About the Scholars STS Program
The Scholars STS program emphasizes the importance of social processes to shaping scientific research and technological development. We also examine the opposite relationship: the ways that science and technology shape society. We are sponsored by the School of Engineering to help science and engineering majors to think broadly about their work. Any student may join the program: bout one-fourth of our students are not STEM majors, so our classes mix students interested in a variety of disciplines.
Click here to learn what freshmen did in their Spring 2009 course.
In the Scholars STS Courses, students practice skills of writing, discussing, and giving presentations about the power and potential of science and technology. In the freshman colloquium students pursue projects in small groups that are facilitated by upperclassmen. Group presentations and individual papers convey what students have learned about the interactions between technology and society (fall semester) and science and society (spring semester). The goal of these exercises is to enable students to communicate with people from other disciplines and those without special expertise. Students also develop their personal interest in science and technology by writing a research paper about a topic of their choice in the supportive setting of the sophomore Capstone course. Sophomores prepare a formal poster of their research that they present at the Scholars Academic Showcase at the end of the spring semester.
For the sophomore Practicum, many students earn credit for a service, internship or work experience. Students are encouraged to seek practicum credit for their dedicated service activities, such as their participation in the tutoring program Lakeland Stars, GEMS, ReSET or the Saturday Academy of the Center for Minorities in Engineering. Others enroll in small classes to learn particular skills (music composition or web design) that they then teach to middle school students or provide to a local nonprofit organization. The program requires students to choose a few additional courses to fulfill distribution requirements.
The program sponsors activities that build community and complement classroom work. Our staff offices open onto the 1st floor study lounge of Chestertown Hall, the main residence hall for Scholars STS students. In this lounge, students may organize activities and study groups, and they have ready access to program staff and faculty.
Students who enjoy STS may wish to earn a University Certificate in STS in subsequent coursework.