How can we use the enormous knowledge that has accumulated over the last 50 years in medicine, science, technology, sustainability, engineering, and biochemistry to improve health and lower costs?
The Center for Sustainable Health is committed to addressing these issues through education and training the workforce of the future. Under the leadership of Dr. Lee Hartwell, efforts are focused on creating effective learning environments in three specific programs:
1. Our Sustainability Science for Teachers (SSfT) course explores the challenges of sustaining human health and well-being due to human exploitation of natural resources and seeks sustainable solutions through science, technology, and society acting at global and local levels. To learn more, visit Sustainability Science Education at ASU.
2. Our Interdisciplinary Approaches for Innovating in Healthcare Technologies course is designed to provide advanced undergraduate and Master’s level students in Engineering, Nursing, and Business with an understanding of the evidentiary foundations of devices and how they relate to healthcare. Project HoneyBee, an interdisciplinary research project to validate wearable devices for clinical care of ambulatory patients in the home or hospital setting, provides the inspiration for this course.
3. We are identifying impactful learning environments for 21st Century Learning, by examining social and environment challenges to the human population which demand more educated societies and require higher order skills. Information technology is completely transforming the methods and goals of formal education. Educational institutions, employers and society at large have an unquenchable thirst for individuals who have real world training and are able to employ skills and knowledge, as well as technology to maximize success.
Our Sustainability Science for Teachers (SSfT) course explores the challenges of sustaining human health and well-being on Earth due to human exploitation of natural resources and explores sustainable solutions through science, technology, and society acting at global and local levels.
Motivation: Teachers play a critical role in producing globally minded and knowledgeable citizens; they share a responsibility in addressing sustainability topics with the next generation of scientists, politicians, inventors, citizens, and leaders who will be faced with solving increasingly complex and urgent sustainability challenges.
Approach: This course uses blended learning format that includes online lectures, activities, and assignments, and virtual or in-person discussions with particular focus on quantitative analysis, inquiry-based thinking, varying scales of solutions and grand challenges, and how the future teacher can create change–one student, one family, and one school year at a time.
Key topics areas: Sustainability, population, poverty, food, water, fossil fuels, new energy, ecosystems services, biome stories, production, disposal, governance, trends, and change.
Impact: This course helps empower Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers with an understanding of how science, technology, design, and effective governance can create a sustainable society, and provides resources to translate concepts to their classrooms seamlessly.
Through Project HoneyBee , Dr. Hartwell and team, and distinguished ASU faculty members have developed the Interdisciplinary Approaches for Innovating in Healthcare Technologies course, which utilizes cutting-edge technologies and is designed to provide advanced undergraduate and Master’s level ASU students in Engineering, Nursing, and Business with an understanding of the evidentiary foundations of biosensor devices and how they relate to healthcare.
Motivation: The modern healthcare system prescribes a certain preventative or therapeutic intervention for a patient with the assumption that such interventions that the recommended intervention will produce an improved outcome. How good is the evidence behind that prediction? How are medical diagnostics evaluated and validated? How are commercially available wearable technologies impacting healthcare? What factors characterize the success or failure of innovative technologies? Who finances technologies and manages IP surrounding new devices? The course addresses these and other questions.
Approach: Our approach employs lecture, demonstration, laboratory work. As opportunities arise for improving the predictive metrics in healthcare management through better diagnostic techniques using imaging, physiological data, or molecular markers, we will consider the opportunities to develop new diagnostics for standard care in the developed world and to adapt existing technologies for use in poor countries.
Key topic areas: Students will utilize engineering principles to design and test devices in order to learn to analyze the management of a disease from the standpoints of population impact, individual morbidity and mortality, risk factors, prevention strategies, early disease detection, therapeutic management, and outcome metrics.
Impact: This course fosters interprofessional education, with the goal of producing graduates who are able to work effectively with other professionals from different disciplines and with patients and families to deliver the highest quality of care and improve health outcomes.
Information technology is fundamentally transforming the methodology and goals of formal education. Educational institutions are in search of their future. Employers complain that education does not train students to work in the real world. Increasing economic disparities make higher education too expensive for many students. At the same time, humans face social and environmental challenges that demand more educated societies and require higher order skills.
What will be the most effective learning environment for the 21st Century?
With this question in mind, students take part in an interactive research project to read, interview, think, and discuss in an effort to examine education researchers and the best thinkers on the topic. Students will interview fellow students, examine findings, and challenge themselves to think beyond the traditional classroom to examine life goals for learning and understand how life experience contributes to learning outside the classroom. Students and teachers will use a metacognitive methodology to individualizing approaches to life-long learning with the goal of identifying the most effective learning environments in the 21st Century.