Sunday, February 13, 2011

Socially-Responsible Curriculum in Robotics Education (K-8)

The following is an acceptance letter for a presentation some colleagues (Christina White and Richard Crawford) and myself will be making at a National Science Foundation grant meeting in Washington D.C. in early March. The grant is known as "Beyond Blackboards". Our first attempt for funding was made during the 2006-07 academic year and we revised and resubmitted and finally received funding in the Fall of 2009. The primary purpose of the grant is to utilize robotics to further engineering skills in K-8 settings and hopefully lead to workforce skills. Some inspiration for the revision of this grant came while I was attempting to do some robotics with teachers in Hoboken as part of the curriculum writing project with a colleague from MIT (Dr. Susan Imholz). -Dr. Petrosino

Dear Tony and Christina,

We are pleased to inform you that we have accepted your ITEST Summit presentation proposal. Please note that we were not able to honor all requests for preferred length of session, and in some cases we have placed presenters together in one session because the underlying session themes were in tandem.

Below is a working description of your session—based on the information provided to us—and the scheduled day and time of your session. Please let me know by Monday 2/14 at 3pm EST if possible, if you are not available on that day/time, or if there are any egregious errors in the session description.

Thanks for your participation in this year’s summit!

Best Regards,

The ITEST Summit Planning Committee

Time: DAY 1: Thursday March 3 4:45pm – 5:15 pm

Session A: Socially-Responsible Curriculum (Salon 1) – Theme 4: Topics

Description: Social responsible curriculum is an ideology that an entity has an obligation to act to benefit society at large. This responsibility can be passive, by avoiding socially harmful acts, or active, by performing activities that advance social goals. We feel socially responsible curriculum is often overlooked rather than undervalued in STEM curriculum. Format: Presentation

Presenters/Projects: Christina White, Anthony Petrosino, Beyond Blackboards, Socially Responsible Curriculum, Work Force Readiness and Robotics

Socially Responsible Curriculum, Work Force Readiness and Robotics

We are very interested in socially responsible curriculum in STEM education and especially as it applies in our specific area of robotics. We believe there is significant interest in this area from our interactions and feedback with colleagues at conferences and presentations. Our session will include a 15 minute presentation on how Beyond Blackboards have addressed this issue, including our design principles and our action items will include ways to incorporate feedback and resources from other like minded and interested ITEST projects. We envision a session at next years' ITEST conference for findings as well as a session proposal for the 2012 Annual Conference of AERA.

Our model:

1) Involve students in research. Beyond Blackboards works with students around five hours a week with project members to develop new solutions to sustainability and conservation type problems.

2) Develop living case studies. Our Beyond Blackboard team has developed a number of real world case studies pointing out the need for and solutions surrounding current social challenges.

3) Think globally, act locally- We attempt to provide sustainable STEM related practices for working on various local concerns.

4) Define and refine. All students are asked to consider their definitions of social responsibility at the beginning and the end of our program.

5) Make time for reflection. We believe a key aspect of developing students with skills and social awareness is to build into the curriculum time and opportunities for them to reflect on and refine what they have learned.

Picture: Beyond Blackboards professional development workshop- February, 2011

1 comment:

Daniel N Smith Jr said...

Great concept Tony! I've been involved in some similar development but not quite as firmly in the social responsibility realm. Recently I've been looking more into appropriate tech than high tech and focusing more on food, energy and water.

I look forward to hearing more as your work progresses.