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ERIC Number: EJ1118768
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Dec
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Wired for Controversy
Bohland, Cindy; Collver, Michael; Lally, David; Schmale, David G., III
Science Teacher, v82 n9 p25-31 Dec 2015
Autonomous vehicles are poised to become part of our everyday lives. Scientists are now studying ways to integrate similar robotic technology into living organisms. Insect and rodent cyborgs could one day be used for military intelligence, earthquake rescue operations, and as models for neurological studies. As this technology spreads, we need to develop scientifically literate citizens to make well-reasoned ethical decisions about it. Complex ethical questions can be answered in different ways through different and equally valid arguments. The messy nature of such questions allows teachers to foster critical thinking. In this activity, the authors asked students, "What are the ethical consequences of introducing autonomous vehicles into society?" This question led to more nuanced scenarios such as: "If your autonomous car is faced with the choice of either harming you or a group of preschool students, what should it do?" and "How do we create autonomous technology that conforms to human ethical values?" The hands-on component of the unit described in this article uses remote-controlled robots and cyborg insects. The i-Cockroach Micro Robot is a remote-controlled robot, and the RoboRoach is a cyborg insect; kits to create RoboRoaches from living cockroaches are sold to promote teaching and learning about neuroscience. This activity is designed to (1) introduce students to autonomous vehicle and cyborg animal technology; (2) allow students to experience engineering challenges related to this technology; (3) have students analyze ways in which autonomous vehicles and cyborg animals can provide solutions to current problems; and (4) have students use ethical reasoning to evaluate the proper use, if any, of autonomous vehicles and cyborg animals in the future.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A