ASU master's degree student earns AAAS fellowship researching sustainability in emerging technology

October 1, 2020

Carole Mars was ready for a new challenge. After more than a decade at the Sustainability Consortium, directing sustainability research in manufactured goods supply chains, she decided to move outside her comfort zone. 

“I wanted to do something new and different,” said Mars. “I was interested in the ethics of emerging technologies and how they were impacting society.” Carole Mars in garden Carole Mars. Download Full Image

Coming from a more traditional science background, including earning her PhD in chemistry, Mars didn’t think she would enjoy policy, let alone make a career out of it. But in the Master of Science and Technology Policy program at Arizona State University's School for the Future of Innovation in Society, she discovered an enthusiasm for the challenges of science and technology policy, and how MSTP teaches students to find solutions.

“The MSTP program looks at how you write policy about new and unknown technologies,” Mars said. “When it comes to policy and sustainability questions about emerging technologies, there aren’t any easy answers.”

Mars has been selected for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowship. The fellowship places scientists and engineers in federal agencies and congressional offices to learn about federal policymaking and implementation. She learned about the fellowship through the Master of Science and Technology Policy program and felt it would be a good opportunity to make a mid-career change and transition to something new.

“Doing something like this never crossed my mind when I started MSTP," Mars said. “I applied for the fellowship because it was an exciting way to move forward in science and technology policy while leveraging my experience in sustainability.”

Mars will support the office of the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Environment, Health, and Operational Safety, Chemical and Material Risk Management Program at the Department of Defense. She will be working on transparency and reporting in chemical and material supply chains, including emerging chemicals whose regulation could globally impact troop readiness.

“This position is really exciting because it's leveraging so much of what I did at the Sustainability Consortium in an entirely new way,” Mars said. “Previously, I would only make recommendations on how to achieve more sustainable supply chains. With this position, I'm moving into implementation.”

During her time at the Sustainability Consortium, Mars focused on electronic waste, the challenges with product takeback programs and how to improve current systems. In collaboration with the Responsible Battery Coalition, she worked on circularity and sustainability in battery supply chains. She wants to continue researching these topics during her fellowship. 

“Much of the challenge with recycling and e-waste is the reverse logistics,” Mars said. “We've optimized getting stuff out very effectively, but not getting it back. I want to learn more about how defense supply chains work because they do reverse logistics. If they put something out in the field, they have to bring it back with them.” 

Mars is currently in her final semester in the Master of Science and Technology Policy program and working on her applied project, researching lab-grown meat and the challenges of classifying this type of food. She is appreciative that the program helped her find a career path she’s passionate about.

“I will be forever grateful to MSTP for opening up this opportunity,” Mars said. “I would have never found the AAAS fellowship without this program.”

Ashley Richards

Communications Specialist , School for the Future of Innovation in Society


ASU’s Child Study Lab launches new online curriculum for preschool-age learners

October 1, 2020

The Arizona State University Child Study Lab shifted its fall and winter curriculum to be an entirely online experience to help children learn the important skills that support a successful launch into elementary school and beyond, even during a pandemic.

“Parents are starting to see how challenging it is to engage their children and immerse them in learning materials at home without the interaction with other kids their age,” said Anne Kupfer, director of the Child Study Lab. “It is difficult to replicate the preschool experience while trying to juggle the normal stress of working from home.” The Child Study Lab is Online this Fall The Arizona State University Child Study Lab shifted its fall and winter curriculum to be an entirely online experience to help children learn the important skills that support a successful launch into elementary school and beyond, even during a pandemic. Download Full Image

According to a longitudinal study from the Perry Preschool Project, preschool improves lifelong earnings, achievement in school, and reduces negative life outcomes like crime and teenage pregnancies.

“Preschool provides a foundation for how children learn to interact with others. It’s very easy for children to interact with adults, but it is very difficult for them to interact with children their own age. That’s what we do best at the Child Study Lab,” Kupfer said. “We emphasize self-regulation because based on research over the last 40 years that is what will determine a child’s later academic and social success.”

Established by the ASU Department of Psychology in 1972, the Child Study Lab is a preschool where children and families explore, create, learn and grow. Typically, classes are in-person where children begin to navigate the complexities of life and learn to manage their emotions. Since the beginning of March, the Child Study Lab has shifted to a virtual learning model.  

Video courtesy ASU Department of Psychology

Now enrolling for the fall and winter

Even though the school is online, the curriculum still focuses on cognitive, social-emotional, physical, and language development for children ages 15 months to pre-kindergarten. Children are encouraged to play and self-initiate learning to discover areas of improvement and interest.

The Child Study Lab program draws on the most recent research on child development to meet the needs, interests and abilities of each child.

With the goal of maximizing the development of children while still retaining their attention, online classes this fall will 2.5 hours long and will be offered two to five days a week.

“We ensure that your child will gain valuable skills they can take with them into their next educational experience and for the rest of their lives,” Kupfer said.

Last summer, the theme of the online curriculum was “Super Heroes.” Kupfer and her staff used that concept to teach the preschoolers about real-life heroes like first responders who work to keep them safe. Previous sessions have taught the children about how to help others in need and about developments in technology across history.

The new curriculum for this fall is called “Who, what, when, where, why and how?” and will teach students where to look for information and how to process it in a new digital world.

Visit the CSL’s homepage for more information about signing up for the virtual program.

“The Child Study Lab is a jewel — one the Department of Psychology has been proud of for almost 50 years,” said Steve Neuberg, Foundation Professor and chair of the Department of Psychology. “All three of my own children attended and greatly benefitted from the CSL, and I know that my wife and I became better parents because of what we learned from its teachers.”

Robert Ewing

Marketing and Communications Manager, Department of Psychology