Summit 2021


Science literacy is typically one goal of general education curricula in higher education yet it has been underappreciated in its ambiguities, complexity, and potential impact. While STEM education initiatives often focus on producing STEM majors and professionals, issues like climate change, pandemics, and social media algorithms affect people of all backgrounds and professions and therefore require solutions from a broad swath of society. Science literacy also has other purposes besides utility, such as cultural value and aesthetics.

In this workshop that will take place over three half-days, participants will

·      address how to identify the characteristics of robust science literacy through discussing and developing use cases

·      identify challenges at the classroom and institutional scales

·      strategize ways to foster science literacy among undergraduate students with disparate disciplinary interests

·      create personal action plans

·      form community with each other for further work on how to best enhance science literacy

We welcome applications to participate in this workshop from all who have perspectives on advancing science literacy in higher education, including instructors of introductory science and engineering courses that have science literacy as an objective, educators in co-curricular projects related to science literacy, administrators looking to develop or refine general education programs, and pedagogy experts involved in mentoring educators and/or conducting education research on science literacy.


June 14, 12-4 pm ET: What is science literacy?

Work in small groups to explore use cases of science literacy and develop new use cases that can be used in different science and engineering disciplines

June 15, 12-4 pm ET: What are our challenges and opportunities?

Discuss the on-the-ground challenges and opportunities for courses and programs that seek to increase science literacy, and share successful examples of activities, classes, and programs in small groups

June 16, 12-4 pm ET: How will you further science literacy?

Develop a personal action plan with opportunities for peer feedback, and plan for how this community can continue to collaborate

Other Information

Participants will be expected to attend all three days and to be active participants in discussions and action planning.

Summit Planning Team

Catherine Riihimaki 

Joe Capizzi 
Princeton University

Jenny Dauer 
Associate Professor
School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Sue Ebanks
Associate Professor
Marine and Environmental Science, Savannah State University

Noah Feinstein
Associate Professor
School of Education, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Sonja Francis
Department of Chemistry, Princeton University

Felicia Keesing
David & Rosalie Rose Distinguished Professor of the Sciences, Mathematics, and Computing
Biology Program, Bard College

Ana Mostafavi 
Assistant Professor
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program, Mills College