CLN > Climate Change Education Projects > Mobilizing STEM Education for a Sustainable Future

Mobilizing STEM Education for a Sustainable Future

Principal Investigators: Cathy Middlecamp, Susan Millar, Jean MacGregor, and Elaine Seymour.
Project Website:
NSF Grant #0744106

Project Description

Interacting with our Critical Advisors and others, we have gleaned key insights that we believe are important for our project and for all who share our vision of STEM education for a sustainable future within postsecondary education. These include:

  1. The complex and urgent issues of "sustainability" (by which we mean ensuring that the Earth continues over time to adequately sustain its human and other inhabitants) are not only important for their own sake, but also these can be a powerful motivator and vehicle for learning basic science.
  2. Without the direct involvement of deep and good science, our global sustainability challenges cannot be solved.
  3. The issue of how to motivate behavior and stimulate changes in STEM education needs more attention. Although the STEM reform community within higher education has produced, demonstrated the efficacy of, and disseminated resources that improve teaching and learning, these resources have not yet been widely adopted.
  4. The STEM education reform community in higher education, in contrast to that of sustainability education, is a collection of somewhat isolated projects, with little synergistic connection. There is no groundswell of movement in a common direction that might substantially increase the "spread" of good practices in teaching and learning. Behavior change in postsecondary STEM education may be facilitated through efforts to create a true STEM education reform community.
  5. We must carefully align our message with the "frames" taken for granted by our different intended audiences.

2010 Leadership Team: Jim Elder, Catherine Fry, Mel George, Jean MacGregor, Cathy Middlecamp, Susan Millar, Judith Ramaley, Elaine Seymour, Cindy Wei, with help and inspiration from many others, including Jay Labov and Susan Elrod.

Contact Information:

Cathy Middlecamp,
Department of Chemistry
1101 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706