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STS students in a roundtable discussion at Academic Showcase

Science, Technology and Society

The socially responsible application of science and technology

Introduction

Our lives and bodies are intertwined with science and technology. We depend on them to support how we live now and hope that new discoveries will improve our lives in the future. What can we do today, however, to bring about our ideal future?

Science, Technology and Society (STS) seeks to understand the challenges standing between the present we have and the future we want. Students explore the powerful social, ethical and political relationships that drive research and innovation, asking:

  • What factors determine the trajectories of scientific research and technological development?
  • Which research and development pathways have the greatest positive impact with the least harm, and who decides which pathways are taken?
  • What strategies will influence decision-making to realize the best possible outcomes?

Using scenario analysis, simulations, and systems thinking, on teams and independently, students will learn methods to assess, design and influence the direction of scientific and technological change.

Because STS values interdisciplinary collaboration, we welcome students from all majors. If you have an interest in maximizing the societal benefits of scientific inquiry and technological innovation, you will be a valued member of our community.

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • What are the grand challenges of our times?
  • What drives technological change?
  • How do we solve the scientific literacy problem?
  • Why is thinking about race, gender and sexuality relevant to science and technology?

I felt a sense of belonging in the classroom that I could tell my instructors worked so hard to create. All of our perspectives and imaginative solutions to real problems were welcome. My Scholars program was a safe space where I learned so much about myself, my interests and the world.

Menal Shams
Menal Shams '23

Other Learning Opportunities

As an STS student, you’ll go on field trips that let you apply the techniques you learn in class to the real world. Sites include the National Institute of Standards and Technology, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, Baltimore Underground Science Space and the Smithsonian’s Innovation Hall.

Service opportunities are also embedded in the STS curriculum. As an STS student, you might volunteer for technical literacy workshops, participate in Regional Science Bowls, help out at Community Forklift and more.

STS features three rewarding practicum opportunities:

  1. Robotics service-learning program: Students explore innovative ways of encouraging STEM education in Prince George's County schools
  2. Infrastructure and Society: Students work with professional engineers on a service-learning project that assesses the safety and viability of infrastructure
  3. The Future of Science Communication: Students collaborate with scientists and laypeople to prototype ideas for communicating scientific and technical information.

STS's robotics service-learning program is always open to working with new partners. Please contact Tim Reedy if you are a school, community organization or other entity interested in:

  • Partnering with STS to provide Lego robotics education;
  • Recruiting volunteers for science, fairs, career days or demonstrations; or
  • Working with STS on grant proposals or research.

Curriculum Overview

The STS curriculum is designed as a thematic complement to your major that will fulfill many of your General Education requirements. Over the two-year program experience (four semesters), students will complete 3 credits of colloquium, a 3-credit practicum and a 3-credit capstone course.

The following table represents a typical two-year curriculum, but individual schedules may vary. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the STS Citation Checklist.

SEMESTER COURSES CREDITS
Semester 1 CPSS 100: Colloquium I 2 credits
Semester 2 CPSS 101: Colloquium II 1 credit
Semester 2, 3, or 4 CPSS 240: Robotics Service-Learning (SCIS, DSSP); or
CPSS 340: Infrastructure and Society (DSSP); or
CPSP 318: STEAM Rising: Empowering Communities with Art and Technology (DVCC); or
CPSP 279T: Indigenous Communities and Technology in Ecuador: Past, Present, and Future (DSSP, DVCC)
3 credits
Semester 1, 2, 3, or 4 Supporting Course (var. Gen Ed) 3 credits
Semester 3 or 4 CPSS 225: Capstone (SCIS, DSHS); or
CPSS 220: Future of Communicating Science (DVCC)
3 credits

Office Address

1210 Cambridge Hall

Office Phone

301-405-7219

Faculty

Portrait of David Tomblin

David Tomblin

Program Director, Science, Technology and Society
Portrait of Nicole Mogul

Nicole Mogul

Assistant Director, Science, Technology and Society
Portrait of Christine Alexander

Christine Alexander

Lecturer, Science, Technology and Society
Portrait of Kuan-Hung Lo

Kuan-Hung Lo

Lecturer, Science, Technology and Society
Portrait of Timothy Reedy

Timothy Reedy

Lecturer, Science, Technology and Society
Portrait of Vivian Zohery

Vivian Zohery

Graduate Assistant, Science, Technology and Society

News and Notes, Etc.

Stories Beneath the Shell: UMD and College Park Host First Technology Literacy Workshop since 2020, March 2022

Baltimore Sun: Experiential Learning in a Virtual World, February 2021


Science, Technology and Society News

Showing 7 - 12 of 27
  • Two Scholars Named 2024 Patty Grace Smith Fellows

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Patti Grace Smith Fellowship recently announced the selection of 29 students to participate in its award-winning program that connects the United States’ leading aerospace companies with talented Black students.The Class of 2024 Fellows hail from 17 colleges and universities spread across 13 states and Puerto Rico. Each Fellow has earned a challenging summer aerospace internship, as well as a scholarship worth thousands of dollars, a pair of personalized mentors, and more.Two College Park Scholars were named recipients of the 2024 Fellowship:

  • Two More Programs Added to Scholars for 2024-25

    COLLEGE PARK, MD. – College Park Scholars in Fall 2024 will add two programs to its roster of two-year living-learning experiences for academically talented students, but one will look and sound familiar.Data Justice will debut, and the University of Maryland’s CIVICUS program will relaunch with a new name: Civic Engagement for Social Good.The expansion will bring the number of Scholars programs to a record of 13 and provide 150 additional first-year students with the opportunity to begin their college journeys as members of an intellectually rich and socially vibrant Scholars community.

  • Scholars Celebrates Citation and Founders Circle Award Winners at Annual Ceremony

    When the Citation class of 2023 entered the University of Maryland, they were already adjusting to a rapidly changing world being constantly reshaped by the Covid-19 global pandemic. One thing that didn’t change – their commitment to excellence in the classroom. All who successfully completed the requirements of their respective Scholars program received their official Scholars citation. But there were some that went above and beyond the expectations, leaving a lasting impact on the community.

  • Ready to Roll

    The following article originally appeared in Maryland Today:   Mid-Atlantic mugginess was no match for Fall Welcome 2023. Undeterred by sticky shirts, the heft of overstuffed suitcases and the complex science of properly loading a dolly, more than 9,600 Terps moved into residence halls from Thursday through Sunday with patience and eagerness. A variety of University of Maryland offices and units then drew them out of their new rooms with a weekend packed with games, Do Good activities, giveaways and other gatherings, all aimed at acclimating them to campus—and each other—before the semester officially starts on Monday.

  • Paper Co-Authored by STS Undergrads Receives Best Paper Recognition at National Conference

    During Sona Chudamani’s first year at the University of Maryland, she volunteered to be a subject for a research project. Her reason? “I didn’t have much to do during my freshman year, especially with everything being online,” she says.

  • Scholars recognizes Citation Class of 2022, Founders Circle Award winners

    Students in College Park Scholars’s Citation Class of 2022 began their University of Maryland (UMD) careers in the fall of 2020, under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. They spent their first year almost entirely online: Some Zoomed into their program colloquium from their double-turned-single dorm rooms; others attended virtually from their families’ homes, away from campus.

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