Equity and Climate

Prototyping Practices for Innovation

Prototypes are typically thought of as nearly complete products or technologies which are used to conduct system, alpha or beta testing near the end of a development process. This course is designed to expand on the idea of prototyping and teach how to employ a variety of tools as methods to inspire, contextualize, evaluate and inform any phase of any research or development activity.

Sound Poetics x Sound Politics

Building on the multimedia strategies of composition and process students begin to develop in ENGL 1101, this course in multimedia rhetoric examines the influence of sound on experiences of belonging and access in the spaces we occupy and travel through, from the immediate environs of Georgia Tech to public spaces and sites of development throughout Atlanta.  An initial unit builds a vocabulary for recognizing and analyzing sounds in what R.

The Rhetorics and Poetics of Dirt

This course asks students to examine what we talk about when we talk about “dirt,” and how do the things we communicate about dirt change its presence in our lives. The major assignments facilitate learning goals through four units: dirt vs. soil, earthworks, dirt stories, and trendy dirt. The primary texts in this course will largely deal with a North American perspective on dirt. We will engage with American film (ex: Grapes of Wrath, Waterworld, Noma, Interstellar, The Martian, the Mad Max megaverse), and contemporary American literature.

Sustainability, Technology, and Policy

This course - taught on the Pacific Program - will develop a theoretical understanding of sustainability, from a bottom-up perspective that considers ecological outcomes as a function of human institutions. It begins with defining and understanding the tragedy of the commons, and develops an understanding of why we might not be doomed to this tragedy. While exploring broad themes in environmental ethics, philosophy, and management, it will explore cases in the Pacific context, and will include a service-learning project in Fiji.

Social Issues and Public Policy

This course focuses on social issues associated with contemporary American society. While the United States has many benefits and is a nation that many admire, there are several social problems that are misaligned with American values. More specifically, it takes a critical sociological perspective in analyzing U.S. capitalism and its impact on our social institutions, social inequalities, and the quality of our democracy. We particularly focus on comparisons of the U.S. with other affluent, market-based democratic countries in order to understand the uniqueness of American capitalism.

Psychology Research Methods for HCI

How do you know what a user wants to see on a wearable display, whether an app feature is being used, whether a clickable button is better than a swipe, or whether a person who is blind can use your physical product? Research methods for HCI allow you to investigate such questions and develop evidence to inform design decisions. In this course, you will learn about common methods employed in user-centered and evidence-based design. You will also learn how to choose methods, plan studies, and perform research that is inclusive of users with a range of abilities. 

Habitable Planet

The search for life beyond the Earth is reaching new heights. So what are we looking for, and how will we know when we find it? This course will explore the history of the solar system and the Earth as the one example of a habitable planet—one that can support living organisms—that we know now. We will consider how the planets formed, the important planetary processes that brought about the Earth as it was when life arose and the planet we live on today.

Society, Equity, and Sustainability

SLS approaches sustainability as an integrated system, linking environment, economy, and society. As an initiative focused on “creating sustainable communities,” we especially emphasize the role that SOCIETY plays in sustainability – and particularly issues of social equity and community voice. You can learn about SLS’ approach to sustainable communities here. The purpose of this tool is to help students begin to understand the SOCIETY part of sustainability. It includes two exercises and resources for learning more.

Student Learning Outcome 3 Rubric

The following rubric assesses SLO 3: Students will be able to evaluate how decisions impact the sustainability of communities. Students who rank highly on this rubric are able to evaluate how a variety of decisions that occur within and outside of communities affect community sustainability. Students can explain/demonstrate how different stakeholders, seeking to achieve different outcomes, can make decisions that create consequences for community sustainability. The consequences of that impact often disproportionately affect marginalized groups.

Environmental Justice 101

Environmental Justice (EJ) is concerned with making sure that (a) no community takes on an unfair share of environmental burdens and (b) environmental benefits are shared in an equitable way regardless of race, class, gender, or orientation. The Environmental Justice Movement challenges environmental injustices, with a special focus on racial and class disparities, in the U.S. and around the globe. The purpose of this tool is to help students begin to understand:

  1. What EJ is – and what environmental injustices are; 
  2. How the EJ movement works to address EJ issues (especially in the U.S. South, where the movement was born) with close attention to injustices related to race and class;
  3. The different types of roles that scientists and engineers in particular can play in this work.

This tool was contributed by Jennifer Hirsch. We also want to thank Fatemeh Shafiei from Spelman College for contributing to this tool.

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