December 9, 2019
Dr. Carol O'Donnell, Director of the Smithsonian Science Education Center, co-authored a position paper of the “International Dialogue on STEM Education” (IDoS), which convened in Berlin, December 5-6, 2019. The paper (Pahnke, O'Donnell, & Bascopé, 2019) analyzes how inquiry-based STEM education can serve to enhance sustainable development and build capacity for future generations. It argues for an integrated and transdisciplinary approach of STEM Education for Sustainable Development (STEM4SD Education). STEM4SD adds value to educating young people because it provides the fundamentals to understanding how to develop sustainability mindsets and use reflective STEM knowledge for social good. Through the provided "Global Goals Action Progression" framework from the SSEC and accompanying examples from around the world, the paper demonstrates how educators can address the complex context of global challenges and encourage youth to draw on their STEM competence and the process of science as a key basis for reasonable action in our world. Knowledge, skills and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math phenomena can help students understand global problems and support actions in society that address these challenges in a meaningful and knowledge-based way. Siemens Stiftung reported that 120 international participants and organizations have endorsed the paper to date.
Professor Martin Bascopé, Dr. Janna Pahnke, and Dr. Carol O'Donnell served as primary authors for "Using Science to Do Social Good: STEM Education for Sustainable Development" for the International Dialogue on STEM Education (IDoS) in Berlin.