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Incorporating Ethics Into K-12 STEM Education

Ethics Launch Page

Though not always emphasized or recognized, ethics is an integral part of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The development and deployment of technology, for example, often raises many ethical issues. Some of these issues are fairly straightforward while others are subtler and very complex. It is, therefore, important that educators help prepare their students for the ethical challenges they will face; whether as STEM professionals or citizens in our modern society. Finally, ethical reflection and discussion can promote critical thinking; a cornerstone of education and testing standards.


Ethics Module I

Incorporating Ethics into K-12 STEM Education: An Introduction

In this module, we will provide a brief overview and discussion of integrating ethics content into Project Based Learning (PBL). We will canvass several motivations for including ethics in an already full curriculum as well as highlight the benefits of doing so.

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Ethics Module II

Teaching Ethics in K-12 Classrooms: Methodology and Pedagogy

In this module, we discuss some of the methodology and pedagogy of teaching ethics. We point to the difficulty involved in teaching ethics and highlight several distinctions that are critical to keep in mind when teaching ethics. These include the differences between descriptive and prescriptive ethics and between discussing the origins and application of an ethical principle.

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Ethics Module III

Engineering Ethics

In this module, we introduce engineering ethics as a discipline. We discuss several key features of the practice of engineering. We then use features these to illustrate the role and importance of engineering ethics and draw attention to several engineering codes of ethics and discusses the nature of these codes. Finally, several foundational ideas in ethics are discussed. These foundational ideas, coupled with engineering codes of ethics, can provide valuable ethical guidance.

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Ethics Module IV

Ethics and Robotics

In this module, we look at how ethics can be incorporated into Robotics PBLs. The approach highlighted in the module can promote productive conversation among students and teachers. While we focus on ethics in robotics, the approach we discuss can be applied to a variety of contexts.

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