Taking your first steps into higher education
Taking your first steps into higher education

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Taking your first steps into higher education

Week 6: Communicating ideas in science, technology and maths


So far in this course you have encountered the study of arts and humanities and the social sciences. This week you will have the opportunity to do some initial study of science, technology and maths. Perhaps more than any other subjects, science, technology and maths can provoke fear in some students and great excitement and interest in others. Yet, if we study science, technology and maths, or the STM subjects, as they are often referred to, we are doing far more than simply learning about abstract ideas. Your previous study of arts and languages and the social sciences has given you an insight into how individuals and societies interact, and the value of the culture we create. The study of science, technology and maths provides an answer to much more fundamental questions about what makes the world around us and what is our impact on it.  

Laura Hills, the author of this week and next introduces you to Week 6:

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Laura Hills – author
Hello, and welcome to Week 6 of the course. The focus of this week and next is science, technology and maths, and I'm here in the Open University science laboratory.
You'll have the chance this week to consider what science, technology and maths are, both as subjects and in everyday life, and also perhaps to consider some of the prejudices or preconceptions you might have about these subjects. Another focus of this week is the nature of communication in science, technology and maths, and the particular importance we place on diagrams and graphs, and the particular language that these subjects use.
So I hope that’s given you a good insight into what to expect, and I hope you enjoy it.
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This week you will have the opportunity to understand more about science, technology and maths, how they connect to each other, and what it is like to study these subjects at HE level. In particular you will explore how we communicate ideas and information in STM subjects, including the use of written texts, diagrams and graphs.

This week you will:

  • gain an understanding of what science, technology and maths are
  • recognise how ideas are communicated in science, technology and maths
  • develop your study skills of reading and note making
  • learn how diagrams and graphs are used.
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