ETS2B – Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World


Hi. It’s Paul Andersen and this
is disciplinary core idea ETS2B. It’s on the influence of science, engineering and technology
on society and the natural world. Wow. That’s a mouthful. And this is also the last video.
It’s the last video of the Next Generation Science Standards that I’ve made. Taking a
look at the framework. I hope it’s been beneficial to you. I know for me I have a better understanding
of how the foundation works. And so I want to show you how STEM, in other words science,
technology, engineering and math are impacting the world. And so let’s take a look at this.
This is the picture of the lights on the earth. And so you can see where there are areas of
high lights at night and low lights. And so this is a NASA image. Now it doesn’t show
you where there’s high population. Because if you look right here we’ve got lots of lights.
But it’s clearly going to be more population if we were to look to China or India. But
it does show where we have a high amount of technology. And so if we look at the world
population, let’s see how that’s changed over time. So in this graph let me show you what
we’ve got. We’ve got world population on this side. This would be 7 billion right here.
And this is current day. So we’re right here and this is the last 12,000 years. So if I
kind of animate that graph, let’s take a look at it. So this is what the population has
been over time. And it’s really taken off recently. And so we’ve seen exponential growth.
This, if I remember right is agriculture. That’s why we see human population taking
off here. And this is going to be that Industrial Revolution. That’s why it really takes off.
And so the world population is growing. And as it does that it’s going to require more
natural resources from the earth itself. And also as we add science and technology, things
like agriculture, transportation, medicine, housing and energy are all going to have direct
impacts back on the earth itself. And so as we choose new technologies, we have to make
sure that we’re weighing the costs and the benefits. But also we have to be looking out
for risks. And so global warming is an example of that. Climate change is going to be something
that we’re going to have to deal with in the future. And so how do we look at costs, benefits
and risks of something that hasn’t happened? Well mathematical models help out. We can
use mathematical models to predict what’s going to happen in the future and then make
wise decisions based on that. Because if we look at this, science and engineering, as
I’ve shown you, are going to impact society. In other words as we get new advances, it’s
going to impact ourselves. It’s going to impact us. But also it goes both ways. We can impact
science and technology as well through regulation. And so let me give you an example. I live
near Salt Lake City. And we like to go down there in the winter and go skiing. And it’s
a beautiful city. It’s right up against the Rockies. It’s gorgeous. But one thing I’ve
noted over the last few years is it’s got smoggier and smoggier. They have awful air
pollution in Salt Lake City. And it’s a product of technology. More people. More industry.
But also their geography is kind of a bummer where the wind blows right up against the
Rockies. And so they’re going to have to make some decisions, regulation, to science and
technology if they want to get rid of that as a problem. So what’s the teaching progression?
How do we teach this in our schools? Well in the lower elementary grades we want to
start talking about technology. And how technology is wonderful. It touches every part of our
life and it makes our lives better. But also you want to emphasize that all technology
that we have requires natural resources. And as we pull those from the earth we’re impacting
the earth itself. As we move into the upper elementary grades we want to talk about how
engineering and science change over time. And so the engineering designs and the technology
that we have today, for example this is the most popular car on the planet, the Ford Focus,
it’s going to work today. But we had a totally different design, this is a 1957 Chevy, back
in the past. And so that was a good solution for back then. And in the future the Ford
Focus is going to look outdated. Safety outdated. Its fuel supply is going to remain outdated.
And so as time changes our engineering solutions change as well. As we move into middle school
we want to talk about not only time is going to affect engineering and science and technology.
But also place. Where you are one the planet. And so the solutions here in the United States
are going to be different than those in a different country at a different time. And
so what we have to do is we have to locally weigh those costs, benefits and then put those
agains the risks. And so as we move forward into high school we want to talk about science
and engineering and how they’re going to impact society. But in the future we may have to
have society impacting science and engineering. Let me give you an example. Last summer I
visited China. And I went to Shanghai. And I went up in the top of this building. You
go way up in the top. I think it’s the second tallest building in the world. And you see
all of this technology. You see all of society around there. And so as we’re doing that we’re
impacting the earth itself. And eventually as we start to get consequences that we don’t
like, we’re going to have to use regulations to mediate science and engineering. But the
nice thing about that is that there are going to be solutions for a lot of the problems
that we have. So that’s the last video. Kind of ties everything we’ve talked about through
this whole thing. And I hope that really was helpful.

3 thoughts on “ETS2B – Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World

  1. thank you for all your work.
    I was first introduced to you at college on a third year Health Psychology course in which our instructor put one of your videos in class about antibiotics and immune system.

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