On Friday March 31st, 2017, 56 members of the Montgomery College community and invited guests gathered for the 3rd annual Global Humanities Institute STEAM event at Montgomery College’s Germantown campus. The theme for this year was “STEAMed: Exploring the Intersection between Global Humanities and STEM through Water.” The goal of the meeting was to facilitate conversations among participants about water-related topics, and generate curricular activities and strategies for implementing these activities in the classroom.
Following welcome remarks from Sanjay Rai, Senior VP for Academic Affairs, Margaret Latimer, the VP and Provost of Montgomery College’s Germantown campus, and Rita Kranidis, the Director of the Global Humanities Institute and a SENCER leadership fellow, the participants began facilitated discussions about various aspects of water and how they could relate to STEM, the humanities, and the classroom. The table discussions were about topics such as “Water Security,” “Contamination,” “Cultural and Traditional Uses,” and “Protecting Water: Exploring the Science and History that Shapes Water Policy.” Each table was led by two Montgomery College faculty members, each pair representing both a STEM discipline and a humanities discipline. Thus, each conversation was intentionally interdisciplinary, allowing faculty to speak from their expertise and learn from others. The discussions were lively and creative, with exploration of new content and mutual understanding underscoring the participants’ contributions.
Following the intensive discussions, each table reported to all on their most important discoveries and ideas, specifically the insights and classroom activities generated by their conversations. Discussion in this segment included very thoughtful comments by participants, including members of the Montgomery College STEM Education Club, who attended for their second year with their faculty advisor, Chemistry Professor and former GHI Fellow Nevart Tahmazian. This year also featured a powerful and stimulating display of drawings created by Montgomery College and Northern Virginia Community College art students in response to the topic of water. In addition to support from Montgomery College as a host institution, support for the meeting and its conversations were provided by the Pulitzer Center and SENCER.
Soon, co-planners ELITE (E-learning, Innovation and Teaching Excellence) and the Global Humanities Institute will issue a call to begin planning next year’s STEAM event at Montgomery College. For more information, you can contact Rita Kranidis, Director of the Global Humanities Institute, or Carol Moore, Instructional Designer for ELITE.