June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
In September 2015, more than 190 members of the United Nations (UN) committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for bringing equality across the world. Following recent initiatives at the Pennsylvania State University and recognizing the need to prepare our students to make a meaningful contribution to the implementation of the SDGs, we developed a new “Global Engineering Culture and Society” course. In addition to providing first years students with a global engineering-related study abroad opportunity, it also: 1) Exposes them to the use of scientific methods in developing a problem statement revolving around identified global challenges; 2) Gives them an experience-based understanding of the value of multidisciplinary teams, and; 3) Requires them to investigate contemporary issues in a broader global context. The course is based on selected STEM challenges and opportunities in Peru with site-specific case studies for engaged scholarship and intellectual development.
The key learning objectives and outcomes are: • To develop an appreciation of, and describe how, engineering issues and the implementation of the UN SDGs in Latin America. • To understand the broader parameters of a technical problem that afflicts society at large with an emphasis on Latin America. • To determine optimal methodologies to approach a technical problem from multidisciplinary perspectives. • To use a system thinking approach to define a techno-scientific problem and illustrate how this approach can be employed to devise engineering solutions that benefit specific communities and humanity at large. • To produce and interpret information on the UN SDGs in order to conduct outreach activities. • To apply the intercultural knowledge developed abroad for creating academic scenarios that connected the local realities of the host country with the UN SDGs. Offered for a six-week period, the course was partitioned into three two-week modules to facilitate faculty participation from The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) as well as from Universidad Nacional de Ingenieria (UNI) in Lima, Peru. Module 1 addressed UN SDG-11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, Module 2 focused on UN SDG-4 Quality of Education, and Module 3 analyzed design-related strategies to make human settlements safe, addressing elements of UN SDG-11. Each module was taught by a faculty member from Penn State and a faculty member from UNI together to ensure that local cultural and pedagogical aspects were fully integrated in each module. Student population for this course was composed of about 90% from STEM fields and about 10% from non-STEM fields from Penn State while the students from UNI were 100% from STEM fields.
This paper will discuss the lessons learnt during the different stages of the course: the design, the development, and the implementation. It will provide the rationale for curriculum implementation, and the integration of selected SDG’s into the course material. It will also report the findings from monitoring and evaluation activities (based on student surveys administer before, during, and after the study abroad experience), future plans such as broadening the range of SDG goals integrated into the curriculum, research possibilities between the two partner institutions, and a plan to assess the impact of this course in the students professional careers.
Urbina, J., & Oliden, J. F., & Tunno, P., & Lakhtakia, A., & Rodriguez, J., & Estrada, M. L., & Obonyo, E., & Zappe, S. E., & Masters, C. B., & Fonseca Pacheco, F. (2019, June), Experience-Based Learning: Global Engineering Culture and Society Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32789
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