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Join PAVE’s Back To School Virtual Discussion Series

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With the weather cooling and summer drawing to an end, the back to school season is once again upon us, and with it all the usual preparations. But as familiar as this seasonal rhythm might be, this year’s back to school preparations presented a host of novel challenges as well: new attendance protocols, distance learning, even homeschooling are all prompting a rethink of what education means.

PAVE wants to support this year’s difficult back-to-school transition by making it easier to bring the exciting and mind-expanding topic of automated vehicles to learning spaces, wherever they might be. That’s why we’ve assembled a series of guests for our weekly virtual discussions in the month of September that can provide the inspiration and resources to teach and learn about AVs. Coming from a broad range of educational endeavors, and bringing experience teaching all ages about this fascinating technology, these guests will highlight unique approaches to AV education that are sure to resonate with students at any level.

September 9: Incorporating AVs Into Liberal Arts Education
Guest: Patrick McGinty of Slippery Rock University

Last year, Patrick McGinty made what at first glance might seem like a bizarre choice: he decided to center his 100-level English seminar on automated vehicles. In fact, it was an inspired move. AVs touch on so many aspects of our society and material culture that it’s an ideal topic with which to teach broadly-applicable research and analytical skills, while also preparing a new generation to tackle the challenges presented by this and other emerging technologies. McGinty joins our weekly virtual discussion series to explain what he learned about AV education from the experience, and offer guidance on how liberal arts education can benefit by addressing this important topic.

September 16: Inspiring Future Generations of AV Stakeholders
Guest: Selika Josiah Talbott of American University

Before joining PAVE’s Academic Advisory Council, American University lecturer Selika Josiah Talbott enjoyed a distinguished career at the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and has over 18 years’ experience as an attorney litigator. Today she is best known as a leading voice on issues related to automated vehicle policy and regulation, the political economy and equity, with regular work published at Forbes. She joins PAVE’s virtual discussion series to talk about her efforts to engage and educate the public, not just on the topic of AVs themselves but on the broader systems of law, politics, regulation and justice as well. By understanding AVs in their full social context, we become empowered to join a public conversation that will help make the autonomous future as broadly equitable as possible.

September 23rd: AV Education Meets The Public At Museums
Guests: Lucinda Yuen of Ford Motor Company and Rebecca Posner of CCAV

The complexity of automated driving technology and its potential impacts on society make it a difficult subject to teach to more general audiences, particularly the younger people whose lives may be the most changed by it. Creating public education exhibits that cast light on this important topic present particular challenges. What do you focus on? How do you communicate such a complex topic in an approachable way? And possibly most important, how do you make the topic engaging to as many people as possible? Our guests in this week’s have tackled all these questions and more, and join us to share their experience in our latest virtual discussion. Lucinda Yuen of Ford Motor Company’s global product development strategy and planning department helped develop an exhibit at the Michigan Science Center aimed at introducing kids to automated vehicle technology. Rebecca Posner, Social and Behavioral Research and Evaluation Lead at CCAV in the UK worked on an exhibit called Driverless: Who is in control? at London’s Science Museum, exploring the evolution of autonomous vehicles on air, land and sea. Together, we will explore their unique insights into making AVs a more approachable topic for everyone.

As you can see, our back to school series of weekly virtual discussions bring a diverse blend of perspectives, practices and inspiration that will provide vital support for current or prospective AV educators. In addition to these live discussions and the recordings that will be available for later viewing in our Youtube library, we will also be providing supplemental educational resources for students and teachers throughout the month of September. Developed in some cases by our guests themselves, these materials will provide further insight into educational issues discussed in our weekly talks, innovative teaching techniques, and curated reading materials.

If you are an educator and our back to school programming inspires you to make AVs a part of your lesson plan, please don’t hesitate to reach out to PAVE staff via our online contact form. We will do our best to help connect you with further resources, experts, advisors, and any other support we can provide. We care deeply about our educational mission, and we deeply appreciate any effort to join in this important task.

Automated vehicles are not just a compelling way to educate curious minds about countless diverse disciplines, including technology, economics, law, politics, sociology and much more. Studying AVs and how they interact with our complex modern society also empowers people of all ages and backgrounds to help shape the autonomous future through their own research, analysis and advocacy. By bringing more diverse perspectives into the public conversation around this pivotal emerging technology, we improve our collective ability to foresee challenges ahead and distribute the benefits of driving automation as broadly and equitably as possible.

Thank you for joining us in this critically important and endlessly fascinating endeavor.

September 3, 2020