Social Sciences Activities

Social Science | Presentation

What is chaos? How is it different from randomness?

Science develops models that help us make sense of the patterns we see in the world. Without those models, the world appears to be random – a product of chance. But as we gain knowledge, we learn that there are patterns, and knowledge of those patterns makes the world seem less random and more deterministic. But what if there were systems that behaved randomly even if you knew everything about how the system works? These are special kinds of complex systems that are said to be chaotic. Here we explore how chaos is the apparent randomness from ordered complex systems.

Social Science | Presentation

What are complex adaptive systems?

A system can refer to many things. But for understanding complex adaptive systems, it refers to a group of objects or entities connected to each other in some way. Complex systems are systems characterized by special properties of their organization and behavior. Complex adaptive systems use this organization to process information about their internal condition and external environment, allowing them to respond to a dynamic world. All living things and human societies are complex adaptive system

Social Science | Presentation

Ask An Anthropologist! Could other animals evolve into humans?

Could other animals evolve into humans? Institute of Human Origins Founding Director Donald Johanson—and discoverer of the 3.2-million year-old human ancestor fossil "Lucy"—answers questions about how we "became human." Would you like to ask a question? Submit your question at the link.

Social Science | Presentation

Ask An Anthropologist! How will humans look 1,000 years from now?

How will humans look 1,000 years from now? Institute of Human Origins Founding Director Donald Johanson—and discoverer of the 3.2-million year-old human ancestor fossil "Lucy"—answers questions about how we "became human." Would you like to ask a question? Submit your question at the link.

Social Science | Demonstration

Making Stone Tools, Levallois and Potatoes

Join the Pleistocene Archaeology Lab and learn about creating stone tools and the Levallois technique, then follow along to make your very own potato Levallois flakes and core at home!

Social Science | Presentation

Ask An Anthropologist! What makes us human?

What makes us human? Institute of Human Origins Founding Director Donald Johanson—and discoverer of the 3.2-million year-old human ancestor fossil "Lucy"—answers questions about how we "became human." Would you like to ask a question? Submit your question at the link.

Social Science | Presentation

Character-Driven Leadership

As part of Arizona State University’s Innovation Week 2020, General Freakley, Special Advisor to President at ASU, gives an introduction to the tenets of character-driven leadership. Freakley is part of the Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab within The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The Leadership, Diplomacy and National Security Lab advances character-driven leadership, diplomacy, and national security education and training in support of the full range of university enterprises.

Social Science | Presentation

Degree Exploration: Global Studies

Katie Reese, Manager of Academic Advising for the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University, shares information on the global studies Bachelor of Arts degree at ASU. The BA program in global studies examines the causes and consequences of problems that cross national boundaries and the governance of these problems in social, cultural and economic contexts.

Social Science | Presentation

Ask An Anthropologist! What did we learn from "Lucy"?

What did we learn from "Lucy"? Institute of Human Origins Founding Director Donald Johanson—and discoverer of the 3.2-million year-old human ancestor fossil "Lucy"—answers questions about how we "became human." Would you like to ask a question? Submit your question at the link.

Social Science | Demonstration

Futures Technology Bracket Board Game: Print and Play

This game is designed to give opportunity for participants to think about how future technologies will impact society and reflect on their own values around this theme. Do they think about risks and benefits? Unintended consequences? Using a tree diagram style bracket, participants will narrow down a list of future technologies and discuss why some might be more important than other.

Social Science | Presentation

Goldenrods Deserve a Place in Your Garden

In New England, Autumn often means crisp mornings, fresh squeezed apple cider, piping hot cinnamon donuts and pumpkin patches. Thriving in the background of this scene—ubiquitous, but often overlooked—are goldenrods. Their brilliant yellow spires add color to tired roadways, fields, and woodlands. There are more than 100 different species of goldenrod and nine grow in Arizona. Every last one of them is a pollinator powerhouse, providing nectar and pollen. From June through October they bloom, cheering up farm fields, fences, and our gardens, if we allow them space. Learn about this incredible plant and all the wildlife it supports.

Social Science | Tour

Study Abroad video

Watch this fun video from a Hugh Downs School Starbucks online student on her study abroad experience in 2017 to London, Edinburgh, and Dublin

Social Science | Demonstration

Ask An Anthropologist! "Try it" Activity—Thumbs Up!

Try this easy at-home activity to test why opposable thumbs are so important! Using tape to secure your thumbs, try to screw on a bottle cap or pick up a straw from the counter using only your fingers! Our fingers let us do many things easily and precisely. We can get food, make tools, and play with toys. Before human hands evolved to their modern form, our hominin ancestors began walking upright. This left their arms and hands free to carry things and make tools. Tools provided our ancestors with a great advantage, and so human hands—and brains—continued to evolve.

