Each day the students attended sessions consisting of either lectures, videos or hands-on activity. The lectures included technical information on biological and biomedical topics. In addition, as a special feature of this program, workshop sessions are included each day to provide tools for critical thinking based on philosophical concepts. The combination of these two areas provides the students with the basic knowledge needed to begin to address ethical concepts in the biomedical arena on various issues.
From time to time each day the students broke up into teams of four to discuss the question of the day and draw up a response to that question. Each team was accompanied by a Counselor and/or Institute Coordinator; the Discussion Leader also circulated among the groups.
As the week progressed, each student team was enabled to identify a particular bioethics concept of interest to them and develop the topic complete with slides for presentation on the final day of the program.
Hands-on experiences: Lab visit - Dr. Alex Rodriquez, Department of Biological Sciences - students saw a modern optical microscope and were able to see it in operation to observe cell behaviors.
Mock Trial: Students engaged in a mock trial concerning a fictitious corporation respected by the community that conducted nanotechnology experiments that ran amok and produced toxic nanomaterials that threatened the ecology of the region.
We live in the so-called Information Age, inundated by a plethora of inputs at all times. Each day during the week the students met in one of the Rutgers computer labs to carry out searches for key information that they needed for the Mock Trial and also for their individual projects. Librarian Ann Watkins presented material on how to properly and fully make use of library resources in searching for authenticated information.
This year's classroom activities included a videoconference with students in Africa for discussion of bioethics issues as well as some personal exchanges on likes and dislikes. The students also engaged in another videoconference for one of the classroom presentations and discussions, this time with Prof. A. Pease at Union College in Schenectady, New York - it is indeed a global village that we live in.
A special session was scheduled for presentations by staff members of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University, the world's largest repository of jazz media, journals, music, and artifacts. Vincent Pelote and April Grier presented and discussed various types of jazz music and engaged the students in how the genre relates to current everyday life.