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UK/CoD students part of multidisciplinary teams to present sustainability research at NSF-STFS

April 18, 2013   |   School

On Tuesday, April 30, students who participated in the National Science Foundation’s Systems Thinking for Sustainability research course will present their research findings in a showcase in the Lexmark Public Room in the University of Kentucky’s Main Building. This student project showcase will display the research results, issues investigated, and potential solutions discovered over the course of the Spring 2013 semester and features students with the following majors: mechanical engineering, business, math, landscape architecture, science education and architecture.

This year’s Umbrella Project entitled Campus Living advances the research developed by the Spring 2012 STFS class. Using last year’s projects as springboards for deeper and more thorough approaches, the students’ projects explored sustainable issues through the lens of systems thinking as a means of simultaneously seeing and assessing the issues from multiple vantage points. The topics selected for this year’s projects are germane to ongoing campus planning initiatives and include topics such as open space utilization, building the campus community, sustainable transportation, energy and water usage, campus amenities, and the student center design. The presentation agenda is as follows:
10:30AM - 11:00AM - Informal discussions with the individual student teams
11:00AM - 12:00PM team presentations by the six (6) teams/ 10 minutes each
12:00PM - 12:30PM Questions and Responses
The faculty who collaboratively taught the NSF-STFS course include Design Associate Dean for Research - Gregory Luhan; Engineering - Dr. Dusan Sekulic, Dr. Fazleena Badurdeen; the Gatton College of Business - Dr. Leslie Vincent, and Education - Dr. Margaret Schroeder. 
The Systems Thinking for Sustainability (STFS) project is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded project focused on the development of an innovative team-taught interdisciplinary course that will transform STEM education for undergraduates.  This course features the synergistic teamwork of four UK colleges (Design & Architecture, Engineering, Education, and Business/Economics) that uses a problem-based learning approach to address issues related to sustainability and living on the UK campus.
The NSF TUES project, "Systems Thinking for Sustainability" (or STFS for short) started in the fall 2012 and will continue through the spring 2014 semester.  TUES stands for "Transforming Undergraduate Education in STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The project involves designing and teaching a cross-disciplinary course in systems thinking for sustainability. Our hope and expectation is that learning a systems approach to solving problems in sustainability areas (the subject area for the course) will help students develop the perspectives and skills they need to work together in an increasingly cross-disciplinary world.

Funding for the University of Kentucky STFS course is Provided by NSF-TUES Award #1044232 Copyright © 2013.