The Smart Cities Kit is a set of hands-on materials that supports collaborative scenario building activities. These activities can foster a greater understanding of smart-cities as socio-technical systems. Through these activities, students should develop an appreciation for how smart cities technologies fit or don’t fit into the fabric of everyday life in the city. The kit requires no background knowledge in design or participatory methods. It can be customized for specific technologies or scenarios, and it can be used across the curriculum. The Smart City tool is available for check-out from the Serve-Learn-Sustain office.
Each kit imagines a team of 5-10 students, but it is possible to make a single kit stretch over twenty students. Email us for more details, and to inquire about check-out.
This tool facilitates meaningful discussions on equity through the lens of storytelling. The goal of the tool is to help science and technology students use narrative as a method of quickly testing ideas. As Jeremy Ackerman claims, “Telling a story is a much faster way of rapid prototyping than actually trying to create prototypes.” By creating and shaping stories we can learn more about ourselves, others, and the problems we seek to solve. As we know, “the United States is rich with the stories of the diverse groups that make up this country. […] Not all stories, however, are equally acknowledged, affirmed or valued.” (The Storytelling Project, Lee Anne Bell and Rosemarie Roberts). By creating and shaping stories to serve the goals of their discipline students will acquire a better understanding of what equity means, where it lacks, and how to foster it.
Some of the major challenges in teaching about economic inequality and mobility are a) understanding the differences between income and wealth, as well as other types of economic resources; b) encouraging students to be empathetic to those who have a different economic standing than their own; c) the connections between income and wealth in producing economic mobility; and d) understanding how the income and wealth distributions across different countries shape opportunity for mobility in a comparative context. The purpose of this tool is to help students begin to understand:
The primary differences in income and wealth, and how they relate to economic mobility;
How your place in the economic system can affect opportunities for economic mobility;
How variation in the income and wealth distributions of different countries can affect opportunities for economic mobility.
The following rubric assesses SLO 1: Students will be able to identify relationships among ecological, social, and economic systems. The goal of this SLO is for students to develop a baseline schema to identify both existing and novel examples of relationships among key sustainability components (ecological, social, and economic systems).
The following rubric assesses SLO 3: Students will be able to evaluate how decisions impact the sustainability of communities. Students who rank highly on this rubric are able to evaluate how a variety of decisions that occur within and outside of communities affect community sustainability. Students can explain/demonstrate how different stakeholders, seeking to achieve different outcomes, can make decisions that create consequences for community sustainability. The consequences of that impact often disproportionately affect marginalized groups.
This tool facilitates meaningful discussions on equity through the lens of mobile journalism and documentary filmmaking. Part I consists of a series of short, documentary-style videos that attempt to illustrate how a building, or any physical space, can be inclusive and equitable for everyone. Part II teaches students how to use a cell phone to document and share their findings as mobile journalists. Part II includes additional resources, such as instructional videos, to help guide users through the process of becoming a video journalist. Both parts of this tool address the Equity Petal of the Living Building Challenge; however, you can modify most content to fit any of the other petals of the Living Building Challenge.
Over the past decade public institutions have put considerable resources towards improving the quality and availability of civic data, such as budget and expenditure information, building permits, air quality readings, police incidents, and property ownership records. The agencies behind these efforts claim that data sets alone are sufficient to create transparency, increase civic engagement, foster innovation, and ultimately make our communities more sustainable. However, making civic data accessible does not necessarily make them valuable or actionable. To take effective and ethical action, we need contextual information about the processes involved in creating, managing, and interpreting civic data. In this modular, multi-day tool, you will create an accessible, practical guide to an existing civic data set. Working through the modules below can help you, and subsequently others, engage with civic data in productive ways.
This tool provides instructors with two assignments that 1) prepare students to engage with community partners, and 2) allow students to reflect upon their community engagement experience. The two assignments that comprise this tool are tailored to courses in the SLS Community Health Linked Courses track; however, they are available as editable worksheets. This will allow you to adjust the assignment according to the themes of your course. After students have completed the Reflection assignment, use this tool’s Discussion Guide to lead a conversation about what students have learned from their community engagement experience, and how that learning relates to the course goals.
The annotated case studies below are well-suited to courses across Georgia Tech that hope to engage their students in sustainability. Review the options available for your class, and don’t hesitate to recommend a new case study to SLS!