I have found myself increasingly uncomfortable by all the focus on STEM and couldn't figure out why. I then became aware of the move of some educators to what they are calling STEAM and now I know what made me feel out of sorts. The "A" for the arts was missing. Engineering without design creates things like the old paper feed printers with the power supply too close to the feed...oops.
Project Lead the Way is a great curriculum that blends the arts with science, math, engineering and technology beauftifully. Since it's also PBL it's a robust and full curriuculum. http://www.pltw.org/
Another resource is the Autodesk Digital STEAM workshop fully available for free online at http://curriculum.autodesk.com/student/public/
Hello all. I am one of the guest speakers that will be presenting as a part of the upcoming webinar. I'll be presenting three of my favorite middle school technology projects from this year. These are all projects that are high fun/high learning activities that could be incorporated not only in other STEM classes, but potentially core classes as well.
A bit about me - I am a 3rd year Middle School Teacher in Austin, Texas. I was a computer consultant for many years before becoming a teacher and am passionate about technology. I currently teach an intro technology course (broad overview class), a manufacturing class (really a woodshop/invention lab class), and a robotics class. Next year I'll be adding a video game design class.
The goals for my classes:
1. Get students excited about Technology and potentially introduce them to a future career
2. Enable students to explore areas of their choosing at their own pace
3. Give students the fundamental skills they will need to be successful later in life
The projects I'll cover and demo include:
App Inventor: Writing apps for Android phones and tablets
Google Sketchup: Simple but very fun 3D modeling tool
Makerbot 3D Printer: Used as an introduction to rapid prototyping.
Talk to you soon.
Gorzycki MS, AISD
Here are a couple links if you would like more info on the projects I presented:
Main Site: http://appinventoredu.mit.edu/
60 second intro: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ADwPLSFeY8
Lots more videos on Youtube with more info
Main Site: http://sketchup.google.com/
Good series of intro videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/aidanchopra?ob=0&feature=results_main#p/a
Lots more videos on Youtube with more info
Main Site: http://www.makerbot.com
Online library of objects to download and print: http://www.thingiverse.com/
Example print on similar printer as our first one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MidPMCnJif8
Let me know if you would like additional information.
My name is Ashley Smith and I will also be presenting at the February webinar. I will be sharing with you a unit I teach called, Amusement Park Physics. This unit focuses on the essential question “How can science relate to fun?” and engages students with several 21st century skills. These skills include; critical thinking, problem solving, effective communicator, creative planner, resourceful innovator, and skilled collaborator.
I look forward to sharing my project with you!
Amusement Park Physics Links:
http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/ (Interactive website that allows students to experience the physics behind amusement park rides)
http://library.thinkquest.org/2745/data/openpark.htm (Interactive website created by students that explains the science of amusement parks)
http://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/amuse_park_physics.pdf (An awesome idea from NASA for an Amusement Park Physics day, includes timeline, background, labs, ride workbook etc.)
http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/circles/u6l2b.cfm (Great explanations and animations to help students understand the physics of the rides)
Here is a screenshot of the Linoit tool that we used during the webinar. The task was to use ONE word to describe "Why we should teach STEM?"
Click on this link and then add a sticky to our collection. I will post another screenshot as the progression happens on this document.
Click on the image to enlarge
Ashley, I use Linoit when I want my students to experiment with a different variable an other groups are using. Each group may post their idea to Linoit. it, however, is "first come, first choice." it is amazing to hear comments like "oh, that's a great idea ... Why did we not think of that first?" I find with time, more groups think of different variables they can test.
I agree that The Kid Should See This is a must read blog - Http://thekidshouldseethis.com provides great ideas of how science, the arts, and litature can be found around us. I think many of the videos could easily be used as starters for a science or language arts classroom. Another fun / similar site is WCYDWT - http://wcydwt.posterous.com. WCYDWT stands for What Can You Do With That. The idea is to show pictures and/or videos that encourage inquiry. What similar sites do you think promote critical thinking?
This site was shared in another thread.
.....Our organization's goal is to enage more students with Computer Science. We have free training, activities, and competitions for students for robotics, animaiton, and game design.
We are exploring differnet avenues to get more teachers and students involved. If you have any suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated!
