FYS 178: First Year Seminar Courses @ STEAM

The First-Year Seminar, FYS 178, introduces students to education in a liberal arts environment, assisting them in making the transition to UNC Asheville. FYS 178 is required for all incoming first-year students. FYS 178 integrates information and intellectual approaches from different disciplines, directly addressing the nature of a liberal arts education.

STEAM Studio has hosted FYS courses from various disciplines including Sociology and Classics and seeks to partner with other departments to develop and deliver exciting hands on projects that reinforce key concepts across multiple disciplines.


Past and Current Courses


FYS 178: The Art and Science of Social Resistance, Spring 2021

This course uses tools from social science and STEAM disciplines to investigate how humans confront social problems and work to achieve social change. Students will learn to articulate and apply key concepts in the sociology of protest and social change, as well as analyze social change from an interdisciplinary perspective with an emphasis on the role of art and culture in social protest. Drawing on both historical and contemporary examples of collective action, including art interventions, the maker movement, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, Black Lives Matter, and feminist movements such as #metoo, we will explore how the design and use of objects and materials can be leveraged for social change and self expression, as well as track the parallels between social movement strategies and the design thinking approach in STEAM. The final project will invite students to apply course concepts and practices through: 1) reflecting on their potential role in social change, and 2) endeavoring into their own creative process to design and build an object for social change.

FYS 178: Ancient Roman Woodworking,  Fall 2021

This first year seminar will explore the technology and techniques of ancient Roman woodworking, from the selection and preparation of timber to the production of furniture, bridges, houses, and more. In a partnership with UNCA’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Studio, students will learn through hands-on experience, constructing their own hand-tools and practicing various joints by using the same methods as the ancient Romans. In addition, students will read ancient and modern sources to better understand how carpenters and woodworkers in antiquity solved engineering problems, made a living, and expanded upon their art and skills. Material costs for this course will be ~$100. To facilitate the first‐year college student’s transition to UNC Asheville, FYS 178 will address topics that are important to a “first year experience,” including academic advising, effective use of college resources, and an appreciation of the rhythms of the academic year.