Social justice meets STEM education

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Science  26 Mar 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6536, pp. 1329-1330
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6536.1329-d

It is critical that STEM students learn how science has been implicated in creating social inequities over time. Ali et al. describe a method for incorporating social justice themes into an organic chemistry curriculum. Instructors deliberately infused social justice themes into a standard curriculum by including key compounds that have had important social, cultural, and environmental impacts. Students then predicted products and identified functional groups of compounds now placed in a historical and social context. Although most of the students agreed that this method made the material more relevant, only 4% reported social justice discussions in other STEM courses, highlighting a plethora of missed opportunities. STEM instructors across disciplines are encouraged to emulate this approach and infuse social justice into their courses.

J. Chem. Educ. 97, 3984 (2020).

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