Session Recordings: Transforming STEM Education 2015

Thursday, November 12, 7:00 – 8:15 p.m.

Keynote Address
Understanding Complexity: Diversity Matters 

Scott E. Page, Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems Political Science and Economics—University of Michigan, and External Faculty—Santa Fe Institute

Diversity is essential to a quality learning environment and the cognitive- and identity-based diversity of students—and educators can and should influence the design of teaching and learning experiences.  However, the multiple mechanisms through which these forms of diversity operate and what these mechanisms imply—for higher education in general and STEM in particular—raise interesting questions. Dr. Page will share insights from research and scholarship on complex systems and on the functional contributions of both forms of diversity within the academy. He will discuss the potential for more inclusive and equity-minded frameworks to transforming STEM education. 

Friday, November 13, 9:15 – 10:15 a.m. 

Plenary Address
Meta-analysis Perspectives on Interdisciplinary and Applied Learning

Erika T. Camacho, Associate Professor of Mathematics and Natural Sciences—Arizona State University

Preparing all students to address the social, environmental, health, and geopolitical issues of their time requires multifaceted understandings in STEM fields and their relationships with the humanities. One cannot address public health or climate change without deep knowledge in science, economics, social justice, geography, history, and current political structures. And addressing these issues also requires a STEM literate public able to make wise personal, professional, and civic-minded decisions with agency for the common good. Dr. Camacho will explore the ways in which interdisciplinary and applied learning are helping educators and students make the connections necessary to address complex problems, with particular emphasis on advancing STEM learning for underrepresented students.

Friday, November 13, 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Concurrrent Sessions 

Friday, November 13, 11:45 a.m.– 1:45 p.m.
LEAP Challenge Forum Luncheon

Preparing Students to Create Solutions for Our Future

Justin T. Fermann, Lecturer in Chemistry and iCons Program and student—University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Kathleen F. Weaver, Director La Verne Experience and Associate Professor of Biology and students—University of La Verne

In 2015, AAC&U is launching the LEAP Challenge—the next stage in AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative designed to prepare students to do Signature Work—integrating and applying their learning to the unscripted challenges of our fast-changing global society. This forum will showcase students’ stories about the kinds of learning in college that matter to them and examine how institutions can foster programmatic, integrative, and scaffolded approaches to problem-based learning for all students. It is part of AAC&U’s Centennial Year focus on quality, equity, and inclusive excellence in American higher education. 

AAC&U gratefully acknowledges the foundations that have provided support for our Centennial Year dialogues about Liberal Education, Global Flourishing, and the Equity Imperative, and about The LEAP Challenge—Carnegie Corporation of New York, The Charles Engelhard Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and The Teagle Foundation.

Saturday, November 14, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Plenary Address
Examining the Intersections of Equity, Diversity, Community Engagement, and STEM Education

Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Rutgers University–Newark

Building campus cultures of equity, inclusion, and engagement are essential for equipping today’s students with the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully address the increasingly complex challenges of our global society. Dr. Cantor will share insights, strategies, and practices emanating from her work on “Realizing STEM Equity and Diversity through Higher Education-Community Engagement” (co-authored with Ira Harkavy and Myra Burnett), as well as from her years of experience and leadership in reframing the public mission of higher education.