10) Science and engineering are a kaleidoscope.
Science and engineering are an ever-changing mosaic of discoveries and innovations. The UWF School of Science and Engineering (SSE) aligns itself with the strategies of the national initiative, Project Kaleidoscope (located at pkal.org and known colloquially as PKAL). For nearly 30 years, PKAL has been chartered to reform undergraduate education in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields, often referred to as the STEM disciplines. Funding for PKAL has come from the National Science Foundation, the Exxon-Mobil Foundation, the Keck Foundation and the Camille and Henry Dreyfuss Foundation. Several faculty and administrators at UWF are affiliated with PKAL.
9) Science and engineering have moved to mainstreet.
The SSE is UWF’s recognition that the realm of science and engineering has had to move out from behind the labs and out onto the sidewalks of mainstreet. The new SSE building scheduled to open in 2010 will celebrate this strategic role and put “science on display.”
8) Science and engineering are a collaborative experience.
In today’s world, scientists and engineers work alongside the creative and entrepreneurial spirits that have long since roamed outside the labs. UWF is not alone in this realization. We are globally connected to thousands of others and we must compete. To do so, we must collaborate. The faculty and students of the SSE are as intrigued by the boundaries that connect their disciplines as they are by the disciplines themselves.
7) Science and engineering require reflection and renewal.
The methods of science and engineering are an iterative process. As an example, the computing disciplines of the SSE have deeply realigned themselves to better meet the challenges identified in curriculum reports such as those issued by the IEEE and ABET. The rejuvenated computing programs of the SSE are “simple” in that they focus on what people do.
6) Science and engineering are embedded in the fabric of society.
In Northwest Florida alone, one can observe that scientists and engineers have become as integral a part of society as technology itself. The SSE is aligned with the conclusions reached by Florida’s Great Northwest, Inc. that workforce needs in the region are burgeoning in the interdisciplinary realms of
5) Science and engineering in education are vital to 21st century survival.
The engaging use of project-based learning in areas such as robotics will allow the SSE to address the pipeline challenge for STEM education from K-12 and baccalaureate programs to regional and national graduate programs. SSE graduates will be known not only for their project portfolios, but for: dealing with the explosion of innovation that has come with the technologies of the information age, and for developing research and engineering solutions to complex multidimensional problems that have major societal impact.
4) Science and engineering are a human enterprise.
To many, the 20th century witnessed how technology shaped society. The SSE recognizes that future generations in the 21st century will be a society that shapes technology. Students can no longer be expected to master all content of a discipline. Core to our mission, we will be working with K12 through graduate level to educate students for jobs that have yet to be created, to use technologies yet to be discovered, to solve problems yet to be defined.
3) Science and engineering represent a community of learners.
The integration of the SSE programs into a community of learners will be realized when the new SSE building opens in 2010. Through it, the SSE will reach beyond the campus by providing the region a think-tank environment through research and entrepreneurship and through incubators and accelerators.
2) Science and engineering are rooted in strong fundamentals and flexibility.
Two never-changing constants key to successful and innovative scientists and engineers is that change is omnipresent and fundamentals never change. Solid education outcomes with strong foundations in fundamentals are the best path to career flexibility. All SSE programs are rooted in the core principles of Mathematics, Computing, Physics, Applied Sciences and Engineering.
1) Science and engineering will always be the frontier of the future.
Design and development of unmanned vehicles, new biomedical devices, mission critical command and control, green technologies and processes: these represent but a glimpse of where we are going. The essence of science and engineering lies in the unknown. Team-based projects of the SSE will take students beyond core principles and will complement classroom knowledge with the experience of application. It is this bridge between technology and the creativity of the human mind that will prepare SSE graduates for new frontiers.