This project builds capacity for middle school teachers to enact and adapt integrated STEM curriculum units with their students. The units will focus on biomimicry—examining structures and functions found in nature and applying these to solve human problems, which combines science, engineering, and technology. The project enables teachers to design activities that are personally authentic to their students by supporting teachers to examine their students' assets, needs, and interests and center these during unit design.
This project is developing and testing curriculum materials and a professional development model designed to explore the potential for introducing engineering concepts in grades 3 - 5 through design challenges based on stories in popular children's literature. The research team hypothesizes that professional development for elementary teachers using an interdisciplinary method for combining literature with engineering design challenges will increase the implementation of engineering in 3-5 classrooms and have positive impacts on students.
This project designs, constructs, and field-tests a web-based, online collaborative environment for supporting the teaching and learning of inquiry-based high school physics. Based on an interactive digital workbook environment, the team is customizing the platform to include scaffolds and other supports for learning physics, fostering interaction and collaboration within the classroom, and facilitating a design-based approach to scientific experiments.