This paper reports on our work developing a set of modular courses to intended to help foster Ethical, Social, Environmental, Health, and Safety Awareness in Tomorrow’s Engineers and Technologists. We focus on emerging technologies, and especially nanotechnology. In the last decade nanotechnology has made myriad inroads into mainstream society. It is merely one of many exciting new ways that science and technology are changing how we live and think. Along with these developments in science and technology come new industries, and new challenges. This requires heightened awareness of health and safety risks, ethical and social considerations, and environmental implications of their work. This need is not limited to nanotechnologies, nor revolutionary technologies, but should be an integral part of all engineering work.
Our NSF-funded project is developing and introducing introductory and advanced curricula for online and face-to-face course modules taught as full courses or infused into existing courses. The courses and modules are being developed and piloted with the guidance of an advisory council made up of nanotechnology leaders from academia and industry. One important goal of the project is to recruit, engage, prepare, and encourage students from traditionally underrepresented groups to careers in Science and Engineering, with a focus on Nanotechnology.
In this paper we explain the origin of the project and how we developed the course modules, review the first semesters teaching from these modules, and examine our initial results and evaluations.