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Partnerships and Pedagogies for Introducing Neuroethics to Secondary STEM Classrooms [Poster]

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Engineering Ethics Division Poster Session: Neuroethics and Secondary STEM Classrooms

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Engineering Ethics

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Paper Authors


Kristen Clapper Bergsman University of Washington

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Kristen Clapper Bergsman is a learning scientist, STEM program manager, and curriculum designer. She is the Engineering Education Research Manager at the Center for Neurotechnology at the University of Washington and the Curriculum Design Project Lead at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Bergsman owns Laughing Crow Curriculum, a consulting firm offering support in STEM curriculum design and publication. Previously, she was a graduate researcher at the Institute for Science and Math Education. Dr. Bergsman received her Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Washington.

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Sara Goering University of Washington

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Professor of Philosophy, core faculty for the Program on Ethics, and the UW Disability Studies Program, adjunct faculty in Bioethics and Humanities, and co-lead for the neuroethics group at the UW Center for Neurotechnology.

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Eric H. Chudler University of Washington

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Eric H. Chudler is a research neuroscientist interested in the neuroactive properties of medicinal plants and herbs and how the brain processes information about pain and nociception. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology at the University of Washington in Seattle in 1985. He has worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. (1986-1989) and in the Department of Neurosurgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Mass. (1989-1991). Chudler is currently a research associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the executive director of the Center for Neurotechnology. He is also a faculty member in the Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine and the Graduate Program in Neuroscience at the University of Washington. In addition to performing basic neuroscience research, he works with other neuroscientists and classroom teachers to develop educational materials to help K-12 students learn about the brain.

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The field of neurotechnology offers both great promise and potential peril, necessitating a careful consideration of ethical concerns. This paper shares how a partnership between education staff, precollege teachers, and philosophers enabled a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program to center professional learning on neuroethics. This partnership supported the design of curriculum materials focused on the intersection of ethics, science, technology, and engineering, which integrated a variety of pedagogical approaches. As a model for other engineering centers to explore, this paper also describes the cases of two high school science teachers who were embedded in a neuroethics research group for their summer research experience. Finally, program evaluation findings show that RET participants reported increases in knowledge related to ethical and responsible conduct in research and knowledge of core concepts in neuroethics. Some teachers in particular reflected that learning about neuroethics was impactful to their own professional learning and their students’ learning. Integrating the study of ethics into scientific research, as well as into science and engineering education across all levels, is imperative for developing a citizenry that understands how to think through and make decisions about the complex social and ethical implications of emerging neurotechnologies.

Bergsman, K. C., & Goering, S., & Chudler, E. H. (2021, July), Partnerships and Pedagogies for Introducing Neuroethics to Secondary STEM Classrooms [Poster] Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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