LTU to show student films on turning science into storytelling

SOUTHFIELD—As part of a federally funded grant, Lawrence Technological University is trying to turn scientists into storytellers.

The aim? To make science more relatable–and to get more students interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and careers.

Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. on LTU’s Southfield campus, the university will host a series of student-produced short films and a panel discussion on the topic “Documenting our STEM Story.”

Students produced the films for an LTU social science course, “Equity and History of Science.” The topics of the films range from the effect of civil engineering in everyday life to the achievements of pioneering African American chemist Bettye Washington-Greene to the life of trailblazing nuclear scientist Marie Curie.

The project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation from the Louis Stokes Midwest Regional Center of Excellence for Broadening Participation in STEM. LTU’s part of the project is led by Sibrina Collins, executive director of STEM education in the LTU College of Arts and Sciences, and LTU postdoctoral researcher Michelle Nelson. Also participating is Tiffany Steele, assistant professor at the University of Rochester, who engages in teaching techniques such as storytelling and course-based research experiences to explore and foster STEM subjects.

Tuesday’s event is also a partnership with the LTU Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

LTU has a long history of incorporating meaningful research experiences into its courses, starting with first-year students’ first days on campus. As for turning science into stories, Collins said: “Storytelling as a pedagogical tool is being used to increase representation, bring DEI into the classroom and incorporate STEM concepts. Our NSF-funded research has potentially global relevance for practice as it relates to teaching pedagogy in STEM classrooms and the retention of students of color.”

Tuesday’s event will be held in Room S100, the Marburger Auditorium in LTU’s Science Building (building 7 at ).

Lawrence Technological University,, is one of only 13 private, technological, comprehensive doctoral universities in the United States. Located in Southfield, Mich., LTU was founded in 1932, and offers more than 100 programs through its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Business and Information Technology, Engineering, and Health Sciences. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 11 percent of universities for alumni salaries. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal rank LTU among the nation’s top 10 percent. U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best in the Midwest colleges. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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