Learning and Teaching Center highlights civic engagement in STEM classes

December 5, 2011 at 3:22 pm
By Nick Welna

On November 8th, the Perlman Center for Learning and Teaching, Carleton's nexus for faculty development and pedagogical dialogue, hosted an event dedicated to ACE's work in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Professors Deborah Gross and Debby Walser-Kuntz spoke about their classes that conducted community-based research on air pollution, professors Susan Singer and Katie St. Clair discussed their courses that supported nutrition education in the local schools, and professor Dan Hernandez explained how his Ecosystems Ecology class gave elementary schoolers tours of the Arboretum's ecoystems.

Prof. Walser-Kuntz, who is also Carleton's faculty leader for the national service-learning consortium Project Pericles, facilitated small group discussion in which attendees explored possibilities for collaborating with community partners. Each table was assigned an academic subject and a community partner, and thought through the ways in which they could use civic engagement as a part of these hypothetical classes. The exercise helped many participants envision how community partnerships can strengthen their teaching.