Category Archives: design/engineering

WA Only: LASER Workshop 11-29-17 Next Gen Science & Engineering for Equity

Hi all,

This is a very affordable opportunity for upper elementary and middle school science teachers in the Puget Sound Region to dig into STEM education and equity.

Here is the link if you are interested in signing up:

http://tinyurl.com/Nov29Registration

Below is information copied from the registration site…

DATE AND TIME

Wed, November 29, 2017

8:30 AM – 4:00 PM PST

LOCATION

Microsoft Conference Center

16070 NE 36th Way

Redmond, WA 98052

DESCRIPTION

This full-day workshop for upper elementary and middle school teachers will give participants tools to engage their students in science and engineering practices aligned with the NGSS. From building low-cost sensors, to iterating design challenges to writing across the STEM disciplines, teachers will add to their toolkit of effective and engaging teacher practices. Professor Jose Rios’ keynote will challenge participants to develop their ideas about educating for equity and access in STEM.

Six STEM clock hours will available for an extra fee, pending approval.

Tenative Agenda

  • 8:30-8:45 am – Opening
  • 8:45:- 10:30 am – Hacking STEM
  • 10:30 – 10: 45 am – Break
  • 10:45 – 12:30 pm – Science/Engineering Notebooks
  • 12:30 – 1:15 pm – Lunch
  • 1:15 – 2:00 pm – Equity Presentation
  • 2:00 – 3:45 pm – Engineering Fellow Program
  • 3:45 – 4:00 pm – Closing

Teachers Try Science: NGSS Lessons

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 4.42.58 PMOVERVIEW: Teachers Try Science is a website with free science instructional resources for teachers of science. The site also has a page of NGSS EQuIP rubric reviewed lessons. These lessons (unlike lessons found on some sites) appear to be good examples of instructional chunks that meet the expectations of A Framework for K-12 Science Instruction and the NGSS. It appears that there was a vetting and review process that each of these lessons went through (that’s a good thing). These are not complete units and there is currently only a limited set of NGSS reviewed lessons- but it is definitely worth your time to add this site to your NGSS Lessons bookmarks.

AUDIENCE: K-12 teachers of science looking for a few examples of NGSS-style lessons.

PURPOSE: Provide samples of NGSS aligned lessons to the field.

LINK: http://www.teacherstryscience.org/

Engineering Design Talk Moves

There are lots of great resources for supporting productive classroom talk during science instruction…

But when it comes to engineering design I think we need some different questions and talk moves to guide students as they are collaborating to solve problems. I haven’t found a resource on “engineering talk”… so I created this engineering talk moves document.

This is very drafty and I would love some feedback. What is missing? What is redundant? Does this document even make sense? What needs to be improved to make this document useful for K-12 teachers?

The idea is that this 1 pager would be used by a teacher to guide students’ thinking as they are in the middle of collaborative work to solve an engineering problem.

I look forward to your feedback. Click HERE to download the document.

Engineer Girl

Screen Shot 2014-06-29 at 8.45.24 PMIt’s been over four years since I first posted about Engineer Girl on this site… and I think it’s time for a reminder of this excellent resource.

Engineer Girl is a site sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering with the goal of promoting and encouraging young women to learn about engineering as a career. With the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards and a clear focus on K-12 engineering instruction- Engineer Girl may provide some useful resources to K-12 teachers. Here are some of what’s available:

  • Multiple stories of women describing their work in engineering fields
  • Several interviews with female engineers
  • Descriptions and videos of what engineers do
  • Ideas for how to get involved in engineering

 

Rosie Revere Engineer: Teaching Engineering with a Picture Book

As a former elementary teacher, I love to use picture books to teach students. Nowrosie revere I use picture books for teaching pre-service and in-service K-12 teachers about science and engineering. My new favorite picture book for teaching engineering is Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty. This book makes a perfect companion to another favorite Those Darn Squirrels by Adam Rubin. (See previous post on Those Darn Squirrels HERE.)

Rosie Revere Engineer is the story of a young girl who is afraid of failure but is eventually encouraged to share her inventions by her great-great aunt Rose. This book teaches us about collaboration, failure, and persistence (grit). I can imagine this book being a cornerstone of a lesson on establishing norms for engineering tasks.

I will be putting together some lesson plan ideas for this picture book (and others) over the summer …so stay tuned. HERE are some lesson ideas provided by the author.

Below is a video of a Rosie related project sponsored by STEM Outreach NIU… unfortunately, this video does not use the Engineering Design process from NGSS.

 

Using the Ketchup Cap in Engineering Professional Development

The story of Tyler Richards and Jonathan Thompson and their invention of a new ketchup bottle cap has gone viral in engineering education this spring. I wanted to share how I’ve been using this story in professional development with K-12 teachers.

PBS has a short blog post that is the perfect length for a quick reading. (See the post HERE.) The post provides the story of how these two students identified the problem (“wet bread is gross”)  and eventually solved it.

I like to use this story after teachers have some familiarity with the Engineering Design Process from the Next Generation Science Standards:Screen Shot 2014-06-17 at 10.09.57 AM

  • Define the Problem
  • Develop Solutions
  • Optimize Solutions

I simply ask participants to read the article and identify where the students are engaged in the 3 components of Engineering Design. Then we do a quick partner share and whole group debrief. Here are some findings that teachers have shared:

  • There was a lot of time spent Defining the Problem
  • Maybe we (teachers) need to provide more authentic opportunities for students to Define the Problem.. sometimes we just give students the problem predefined
  • The students developed a lot of solutions before starting to optimize
  • The students had to engage in argument from evidence throughout this process. In other words, argumentation isn’t just a science practice.. it’s an engineering practice also

The blog post gives teachers an opportunity to identify components of Engineering Design and make sense of some of the shifts in the NGSS. I hope you find ways to use this engineering story with students and teachers. Please share back what you’ve tried. A video of the ketchup cap invention is embedded below.

Tinkering Fundamentals: FREE Online Course

Are you looking for some engaging professional learning for the summer? The Exploratorium is offering a FREE 6 week online course titled: Tinkering Fundamentals: A Constructionist Approach to STEM Learning. This course introduces educators to the practices of tinkering and making… which should directly impact our understanding of engineering and STEM concepts.

The course runs June 19th through August 9th. Check it out HERE and see an intro video embedded below.