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Social Justice and STEM Day with Donna Riley

Thursday, April 04, 2019
12:00 pm to 6:30 pm

Attend one or both! Registration encouraged!


Workshop on April 4, 12-1:30FI 105, "Why and how to integrate social justice and STEM in course content, assignments, and curriculum" Workshop description below.



In this workshop, Donna Riley, chemical engineer and Head of the School of Engineering Education at Perdue University, will discuss the value of integrating social justice and STEM in course content (assignments, projects) for our students’, the communities we work with, and STEM disciplines. STEM fields often hold themselves out as being objective and depoliticized, holding a `view from nowhere.’ Yet many of the most pressing issues of our time are ones in which both STEM and questions of social justice are inextricably linked. What would it mean to integrate social justice content and pedagogies with STEM topic areas? What curricular and pedagogical transformations are required? What new ways of knowing and being would we engage? What would we hope for in terms of student learning and practice? This hands-on workshop will explore curricular and pedagogical opportunities for bringing STEM and social justice together in classrooms of any discipline.  We will brainstorm what socially just STEM might entail, imagine what cross-disciplinary educational preparation would be required, and share specific ideas for curricular change to support students’ learning how to bring social justice and STEM together. She will also discuss how to develop assignments, projects, and content to help participants to develop their own materials. Faculty, staff, and students from WPI are welcome. Members from the broader Worcester community are also welcome. Lunch will be served. Please register so we can plan to have enough food for all. But, those who don’t register ahead of time and still welcome to come!


April 4, 4:30-6pm, SL 115, "What does a career that integrates STEM and social justice look like?" 

Description: Are you interested in making a difference in the world? In being involved in efforts to address climate change, gender inequities, racism, equitable access to natural resources, and other social injustices? What kinds of career opportunities exist that simultaneously address STEM and social justice? How do you go about perusing such a career? What types of preparation are needed, and how does one successfully navigate a career path in this area? What new opportunities still need to be created, and how can one forge new pathways or build new opportunities that integrate STEM and social justice? In this “talk show” style event, Donna Riley, a chemical engineer and Head of Engineering Education at Perdue University will discuss her own experience integrating STEM and social justice, other role models who have integrated STEM and social justice in different ways, and discuss how to pursue such a career. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome, as well as members from the broader Worcester community. Pizza (and gluten-free pizza), vegetarian and vegan options, and drinks will be served. Please register so we can plan to have enough food for all. But, those who don’t register ahead of time are still welcome to come!


Alice Clark