In conjunction with our primary community collaborator Words in Edgewise, the MetaKettle Project (MKP) team held an evening public salon event at the Eastern Edge Gallery on April 28, 2014 that featured contributions and presentations by participants in the Lead by Design Spring Institute on Leadership, Diversity, and Dialogue for Graduate Students in Engineering held April 23-29, 2014. The Institute was a pilot initiative of Memorial Universitys MetaKettle Project, which seeks to develop new diversity-attracting integrative pedagogies in engineering education. Through this Institute we hoped to begin the transformation of engineering education in ways that both attract women and other diversities into engineering as well as foster the sustainability of the individual engineer over her or his career. Part of this process was achieved by combining dimensions of public engagement with integrative educational experiences.
A key element of the Lead by Design Spring Institute curriculum was a team-based, globally relevant, locally informed, mini-project that challenged participants to communicate engineering solutions to a lay audience in a non-traditional format. Presentation formats chosen by participants included a time-travel skit, a video montage, a press conference and a mayoral debate. The Quick Start Fund was used to organize a public salon as the venue for these presentations, in order to create a broader conversation about technological literacy and the publics stake in engineering challenges in the 21st Century. By all measures the salon and the Institute were successful pilot projects.