Discovery Residential College

Learn how science has changed the world.

Participate in hands-on activities. Visit places where breakthroughs have occurred. Appreciate science through the lenses of other disciplines, including history, philosophy and education.

Discovery College Student Staff


Joanie Gannon, Junior Fellow

Joanie Gannon

"The best part of a res college is living and working with people who share similar interests that you might have never met otherwise."

Hometown: Lansdale, Pa.
Major: computer engineering
jdg021@bucknell.edu

Eunbbie Kim, Junior Fellow

Eunbbie Kim

"Being in the Discovery Residential College was one of the best choices I could’ve made coming into freshman year. I met my best friends on my hall and still keep in contact with everyone else. I also enjoyed being surrounded by like-minded students who shared the same passion for science as me. Being in disco allowed me to grow as a student and as a person and I wouldn’t take the experience back for anything in the world!"

Hometown: Potomac, Md.
Major: neuroscience
esk009@bucknell.edu

Allison Sullivan, Junior Fellow

Allison Sullivan

"Being in a Residential College was a great experience. I made some of my closest friends through the program. Starting college in a Res College allowed me to quickly build connections and learn more about the university. If you aren’t sure whether to join or not, I fully recommend just going for it. Because the program fosters living-learning communities, there will always be someone around to help you! Discovery will give you many opportunities to build and grow your understanding of the science around you."

Hometown: White Oak, Pa.
Major: biology
ans011@bucknell.edu

Lynzi Wilson, Junior Fellow

Lynzi Wilson

"Being in the Discovery Residential College has opened so many opportunities for me my first year at Bucknell. I’ve been introduced to amazing students and professors, had the chance to go on fun field trips with my closest friends, and found a great support system to get me through my transition into college. Disco provides the perfect chance for students of all fields to come together around common interests and have awesome science fun!"

Hometown: Berlin, N.J.
Major: chemistry
lmw027@bucknell.edu

Foundation Seminar Course Choices


Course Details

  • Magic: Science/Theory/Performance
    Prof. Jason Leddington
    RESC 098 14

  • Sequence Society & Self
    Prof. Emily Stowe
    RESC 098 15

  • Extreme Discoveries: Physics Across Different Scales
    Prof. Jiajia Dong
    RESC 098 16

  • Our Material World
    Prof. Donna Ebenstein
    RESC 098 17

Magic: Sci/Theory/Performance

Theatrical magic (think Copperfield, not Potter) is one of the oldest and most popular performing arts in human history. This course introduces magic both as an object of study (via psychology, neuroscience, philosophy, and history) and a medium of artistic expression (via practice, scripting, and live performance). In other words, this course teaches you how to do magic and gets you thinking deeply about it.

You will engage in both scholarly essay writing and creative projects, and you will critically reflect on the relationship between them. Readings include texts by psychologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, art critics, cultural historians, and magicians. We will also study and practice basic principles and techniques of sleight-of-hand with cards, coins, and other small objects, as well as basic principles of stagecraft and performance.

Sequence, Society and Self

In this seminar, students will gain a greater understanding of the role of science in society and begin to appreciate how science influences our understanding of the universe around us. 

We will use the Human Genome Project as a lens to answer questions about the nature of science and how the genome sequence can be used to better understand ourselves as individuals and as a society. Will I want to have my genome sequenced? Who gets to know my genetic make-up? Will I want to screen potential partners or embryos based on their genetic make-up? How does the genome sequence help us understand human evolution, migration and development?  When we have the ability to sequence everyone's genome will we change the way we define ourselves and act as a society?

Students will read texts about the genome and genome project; literature that explores the basis of human nature, investigate human genes of interest and participate in the annotation (mapping) of a bacterial genome.

Our Material World

Early humans used the materials they found in their world, such as wood, rock, and metals, with very little modification. Later, humans learned to manipulate natural materials through “heating and beating” (blacksmithing) and combining materials to create composites with enhanced properties. More recently, humans discovered methods to synthesize entirely new materials not found in nature, including the plastics that surround us today. The advances in materials science throughout history have evolved from trial and error–experimentation without any understanding of process–to engineering and research based on a fundamental understanding of the science of materials, including the relationships between structure, properties, and processing.  All along the way, nature has played a critical role in discovery of new materials and providing models that inspire the design of new engineered materials that are bio-inspired or “biomimetic.”

Extreme Discoveries: Physics Across Different Scales

The farthest galaxy, the smallest particle, the coldest temperature, the fastest computer, the most precisely tested theory, the most complex system - the human brain...all of these scales are made accessible to us thanks to generations of researchers advancing theories, inventing technologies and forging collaborations.

Using cutting-edge discoveries as a backdrop, this foundation seminar integrates reading, writing and quantitative reasoning through weekly-themed topics. Students will learn to analyze each topic of its historic background, theoretical framework, technological support, significance to society, and public reception, thus develop a deeper appreciation for the importance of a well-rounded education as well as interdisciplinary collaborations.

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