Wasserman Group




Call out: Thursday, February 14 2019 at noon in wthr-117D



Science and Social Progress will provide students in STEM a venue to explore the role of science in social progress. “Science, technology, and innovation (STI) do not evolve in a vacuum”[1]. Governments and public policy play an important role on what funding is dedicated to STI, and these are affected by socio-economic, geo-political and environmental trends. This course will review STI trends in the USA and in Colombia.

[1] United Nations Educational. "Unesco Science Report: Towards 2030." (2015).

Why Bogotá?

Bogotá is Colombia's beating heart, an engaging and vibrant capital cradled by chilly Andean peaks and steeped in sophisticated urban cool. The city's cultural epicenter is La Candelaria, the cobbled historic downtown to which most travelers gravitate. Here, a potpourri of carefully preserved colonial buildings is home to museums, restaurants, hotels and bars, peppered amid 300-year-old houses, churches and convents. Nearly all of Bogotá's traditional attractions are here, radiating from Plaza de Bolívar, and gorgeous Cerro de Monserrate is just east. [2]

[2] https://www.lonelyplanet.com/colombia/bogota

University Of Los Andes

Universidad de los Andes was founded in 1948, and it was the first private university in Colombia that was independent from political or religious movements or parties.  It was conceived as a study center, a research center, and a place where truth could be upheld. It was ranked fifth by the QS University Rankings 2018 in Latin America, and it occupied the 272nd spot globally.[3][4]

UniAndes is committed to academic excellence, offering interdisciplinary education grounded in science and the arts, critical thinking and the highest standards of ethical, social and civic responsibility 

[3] https://uniandes.edu.co/en/university/about-us
[4] https://www.topuniversities.com/universities/universidad-de-los-andes

Places to see


Visitors to  Villa de Leyva find beautifully preserved colonial buildings. Nonetheless, the present and future of this heritage town are well founded in creative proposals so that visitors may enjoy activities such as visiting an ostrich farm, going to a dinosaur theme park, visiting archaeological sites and shopping for local handicrafts.    

Villa de Leyva charms visitors at every street corner. Strolling down its stone streets in any direction you will stumble across churches, convents and  monasteries, and perhaps, find yourself in an enormous square where visitors fly kites and Christmas festivities are held. Visitors are enchanted with white walls and windows and door frames built in colonial style. [5] http://www.colombia.travel/en/where-to-go/andean/villa-de-leyva





Colombia: Bogotá (University of Los Andes) and Villa de Leyva

Contrary to its portrayal in popular media, Bogota is actually one of the safest urban areas in South America. While you should take the same precautions while exploring the cities of Colombia as you would exploring any others, it’s worth noting that Bogota's violent crime rate is actually lower than that of Indianapolis, Indiana. [6]

[6] https://www.viahero.com/travel-to-colombia/is-colombia-safe


Program Dates

May 6, 2019 - May 28, 2019


The program is open to Purdue undergraduate students who have completed general chemistry, general physics or calculus

Course Credits

Course Number CHM 49000, 3 credits could be applied towards a minor in Chemistry for:

College of Science Great Issues requirement (3 Credits) or
College of Science Culture requirement (3 Credits)


$2,400 (Note that you can apply for Study-abroad scholarships). This does not include airfare and transportation to/from airport in the U.S., and it also does not include some meals (~$200), passport costs (~$175), extending housing at Purdue for the first week (~$130), activating roaming for the phone (~$100), and possibly additional (unanticipated) costs. 

Language Requirements



Apply before March 1st 2019



Logistics For PUrdue Students


Week 1: May 6 - 10. at PUrdue

* Students will take very basic Spanish and Colombian culture classes.

* Introduction to the materials on which the course will be based.

* Case Study: Valero (Linden, IN; ethanol from corn as additive to gasoline)

* Case Study: “What drives Deforestation and What Stops It” (Bush and Ferreti-Gallon)

* Students will read the materials and prepare a first draft of the presentation they will give to Los Andes’ students in week 3.

* Preparation and background on all planned visits.

Purdue students will travel to Bogotá on Sat. May 11th.

Week 2: May 13 – 17. At Los Andes:

* 2 hours/day of Spanish and Colombian culture offered by Los Andes (Carolyn Finck)

* Seminars from invited speakers

* Case study: Flower as an export product in Colombia

* Case study: Gold in Colombia (pre-Colombian to current time).

* Group study of materials related to science and social progress.



Week 3: May 20 - 23. At Los Andes

* 2 hours/day of Spanish and Colombian culture offered by Los Andes (Carolyn Finck)

* On Mon. May 20 and Tues. May 21, Purdue students will present their findings about the US to Los Andes’ students. On Wed. May 22 and Thurs. May 23, Los Andes students will present their findings about Colombia to Purdue students.

All will travel together to Villa de Leyva on Fri. May 24th


Last 3 days: In Villa de Leyva (Purdue and Los Andes’ students together):

* Group discussion on grand challenges

* Group discussion on proposed solutions to the grand-challenges.

* Final presentations on Sunday May 26th

All will return to Bogotá on Mon. May 27th

Purdue students will travel back to Purdue on Tues. May 28th






Adam Wasserman

Chemistry and Physics



Beatriz Cisneros

Academic Advisor - Chemistry




Martha Vives



Carolyn Finck

Director of International Affairs


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