Recruiting Graduate Students to Develop Sociotechnical Modules for the Introduction to Circuits Course

Application Deadline: January 15, 2024

Were you bored and uninspired with the purely technical nature of your Introduction to Circuits course? Are you a graduate student interested in bringing sociotechnical issues into electrical engineering? Do you see yourself teaching circuits in the future but wanting your course to be “different”? Do you have creative ideas for connecting circuits to real world social issues? If so, please consider applying for our Sociotechnical Electrical Engineering Stars (SEES) Cohort of graduate students to learn about and design sociotechnical modules for circuits.

We were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to (1) create a series of sociotechnical modules for the Introduction to Circuits course, (2) prepare detailed teaching guides for each module to make it easy for instructors to integrate them into their courses, and (3) assess the impact of the modules on students’ sociotechnical knowledge and sense of social responsibility. To date, we have developed and piloted one module about conflict minerals tied to capacitors and another about repurposing electric vehicle batteries tied to the voltage divider.

We are currently recruiting a diverse group of at least four engineering graduate students, each having a strong connection to electrical engineering, who will join our SEES Cohort to create and test additional sociotechnical modules during Summer 2024. Each member of the SEES Cohort will receive a $2400 stipend for their participation.

The SEES Cohort will begin their work with a two-day, all-expenses-paid, in-person SEES Summit on May 23-24, 2024 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During the summit, students will discuss the rationale behind addressing social and technical material in circuits, learn about effective course design, and brainstorm topics for sociotechnical modules. Then, over the following three months, members of the SEES Cohort will devote approximately eight hours each week, through a combination of individual and collaborative work, as they develop and refine sociotechnical modules. Finally, during the week of August 19, 2024, we will hold a one-day virtual SEES Showcase (date to be determined) for the cohort to share and discuss the developed modules.

Following the SEES Showcase, members of the cohort may continue to engage in this project in multiple ways. For instance, they could present their work at the ASEE 2025 Annual Conference (we have additional funding to support conference travel for interested members of the cohort) or they could assist with launching the modules and helping faculty learn how to implement them.

To apply for the SEES Cohort, please complete this application form which asks about your interest in the project, your career goals, your past education and experience with the Introduction to Circuits course, your availability, and demographics. We aim to recruit a diverse group of participants with a strong connection to electrical engineering who are interested in the goals of our project and available to engage throughout Summer 2024. Applications are due by January 15, 2024 with decisions announced by February 28, 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Lord or Cindy Finelli