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PW 2497 UL xplorlabs – xploring the science of safety engineering
  1. Cara Gizzi
  1. Underwriters Laboratories, Northbrook, IL, USA


Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) skills are critical to building and maintaining safe living and working environments. Consumer products need to be designed for a wide variety of people. Road and electrical infrastructures are complex, therefore specialized engineering is critical to anticipating and reducing hazards. Hazard-Based Safety Engineering is an example of STEM application to reduce injuries by applying science and engineering to the design and analysis of products and systems. Many STEM career opportunities exist, but there is a shortage of qualified candidates to fill them. Despite high career and economic opportunity, not enough students pursue degrees in these fields. Research shows a significant drop in student interest in STEM occurs between ages of 11–13. One approach to maintaining student interest in STEM through practical application in safety science is reviewed in this presentation. UL Xplorlabs is a module-based innovative digital learning platform that puts science and engineering challenges into the hands of inspired students. Modules build problem solving and processing skills that help students adapt to emerging technologies, while encouraging curiosity and cultivating their passion for inquiry. Modules contain experiential elements like interactive videos, hands-on extensions with inexpensive materials, and collaborative classroom challenges – allowing students to investigate, experiment, and think like a scientist. Throughout the learning experience youth are exposed to safety concepts to help make better (safer) choices. Available modules teach the science behind fire dynamics and electrical hazards. UL takes an innovative approach to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education to promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, through development of free STEM and safety tools that apply to all careers. We must ensure that we teach in ways that engage young minds which ultimately cultivate a passion for inquiry, as well as to build and strengthen a global community that promotes safety worldwide.

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