Science, Technology and Society
- Last Updated on Wednesday January 22, 2014
Since the influences of science and technology on society are so pervasive, STS is for all majors. Increasingly we as a society will have to deal with emerging technical issues or new scientific ideas in our daily lives, including most professional settings today. Robotics, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, geoengineering, information and communication technologies, and cognitive enhancement are only handful of emerging science and technologies that are increasingly part of our lives. As we move deeper into the twenty-first century and our emerging technologies are becoming increasingly interconnected, pervasive, and powerful, with ever greater global implications, it is important that we have a more extended view of the consequences of how our daily lives are effected by and effect these trends. Only through foresight will we be able to maximize the benefits of scientific inquiry and technological innovation. We help prepare students for these endeavors in the following ways:
- Career Preparation. STS students develop professional skills, personal confidence, and awareness of the larger role that experts play in society (Many of our students obtain internships by the end of their sophomore year).
- Critical Thinking. STS students develop analytical skills that help them understand the dynamic and complex interactions among science, technology and society, especially as it pertains to responsible innovation and governance of science and technology.
- Mentoring, Teaching and Leadership Skills. STS students develop mentoring, teaching and leadership skills through service-learning, practicum experiences and teaching opportunities both on and off campus. STS students develop communication skills for sharing technical knowledge with non-experts in academic, public and professional settings.
- Student Success. The STS program provides services that help students adapt to and feel ‘at home’ on campus by helping them structure their academic and extra-curricular activities to maximize success (e.g., mentoring, tutoring and support in target areas, advice on appropriate campus services, peer support)
Science, Technology & Society (STS) enables students to identify and analyze the ways that science and technology shape, and are shaped by, society. Emphasizing the importance of social processes to shaping scientific research and technological development, STS students engage in individual research projects, collaborative problem solving projects, learn empathetic design thinking principles, and service learning as a way of better linking science and technology to broader social needs
To achieve this, STS merges inside-the-classroom experience with opportunities outside of the classroom. We feature a highly rewarding robotics service learning program where students explore innovative ways of encouraging STEM education in Prince Georges County K-12 schools. We also actively seek out other service-learning opportunities as they emerge that combine STS and Design Thinking principles to help solve community problems. As another way of broadening our understanding of how science and technology operates in society, we visit with researchers from world class research facilities such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA, the National Institute of Health, the Army Research Laboratories, among others. In addition, students that participate in research opportunities and internships with a variety of on- and off-campus research centers and governmental bodies are provided a forum for reflecting on these experiences in the broader contexts of society's needs and the student’s future career aspirations.
As one of Scholars' original four programs, STS has a long history of educating students in the sciences. STS is sponsored by the A. James Clark School of Engineering and is housed in Cambridge Hall.