This practice paper is a descriptive account of an experience with a sustainable development learning project for engineering students in a Science, Technology and Society (STS) course at Bilkent University. The students participated in the STS Sustainability Awards competition for two semesters in one academic year, an event that was inspired by Bilkent University’s 2021–2022 Sustainability Year. As part of the project, the students found a company or laboratory, consulted them on their innovation practices and asked questions that were grounded in Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approaches. RRI can provide an opening for students to explore how various values, including sustainability and privacy, are considered in innovation practices. The values by design approach can help engineering students to see that innovators consider both instrumental and qualitative values during the innovation process. Although the project has been used in other years, the sustainability awards motivated students to explore how innovators respond to concerns around a range of sustainability issues. The award recipients produced projects on smart homes, nanotechnology-based solar panels, clean meat, industry 4.0, geothermal energy, air cars and magnetic resonance imaging technology, and gave presentations in events hosted by the Faculty of Engineering administrators. Although future research in this area is needed, applied learning experiences, such as the one that is described in this paper, could have the potential to help bridge the disciplinary divide between STS and engineering.
Downey, R. A. (2023). Discovering Sustainability Practices In Research And Innovation Sites. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI). DOI: 10.21427/A4WQ-5M48
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