A&S Faculty Invited to Apply to SENCER Summer Institute


School of Arts & Sciences

Arts & Science Faculty are 
Invited to Apply to the
SENCER Summer Institute (SSI)
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 A National Meeting of the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement (NCSCE)
August 3-6, 2017 @ Stony Brook University

The SENCER Summer Institute (SSI) supports a community of learners with the aim of strengthening student learning and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by connecting content to issues of critical local, national, and global importance. The SSI emphasizes transformation and the creation of opportunities that will emerge from new partnerships and initiatives.

Faculty selected through this process will have their registration and travel costs covered by the Office of Arts & Sciences.
SENCER Ideals:
The SENCER Ideals illustrate the principles and philosophies that guide SENCER’s approach to educational practice:

  • SENCER robustly connects science and civic engagement by teaching “through” complex, contested, capacious, current, and unresolved public issues “to” basic science.
  • SENCER invites students to put scientific knowledge and the scientific method to immediate use on matters of immediate interest to students.
  • SENCER helps reveal the limits of science by identifying the elements of public issues where science does not offer a clear resolution.
  • SENCER shows the power of science by identifying the dimensions of a public issue that can be better understood with certain mathematical and scientific ways of knowing.
  • SENCER conceives the intellectual project as practical and engaged from the start, as opposed to science education models that view the mind as a kind of “storage shed” where abstract knowledge may be secreted for vague potential uses.
  • SENCER seeks to extract from the immediate issues the larger, common lessons about scientific processes and methods.
  • SENCER locates the responsibilities (the burdens and the pleasures) of discovery as the work of the student.
  • SENCER, by focusing on contested issues, encourages student engagement with “multidisciplinary trouble” and with civic questions that require attention now. By doing so, SENCER hopes to help students overcome both unfounded fears and unquestioning awe of science. 

To Apply:

  1. Propose a 3-4 member faculty team that has a shared goal that supports the WPI strategic plan (broadly defined). Teams must chose and identify a group leader.
  2. Submit a one-page proposal describing what goals from WPI’s strategic plan the team plans to address and how the team will advance those goals after the Institute. The proposal should include information on the role of each team member in this endeavor.
  3. Email proposals to Dean Karen Oates (koates@wpi.edu) by March 31, 2017.