Article by Areej Mawasi, Peter Nagy, Ed Finn and Ruth Wylie. Published in The Journal of Moral Education.
In order to help students become scientifically literate citizens, science education should allow them to gain a more concrete understanding of the potential social and ethical impacts of scientific and technological change. Using Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as an imaginative tool, we designed simple hands-on activities and a digital narrative game experience for middle school students, to open up new ways for students to think and talk about ethical issues around scientific creativity and exploration. After taking part in these activities, we interviewed 16 participants to investigate how the activities and the game affected their perceptions of science ethics. Although our respondents had difficulties conceptualizing science ethics in the abstract, we found that the activities gave them a variety of new ideas about the ethical and social implications of scientific work. Results from this study can help educators and researchers design, implement, and evaluate science ethics activities for middle school students.