CAREER: Alternate Routes to Technology and Science (ARTS)

Lack of personally relevant points of connection to ways of thinking in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) leaves students at a significant disadvantage in developing and pursuing interest in STEM fields. This project is developing and analyzing learning environments in which students acquire understanding and interest in STEM by engaging in professional practices not traditionally seen as part of STEM education.

In the first program, Digital Zoo, students use the practices of biomechanical engineering to learn physics and biology by designing virtual creatures using an internet construction game. In the second program, Ecology 2020, students learn ecology by working as urban planners to develop plans for sustainable urban growth using geographic information systems.


David Shaffer


National Science Foundation, Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program

Project Website


Completed on May 31, 2010

Contact Information

David Williamson Shaffer