July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
The relevance of global conditions to technical design can be a challenging pedagogy for engineering faculty to present, particularly when rigorous engineering curricula leave little room for more than the most cursory examinations of the relationship of global trends, societal interactions, economic drivers, and racial/ethnic identities to the design process. While interdisciplinary learning is encouraged by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for engineering education programs, the reality is that engineering curricula often marginalize the social sciences and humanities as irrelevant to engineering practice and decision-making. A multidisciplinary team of engineering, history, medicine, social work, chemistry, and global studies faculty at the University of Illinois has formed to encourage cross-discipline dialogue among scholars, students, and practitioners to better situate science and technology in a societal context. The Global STEAM group was founded amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Spring 2020 and, with the sponsorship of the Illinois Global Institute and Applied Research Institute, launched its first campus-wide forum in September with a three-event series, entitled Global STEAM in An Age of Uncertainty. From the discussion around how COVID-19 impacted the age of uncertainty, the group created three roundtable events. The forum featured scholars from around the world exploring the topics of “The Uneasy Relationship Between Science and Politics,” “The Conflict Between Science and Compassion,” and “Science and the Global in a Brave New World.” In its short active life, the Global STEAM group already has generated considerable interest among both faculty and students across the diverse campus and opened opportunities for engineering students to conduct research and attend courses taught by non-technical faculty who recognize the intersectional value of situating technical thought in a global context. In addition to planning future interdisciplinary events, the working group is exploring the establishment of permanent programming to unite the social and physical sciences and humanities to produce globally minded technical experts who are equipped to function effectively and sensitively in a rapidly changing and diverse international environment. Continued evidence of impact will consist of increased faculty participation, creation of interdisciplinary courses, and facilitation of well-attended events that engage both the physical sciences and the social sciences/humanities.
Witmer, A., & Andino Martínez, J. G., & Coiado, O. C., & Mingee, J. M., & Andrade, F., & Pollack-Lagushenko, T. (2021, July), Building STEAM for Global Engineering through Collaboration with the Social Sciences and Humanities during the COVID-19 Pandemic Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36772
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