The Department of Civil Engineering and the Center for Sustainable Infrastructure System has received a NSF – IUSE grant (2 years; $ 249,967) titled “Sustainable Stem Learning Program (S2LP): Promoting systems thinking to aid holistic undergraduate education.” Arun Karunanithi (PI), will lead this project and work with Mike Tang (co-PI), Vivian Shyu (co-PI; Psychology), and Azadeh Bolhari toward development and teaching of two engineering undergraduate courses with an aim to understand if a new teaching approach based on concept mapping can aid in the development of systems thinking skills of undergraduate students.
Further, as part of this grant, systems thinking oriented teaching innovation is being incorporated in a graduate-level sustainability course. The PIs will develop new course material based on concept mapping for the three classes and assessment data collected from these courses will help us understand the effectiveness of the new teaching intervention towards development of students systems thinking skills. As part of this project, baseline data related to cognitive styles and systems thinking skills of undergraduate students of different majors is being collected through questionnaires and tests.
At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.