STEM is a means to meet the goals for a 21st Centur learner. It provides the knowledge, processes, and attitudes to solve authentic world problems. North Carolina New Schools Project hosted a number of competions to promote STEM. The competions inclued FIRST Lego, Tech and Robotics challenge focusing on real world problem solving activities. You can find more about the competitions and how it is increasing enrollments in science by clicking the link below
Our organization, Computer Science Student Network (CS2N), has the goal of engaging youth in Computer Science and STEM. Our motivators are free activities, training, and competitions based on robotics, animation, and game design.
The website is still in Beta as we are still adding content to our project as well as a badge system for teachers and students to track their progress. Although the site is still in Beta, the content, activities, and competitions are live and are being utilized in classrooms now.
Please visit us at www.cs2n.org to see what we are working on.
CS2N is a joint project between researchers at Carnegie Mellon, the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Academy. The project is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) with the goal to inspire more students to study Computer Science, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics the tools of innovation. All students are encouraged to take part in CS2N activities which include learning basic programming, animations, game making, and robotics.
I was amazed with all the neat activities and lessons that are being taught by the STEM Presenters in February. How I wish I had those kind of teachers when I was in school! Yes, also watching Dyane's STEM Video on the New Three R's made me think how important that we revisit STEM and how it ties back to the 21st Century Skills and Learners.
Here are some of the resources that I use in my class:
These sites has many STEM Resources and Activities for students.
I feel like being a part of technoscients and the Intel Teacher community has really helped me focus on the STEM connections for very young children. I recently posted an ebook that my students created after they had been learning about the characteristics of rocks.
Reply to Patricia Russell: I just tried brainshark, too, after your recomendation. I am thinking that this will be a tool that I will use more often. My students are learning about rocks and we make this ebook. I did not know that I could have recorded their voices right in brainshark, so I had already done it on Audacity and exported as an MP3...next time it will save me a step. View it at http://my.brainshark.com/Rocks-Can-Be-an-PreK-eBook-21409240
For our schools Science Fair we completed a class project on Filtering Water. Students were responsible for documenting the process with IPAD, Video Camera, IPAD Nano, and digital camera. Attached is the rubric developed to help them know what was expected and to provide scoring for their documentation attempt.
Science Fair Rubric: Kindergarten rubric for creating Science Fair Process Video
Assessment Type: Video/Cameras
Science Fair Project: Water Filtering
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Unable to explain the scientific process, not participating in experiment.
Some sense of the scientific process experimenting with water filtering & a difficult time explaining it.
Good sense of the scientific process experimenting with water filtering & can explain with teacher support.
Understands the scientific process experimenting with water filtering & able to explain.
Not able to use cameras correctly or take necessary video/ pictures to explain the process.
Can use the cameras with some support but video/pictures not clear
Comfortable using cameras & pictures/video are visible.
Knows how to operate functions of cameras & produce visible pictures/videos explaining the Scientific Process.
Not able to explain or use vocabulary.
Attempted oral presentation with some errors.
Good oral presentation with teacher support.
Complete oral presentation with good use of vocabulary.
We use http://www.classdojo.com/ as a behavior managment/documentation tool in our classrooms. At first glance it doesn't seem like a STEM tool... but one of my students made it one when he created his own account and made up a "class" for rocks when we were studying the rock cycle. He adapted the behaviors to be things that happen to rocks as they go through the rock cycle. Blabberize is a tool some of my students used to show what they had learned about the rock cycle. Here's an examplehttp://blabberize.com/view/id/706419 My students really enjoyed singing the rock cycle song by Mr. Parr on YouTube. He's a 6th grade science teacher who has posted many science songs on YouTube. Xtranormal is another tool my students enjoy. We create story problems for them to solve - here's an example.
My class uses Voki to give animation to Mathematical Word Problems they each write, and then, subsequently edit with me. We type the text of the problems into Microsoft Word and cut and paste into Voki (as we do with Wordles) as it's a bit easier to save text in Word in many cases. With wordles, we sometimes type up as many words as we can (to make word clouds) for Science-based topics. Another tool is Create-a-Graph, which I LOVE!! It's easy for students to input graphical information and create pie/bar/etc. graphs that can be easily exported. We include all of these items (so that students can comment and collaborate) on our class Wiki provided freely by pbworks.
Couple new links:
Another 3D object library (also a free 3D modeling tool) https://tinkercad.com/home/
If you don't have a 3D printer, these guys will print your objects as well
Recent 3D modeling contest entries where the challenge was to create a unique chess set. All of these objects can be printed at home.