn the basic concepts of the upcoming week before the in-class active lecture. Each virtual lecture set includes several interactive videos and quizzes in a sequential order. Three submissions are allowed for each quiz until the due time. The virtual lecture sets are 10% of the total grade. It is due at 11:00 am on Mondays, and no late submission will be accepted.   Each week's virtual lecture set is worth 10 points. You must score overall at least 70% of total score in order to receive credit for that week.

Active Lecture: During the active lecture hours, you will be actively working with your peers to apply and deepen your understanding of the concepts you learned from the virtual lecture set, with a guidance of the instructor. You must complete the virtual lecture set in order to get maximum benefit from the active lecture each week. Also, you MUST bring your laptops or tablets to each lecture. No cell phone use is allowed during the active lectures. 

You are not allowed to submit answers to TopHat questions from outside the classroom, or submit for another student. Such cases are considered as academic dishonesty and require disciplinary action. 

The active lecture grades will be calculated based on your participation during the lectures. Your cumulative percentage (total points you get/ maximum available points) is recorded as your lecture grade. 

The final Top Hat % will be converted to the lecture participation grade as follows:

  • If > 80% = 10 points (regardless of your %, 10 points is the maximum you can receive)
  • If below 80%, the lecture grade = 10 x (your %) / (80%) points 

  • Recitation: The aim of the recitation worksheet is to enhance conceptual understanding in the collaborative, student-centered learning environment through practice problem solving, hands-on experiments, simulations and group discussions. You MUST bring your laptops or tablets and your notebook to each recitation. A quiz will be given at the end of each recitation. Recitation grades are 10% of the total grade. 

    Please come to the recitations on time so as not to affect your group mates. No latecomers are accepted to the recitations, and no cell phone use is allowed during the recitations. You are not allowed to submit quiz from outside the classroom, or submit for another student. Such cases are considered as academic dishonesty and require disciplinary action. 

    Homework: The aim of the homework is to reflect your understanding of the week’s contents and concepts. Homework assessment must be submitted on SUCourse by 10:00pm on Wednesday, every week. No late submission will be accepted, but until the deadline you can retake the homework assessment five times, to improve your grade. Only the highest score will be recorded. Homework grades are 15% of the total grade.

For Virtual Lecture, Recitation and Homework, the lowest 3 grades will be dropped when calculating the average of each item and the following formula will be applied to calculate the overall grade. 

Overall Grade= [Midterm I] × 0.275 + [Midterm II] × 0.275 + [Recitation] + [Homework] + [Virtual Lecture] + [Active Lecture] 

Please note:

  • The first decimal place of 5 and larger will be rounded up to the next integer (e.g., 67.5 → 68).
  • If your exams' average (Midterm I and Midterm II) is below 30, you fail regardless of your overall course grade.
  • Failing to take one of the exams will result in failing the course.
  • The letter grade ranges which will be used as a guideline, are provided in the table below.
  • If your course grade is in the range of 49-40, your status will be reviewed by instructors based on your exam average and course participation.

  • Letter Grade Ranges Conditions
    A 100-90 Exam average ≥ 30
    A- 89-85
    B+ 84-80
    B 79-75
    B- 74-70
    C+ 69-65
    C 64-60
    C- 59-55
    D+ 54-50
    F 49-0


    NA Policy:

  • If you miss one of the exams, you will automatically receive NA for the course.
  • If you otherwise fail the course and you have attempted less than 50% of all non-exam assessments (including active lecture attendance), you will receive NA
Week Begins Ends Topic Recitation *
CLIMATE MODULE
1 5 Feb 9 Feb CLT1:  Why is there a “Climate Debate?”  
How to interpret data.
CLT1
2 12 Feb 16 Feb CLT2: The Earth has an "Energy Budget" that humans 
need to keep in balance.
CLT2
3 19 Feb 23 Feb CLT3: Human activities that increase the concentration  
of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere contribute to  
climate change.
CLT3
4 26 Feb 2 Mar CLT4 Atmospheric temperature rise seems to be mild,
not because of the lack of climate change, but because
the warming of the oceans.
CLT4
5 5 Mar 9 Mar CLT5: Does the climate change theory contradict the  
econd law of thermodynamics?
CLT5
6 12 Mar 16 Mar CLT6: We can calculate if reactions producing stuff that
lead to climate change will occur or not. Making
informed decisions by relying on scientific results.
CLT6
7 19 Mar 23 Mar CLT7: Humans choose to burn fossil fuels not just
because they generate a lot of energy, but also because
they do it fast.
CLT7
Midterm I Exam: Mar 24 (Saturday), 12:15 - 14:45
BRAIN MODULE
8 26 Mar 30 Mar BRN1: How complex is the brain? How can we understand how it works? BRN1
SPRING BREAK
9 9 Apr 13 Apr BRN2: All cells maintain a potential difference to 
sense the world.
BRN2
10 16 Apr 20 Apr BRN3: Information is communicated in cells through electricity:
Action potential and Synaptic transmission.
BRN3
11 23 Apr 27 Apr BRN4: Neuronal cell membrane can be mathematically 
modeled by simple circuits.
BRN4
12 30 Apr 4 May BRN5: How do neurons work together? Neural
network and connectivity.
BRN5
13 7 May 11 May BRN6: How can we measure brain activity and interpret the data? BRN6
14 14 May 18 May BRN7: How does brain function and how does our
mind work? Inner workings of brain and cognitive science.
BRN7
Final TBA

* CLT: Climate module worksheet 
  BRN: Brain module worksheet


Active Lecture

Click on images to zoom.




Recitation

Click on images to zoom.



