Actively engage in science journalism outside the classroom

The Scholars program gives interested students a paid work-study opportunity to attend lectures and science/math events and perform independent academic research. The FOCUS Scholar position is for 4 hours/week and involves writing reflections and research papers on events attended. Past FOCUS scholars have attended departmental lectures, documentaries, science/math related Career Center interviews, and even off-campus conferences. Interested?

What it takes to be a FOCUS Scholar

Becoming a FOCUS Scholar is easy: indicate your interest on the end of term FOCUS Mentors/Scholars Questionnaire and fill out the FOCUS Scholars Application. You’ll be contacted about the position before the beginning of term.

Then the fun begins!

Attend events

Attend talks, seminars, presentations, events with academic content about science, math, engineering, technology, etc. This could be a student’s comps talk, a talk by a visiting seminar speaker, or in some cases, a play or movie that deals directly with scientific themes. The events can be at Carleton, St. Olaf, the University of Minnesota, or anywhere else you can get to!

You will typically attend one event per week.

Write a Reflective Essay

Write a short essay reflecting on your experience at the event (1–2 pages). Did you like it? If so, why? If not, why not, and how could it have improved? Did you understand it all? What did it make you think about? You must include a list of ~3–4 questions that you left the event with. You must upload this paper to the Moodle site.

You will typically write one reflective essay per week. 

Write a Research Paper

Pick one of the questions you included in your reflective essay to research in the library/online and write a short (2–4 pages) essay answering it. This must include at least two references, no more than one of which can be from a general reference such as Wikipedia. You must upload this paper to the Moodle site.

You will typically write one research paper per week.

The hours are flexible — you are in charge of scheduling them appropriately each week and filling out the electronic time-sheet. Check out the FOCUS Homepage events listing and the Olin 142 bulletin board for weekly science/math events at Carleton.

Check out FOCUS Scholar reflections and research articles in the inFOCUS Newsletter