Social Science | Presentation

Ask An Anthropologist! How did you know where to find Lucy?

How did you know where to find Lucy? Institute of Human Origins Founding Director Donald Johanson—and discoverer of the 3.2-million year-old human ancestor fossil "Lucy"—answers questions about how we "became human." Would you like to ask a question? Submit your question at the link.

Social Science | Presentation

Barret Michalec: The (Super)Power of Emotional Contagion

We have a super power – the ability to “feel,” at least in part, what others are feeling. But we have taken this power for granted, and in some cases, actually dismissed it as problematic or detrimental. Sociologist Barret Michalec discusses the power of emotional contagion and the remarkable ability we possess to connect with others without even trying. Michalec suggests that we not only acknowledge and utilize this power, but hone it to better connect with the world around us. Barret Michalec is an Associate Professor and the Director of CAIPER. This talk was given at a TEDx event.

Social Science | Demonstration

Ask An Anthropologist! "Try it" Activity—Tool Test!

Are you smarter than a crow? Try this easy at-home activity to see if you can figure out how to get an object from the bottom of a tube! We know that for millions of years, humans have evolved a whole suite of specialized skills to help us survive. Perhaps the most important of these skills was our ability to make and use tools. Tools enabled early humans to access new types of foods and eventually, to hunt for their prey. But crows have also figured out how to use tools! See the activity for how crows use tools too!

Social Science | Demonstration

Ask An Anthropologist! "Try it" Activity—Thumbs Down!

Try this easy at-home activity to test why your opposable thumbs are so important to humans! Try to build with Legos using only your fingers and no thumbs! Our fingers let us do many things easily and precisely. We can get food, make tools, and play with toys. Before human hands evolved to their modern form, our hominin ancestors began walking upright. This left their arms and hands free to carry things and make tools. Tools provided our ancestors with a great advantage, and so human hands—and brains—continued to evolve to allow tool use.

Social Science | Presentation

Civic Classics Collection

The Civic Classics Collection is comprised of historically and culturally significant rare books and manuscripts related to American political thought. The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership curates the collection in collaboration with ASU’s Hayden Library. Prominent items include a 1788 first edition of The Federalist, a 1776 first edition of Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, an 1848 partial printing of the Seneca Falls Declaration in The North Star, signed copies of two books by Martin Luther King, Jr., a first edition of Zitkala-Sa’s Old Indian Legends, and many more.

Social Science | Presentation

What does a degree in Political Science look like?

Political science is the study of how citizens interact with their governments and how governments at all levels formulate policies to serve their citizens. Political Science students are well-rounded learners with the research and writing skills useful for success in political or governmental careers, law school, graduate study, business or the nonprofit sector.

Social Science | Presentation

What is human communication?

Learn what is meant by human communication with this fun video!

Social Science | Presentation

Epidemics as Systems!

When the media reports on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, do you ever hear about “R-naught” (R0)? You might have heard what this number represents, but where does it come from? Epidemiologists view the spread of disease through a population as the output of a system of interactions between individuals. Just like “temperature” helps determine the speed a gas moves through a room without keeping track of every molecule of that gas, ”R0” helps determine the speed of disease spread through a population. Here we describe the systems thinking behind epidemics and give an idea of how to better understand complex systems.

Social Science | Presentation

Tipping Points!

People talk about “tipping points” all the time, but what are they? Where do they come from? And are the things people call “tipping points” actually tipping points? Understanding these phenomena is critical for understanding sustainability and stability in human socio-techno-ecological systems. In this mini-tutorial, we discuss what “tipping points” are and how they emerge from complex systems of interactions we might think we understand at a small scale but might fail to understand at a large scale.

Social Science | Performance

Transborder Performance by Nancy Green

Performance artist Nancy Lorenza Green, M.Ed, plays her captivating music and spoken word poetry rooted in her experiences as an Afro-Chicana from the border region. Green's art exemplifies the mission of the School of Transborder Studies, as we strive to make borders and their stories human by developing cutting-edge interdisciplinary knowledge regarding the populations of the U.S.-Mexico transborder space and beyond.

Social Science | Other

School of Politics and Global Studies Photo Contest Voting

Since 2009, the School of Politics and Global Studies has run an annual internship photo contest highlighting key words from categories related to political science and global studies. Photos are submitted during the spring semester of every year and then voted on during ASU Open Door. Vote on your favorite from each category through this survey: https://asu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_6zBCUrA0gtBAInQ