Active Learning Rooms: Technology Enhanced Collaborative Learning Environment


The active learning classrooms (shown here) are specially designed and equipped to enhance learning and group working. These classrooms have round tables of 9 students, high-speed wireless internet, multiple wireless projectors which can be connected to any mobile devices. The walls of active learning classrooms are surrounded by white boards to support collaboration and discussion among students. Students form groups of 3 and work collaboratively on given problems or activities.

These classrooms stimulate group discussions and help them apply and strengthen their understanding of the class materials. Meanwhile, the collaborative learning enables the students to learn how to argue and voice an opinion in a group discussion and how to manage time. In addition, during the learning process they gain awareness about the importance of individual responsibility in a teamwork. Additionally, there is a document camera in each classroom which is used to project a group’s work to the rest of the class for exchanging ideas among students. Continuous feedback is given to student groups during active lectures and recitations via instructors, teaching, and learning assistants. We also use a classroom response system (Top Hat) to promote student participation, give feedback to the class at large as well as stimulate the classroom discussion.


NS Teaching Assistant Training Program

The NS course utilizes an interdisciplinary and student-centered approach to facilitate active/collaborative learning, with ~1000 students enrolled each semester. With innovative approaches and the large enrollment, well-trained, teaching assistants are indispensable to the NS course. To equip aspiring graduate and undergraduate students with professional skills to become effective facilitators in student‐centered learning environment, we offer the custom made “Teaching Scholars Residency Program” and “Learning Assistant (LA) Program” since 2013 and 2014, respectively.


The Teaching Scholar Residency Program aims to provide an early professional development opportunity for all FENS graduate students, who are interested in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and are motivated to contribute to the NS courses. Upon successful completion of this program, scholars will become Master Teaching Assistants (MTAs) of the NS courses and receive a certificate from the Foundation Development Directorate. MTAs will directly work with the faculty in course improvement and assessment, while leading training and coordination of peer graduate teaching assistants as well as undergraduate learning assistants. To become a MTA for the NS courses, successful completion of the Teaching Scholar Residency Program is required.


About the Program
The goal of the Teaching Scholars Residency Program is to inform aspiring graduate students on the current advances in SoTL and to give them the professional skills to become effective teachers by actively engaging them in the refinement and assessment of the interdisciplinary NS 101 / 102 courses.


The residency is composed of two elements:

  1. Training (Pre-semester):  Composed of a series of two hour in-class group training sessions and some individual work, under the direct guidance and supervision of Dr. Yuki Kaneko, who will provide feedback and coaching. The training topics includes:
    • Student-centered course design
    • Active learning
    • Collaborative learning
    • Formative/summative assessment
    • Flipped classroom
    • Classroom management

  2. Internship (During semester):Composed of in-class leading and coordination work with NS teaching assistants and students, under the direct guidance and supervision of the faculty teaching the NS course the scholar is assigned to. Working hours will not exceed the hours specified by your faculty scholarship status. This requirement will be fulfilled at specified times throughout the semester by conducting NS101 / 102 recitations.

Who should apply?

Someone who is:

  • Going to work as a Teaching Assistant as a part of the scholarship offered by FENS (We do not provide any financial support to the scholars).
  • Curious to learn about what current research tells us about students’ learning.
  • Interested and motivated to learn through hands-on experience how to effectively impact the academic achievement growth of students.
  • Highly valuing teamwork and collaborative learning.
  • Looking for an opportunity to share his/her excitement about science with others.
  • Reliable, responsible, and punctual.
  • With good communication skills in English or aspiring to become better at them.
  • Committed to work in the NS team for at least two semesters.
  • Preferred majors: Materials Science and Engineering, Molecular Biology, Genetics and Bioengineering, and Physics

What are the benefits of the program?

  • Daily lunch tickets during the residency (partial support during the pre-semester training).
  • Eligibility to become a Master Teaching Assistant for the NS courses.
  • A certificate of completion of the residency signed by the Vice President of the University and the Director of Foundations Development Directorate, upon successful completion.

The Learning Assistants are undergraduate students who have taken NS101 / 102, who facilitate group work and discussions among the students currently taking NS101 / 102. NS LA program is setting an example to other courses at our University; freshman Math courses, IF100 course, as well as several upper-level courses are now working with LAs. Some of the NS LAs go on to contribute to other courses as their LAs. Sabancı University NS LA program is a part of the LA Alliance.

  • LA program poster(presented at the International LA Conference in Boulder, Colorado in 2016)
  • LA poster(created by LAs with their feedback on the LA experiences)
  • NS Core Teaching & Development Team


    Prof. Dr. Zehra Sayers

    Former FDD Director

    Areas of Interest

    Molecular biology and investigation of structure of biological molecules using synchrotron X-ray scattering; investigation of structure-function relationships in fibrous molecules including chromatin, actin etc.; investigation of structures of metal-binding proteins.


    Dr. Aslıhan Ünsal

    Areas of Interest

    High-energy astrophysics, gamma-ray bursts, science educAsation in college.


    Prof. Dr. Canan Atılgan

    Areas of Interest

    Polymer and protein dynamics; theoretical and computational investigation of complex molecular systems.


    Prof. Dr. Emrah Kalemci

    Areas of Interest

    High Energy Astrophysics, black hole binaries, instrumentation.


    Assoc. Prof. Gözde İnce

    Areas of Interest

    Chemical vapor deposition of organic and inorganic thin films, fabrication and characterization of polymer nanostructures, applications of thin films as stimuli responsive coatings.


    Dr. Kerem Bora

    Areas of Interest

    Microbial Experimental Evolution, Microbial Ecology, Fermentation Technologies


    Dr. Süphan Bakkal

    Areas of Interest

    Bacterial toxins and antibiotic resistance, Science Education.


    Assoc. Prof. Yuki Kaneko

    Areas of Interest

    High-Energy Astrophysics, Gamma-Ray Bursts, Soft-Gamma Repeaters, Science Education.