The Flexibility of a Tech Studies Concentration

June 25, 2019

Avery Barnett ’21’s career interest in alternative energy technologies motivated her to add the Technology Studies concentration to her already full schedule as a physics major. 

“I plan to become a mechanical engineer with an emphasis in energy systems. So I felt that tech studies aligned well with my career interest, as well as my concerns about the impacts of technology on human life — both beneficial and non-beneficial. The concentration matched the classes that I already had an interest in and [was] planning to take during my four years here.” 

The second-year student from Kingston, Jamaica, also found the concentration fit with her other academic experiences in independent research and study abroad.

Research as a Tool for Discovery

“For the concentration, we need to do 4 credits of independent research, so it’s a wonderful opportunity to indulge myself more in alternative energies — and not only research current technologies, but also the history of how those technologies came about.

“Having the flexibility to choose my research topic and having my interests facilitated greatly helps in me being sure that this is the field I want to pursue. Also, since I hope to be involved in inventing new technologies, this concentration becomes useful in   making me look at technology through different lenses. There are so many interpretations of technology which we tend to take for granted; I have become a more critical thinker about technology implementation and development.”

Barnett is also happy to know that her study-abroad courses, planned for spring semester 2020 at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, are eligible for concentration credit.

“I'm very happy with my decision to do this concentration. Tech studies is fun and flexible and can take as many forms as you want. It does not only have a STEM focus but is highly interdisciplinary, and you have the ability to make it your own.”

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