This award is funded in whole or in part under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Public Law 117-2). The aim of the project is to test innovative methods for integrating STEM and humanities curricula in a 4-year college setting. With pervasive and increasingly complex ethical and social issues related to emerging science and technology, undergraduate students in both STEM and humanities fields need better interdisciplinary preparation to address these societal challenges in their professional careers. While general education requirements may ensure breadth, there remains little integration of STEM and humanities perspectives. The field of Science and Technology Studies (STS) is uniquely positioned to facilitate such integration through STS pedagogies—interdisciplinary practices of teaching and learning that build on the field’s deep engagement with the ethical and societal dimensions of science, technology, and innovation. This project implements and evaluates a model for collaboratively developing STS pedagogies with a cohort of STEM and humanities faculty and undergraduate students, designed to build new interdisciplinary STS modules for each participating faculty member’s course. This research has the potential of refining a model that can be adopted by a variety of institutions to facilitate the dissemination and uptake of STS pedagogies across the curriculum.
This project addresses three research questions: 1) Can this model effectively support the integration of humanities and STEM perspectives in undergraduate training? 2) Can collaborative STS pedagogy development effectively cultivate new interdisciplinary collaborations between humanities and STEM experts? 3) Does this model contribute to the recognition and value of STS in interdisciplinary undergraduate training within four-year degree programs? Through four year-long implementations of the model across four different institutions—James Madison University, Colorado School of Mines, Michigan State University, and University of Maryland College Park—this research will evaluate and refine the model, attending to institutional, disciplinary, and other factors that impact its implementation and effectiveness. Using ethnographic and qualitative methods for analyzing each implementation, this project will produce a rich description of the model and associated STS pedagogies, and an open access best-practices handbook for adapting this model in different institutional settings and collaboratively developing STS pedagogies with humanities and STEM colleagues. Additionally, as undergraduate students will be involved in the project and will support data collection and analysis, it will provide opportunities to mentor a new generation in research and evidence-based STS pedagogy.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.