Sustainability Awareness through STEAM+
Innovative technology enterprises have been working closely with OECD countries to address issues related to sustainability. There are many acronyms associated with STEM, e.g. STEM+, incorporating the humanities, community needs, and global concerns indicated by the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UN. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) supports capacity-building for the SDGs and their related thematic issues, including water, energy, climate, oceans, urbanization, transport, science and technology. We prefer to use STEAM+ based on our earlier work, indicating the inclusion of Arts in the curricula to attract female students and interdisciplinarity. Following Briggs’ constructive alignment paradigm with focus on learning objectives, activities, and assessments (LO-A-A) in a STEAM+ curricula, sustainability can be included with critical reflective thinking addressing air pollution, microplastics in the ocean, renewable energy, food wastage, circular economy, poverty etc. The paradigm “Student in Centre and Front (CSF)” discussed in our earlier study promotes the idea of the student as a responsible member in the society giving due attention to pressing socioeconomic issues such as the SDGs. In this paper, means of extending the responsibility of the students in developing awareness of issues related to SDGs through curricula and projects are presented. The focus of this paper is on addressing STEAM+ tuned for awakening interest in SDGs, with some examples from courses held in our universities. Examples are taken from learning activities involving group of students as part of selected courses and projects/problem-based learning (PPBL) with reflective practice.
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