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  1. Given the ongoing socio-ecological crises, higher education institutions need curricular interventions to support students in developing the knowledge, skills, and perspectives needed to create a sustainable future. Campus farms are increasingly becoming sites for sustainability and environmental education toward this end. This paper describes the design and outcomes of a farm-situated place-based experiential learning (PBEL) intervention in two undergraduate biology courses and one environmental studies course over two academic years. We conducted a mixed-method study using pre/post-surveys and focus groups to examine the relationship between the PBEL intervention and students’ sense of place and expressions of pro-environmentalism. The quantitative analysismore »indicated measurable shifts in students’ place attachment and place-meaning scores. The qualitative findings illustrate a complex relationship between students’ academic/career interests, backgrounds, and pro-environmentalism. We integrated these findings to generate a model of sustainability learning through PBEL and argue for deepening learning to encourage active participation in socio-ecological change.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  2. Training the future synthetic biology workforce requires the opportunity for students to be exposed to biotechnology concepts and activities in secondary education. Detecting Wolbachia bacteria in arthropods using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become a common way for secondary students to investigate and apply recombinant DNA technology in the science classroom. Despite this important activity, cutting-edge biotechnologies such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-based diagnostics have yet to be widely implemented in the classroom. To address this gap, we present a freeze-dried CRISPR-Cas12 sensing reaction to complement traditional recombinant DNA technology education and teach synthetic biology concepts. Themore »reactions accurately detect Wolbachia from arthropod-derived PCR samples in under 2 h and can be stored at room temperature for over a month without appreciable degradation. The reactions are easy-to-use and cost less than $40 to implement for a classroom of 22 students including the cost of reusable equipment. We see these freeze-dried CRISPR-Cas12 reactions as an accessible way to incorporate synthetic biology education into the existing biology curriculum, which will expand biology educational opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 14, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 17, 2022
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 28, 2023
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  7. This Work-In-Progress paper seeks to continue the development of a framework with which to organize engineering ethics instructional approaches. We build on a recent coding framework that was developed as part of a systematic review of US post-secondary engineering ethics education literature. We apply and iterate on the framework by analyzing the 2016 National Academy of Engineering report, “Infusing Ethics into the Development of Engineers: Exemplary Education Activities and Programs,” which includes two-page synopses of 25 exemplary ethics programs. By applying the framework to these exemplars, we aim to identify prominent instructional approaches utilized across NAE exemplars and the extentmore »to which NAE exemplars’ instructional approaches differ from those identified in the prior systematic review. This WIP has three preliminary outcomes: (1) identification of trends in instructional design approaches across the NAE exemplars, (2) comparison of the instructional design approaches of NAE exemplars with the prior systematic review, and (3) identification of next steps needed to develop a more holistic picture of how ethics is taught in US post-secondary engineering contexts. Example revisions to the coding framework involved combining community-engagement and real-world exposure, broadening micro-insertion to sociotechnical integration, and coding for explicit mentoring components of instruction. A future research step involves further specification of these codes to detail how the NAE exemplars applied select instructional approaches, including heuristics, ethical theories, and case studies, and real-world engagement.« less
  8. Over the past decade, the trade of counterfeit goods has increased. This has been enabled by advancements in low-cost digital printing methods (e.g., inkjet and laserjet) that are an asset for counterfeit production methods. However, each printing method produces characteristic printed features that can be used to identify not only the printing method, but also, uniquely identify the specific make and model of printer. This knowledge can be used for determination of whether or not the analyzed item is counterfeit. During the first phase of this research, chemical and physical analyses were performed on printed documents and ink samples formore »two types of digital printing: inkjet and laserjet. The results showed that it is possible to identify the digital method used to print a document by its unique features. Physical analysis revealed that the laserjet prints have a higher image quality characterized by sharper feature edge quality, brighter image area, and a thicker ink layer (10 micron average thickness) than in inkjet documents. Chemical analysis showed that the inkjet and laserjet inks could easily be distinguished by identifying the various ink components. Ink jet inks included (among others) water, ethylene glycol while laserjet inks presented styrene, methacrylate, and sulfide compounds.« less