Originally posted October 11, 2015
Here is an excerpt:
Do you have ethics built into your STEM curriculum? What does that look like? For a start I’m envisioning kids in their teams debating solutions to problems, looking at possible consequences of those solutions, and examining the trade-offs they’d have to make.
Some types of real-world problems lend themselves readily to ethical deliberations. Proposed environmental solutions for cleaner air, for example, resulted in push-back from some industries that faced investing more money in equipment, and even from some citizens who feared a rise in price for the products these industries produce. So how do you lead your students through a productive discussion of these issues?
In my search for answers to that question I located a free Ethics Primer from the Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (downloadable as a PDF). This publication strongly recommends that the study of ethics begin through exploring a case study or a scenario.
A STEM lesson provides a perfect kickoff for an ethics discussion, since a scenario generally accompanies the real-world problem kids are trying to solve. From there, ethics principles and practices can be built naturally into the lesson.
The article is here.