Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference


American Society for Engineering Education

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Students are facing an increasingly chaotic world in part due to global climate change and environmental degradation, causing rising levels of stress and anxiety. Mindfulness and sustainability programs were initiated over three years by a faculty-librarian collaborative team to assist first-year engineering students in building environmental literacy and personal resilience skills. The faculty-librarian team established in class and out of class themes, games, assignments, and programming using an embedded librarian approach. Sustainability programming included environmental movie nights with curricular links and conversations about climate change using the World Café methodology. These activities allowed students time outside of class to engage with topics in an interdisciplinary manner as they were open to students in all departments and the public. Mindfulness interventions were introduced in the fall 2019 semester and included thought awareness, breathing techniques, a Biodot® activity, and an introduction to meditation. Overall, 98% of the 58 students completing a survey in the fall 2019 semester felt the mindfulness techniques were at least a little bit helpful, and 64% felt the techniques would help them fairly well to a tremendous amount. Introducing first-year engineering students to mindfulness techniques and strategies along with sustainability topics, may help students cope with stress and anxiety about environmental challenges and their early college transition, in addition to providing strategies for resilience. These are skills that engineers can benefit from for the rest of their lives.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License