The Process of How to Engage with Communities (I.e., Community Engagement) is an Important Skill for Engineers to Acquire, and the Skill is Well Suited to Experiential Learning (I.e., Learning through Doing). to Educate Engineers to Perform Community Engagement, a Module Was Developed and Incorporated as Part of Three Different Engineering Courses, namely: 1) Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) Diplomacy (Dual-Level Graduate and Undergraduate, Elective); 2) Public Health Engineering (Dual-Level Graduate and Undergraduate, Elective); and 3) Biological Principles of Environmental Engineering (Graduate Only, Required Course). These Courses Were Offered at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and through Missouri Online Distance Education. the Primary Audience Included Students of Environmental Engineering as Well as Students of Civil Engineering and Architectural Engineering and Students of Nursing. the Module Included an overview of Community Engagement, Gathering Community Information, Co-Identification of a Problem and a Solution, and Testing the Solution. While Many Forms of Community Engagement Often Aim to Unearth Problems and Co-Design Solutions in a Partnership between the Researcher/scholar and the Community/stakeholders, in This Module the Process of Community Engagement Was Pre-Seeded with the Problem that a Lack of Environmental Health Literacy among the General Public is a Significant Contributor to the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance (I.e., Resistance to Antibiotics Spreads among Communities Where Individuals Lack Awareness, Scientific Understanding, and Access to Ways to Prevent the Spread of Resistant Bacteria). the Pre-Seeded Problem Was Offered by the United States Department of State as Part of a Diplomacy Lab Exercise. Thus, Students Engaged with Representatives of the State Department in Place of Direct Engagement with Community Members. as a Pre-Seeded Solution to This Problem, the State Department Requested that Students Develop Infographics. Subsequently, as Part of Additional Community Engagement, Students Used These Infographics to Educate Individual Community Members About Antibiotic Resistance. Thus, by the Strictest Definition of "Community Engagement", This Module Represents a Variation from the True Sense of "Best Practice". None the Less, over a Period of Eight Years, a Total of 130 Students Have Participated in a Variation of Community Engagement by Completing This Module Incorporated into Three Different Courses, Which Were Offered a Total of 17 Different Times. Lessons Learned Include: 1) Although Hesitant at First, Many Engineering Students Eventually Recognized the Benefit of Community Engagement to Promote Environmental Health Literacy; 2) Developing Infographics Was a Challenge for Engineering Students (I.e., Specifically the Creation of "Graphics" Was a Challenge); and 3) the Results of Community Assessment with Student-Designed Materials Were Similar to the Results Reported in the General Scientific Literature Suggesting that Students of Engineering Were No Worse Than Professional Science Communicators at Raising Awareness of Antibiotic Resistance. the Conclusion of This Study is that a Lack of Environmental Health Literacy is a Suitable Problem to Use When Teaching the Skill of Community Engagement among Students of Engineering as Demonstrated through a Specific Case-Study of Raising Awareness of Antibiotic Resistance.
D. B. Oerther, "Engagement in Practice: Promoting Environmental Health Literacy to Raise Awareness of Antibiotic Resistance," ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings, American Society for Engineering Education, Jun 2023.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/peer.asee.org/43305
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Conference proceedings
© 2023 American Society for Engineering Education, All rights reserved.
25 Jun 2023