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⇒A STEM System⇐

One Typical Mid-Semester Class Day Resources: 1. 4 Teachers with specialties of biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering 2. Teaching Assistant 3. 100 students, 10 teams 4. Very large well-equipped working laboratory to accommodate 10 working groups that incorporates 3 “classrooms” available to accommodate up to 20, 12 and 12 students respectively.


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⇒A STEM System�

Project Assignments: Team Student Project 1 Design of production system for borax crystals and powder resulting from a continuous flow process 2 Design of production system for borax crystals and powder resulting from a batch process 3 Design of electrical wall plug circuits for two rooms of a residence, with a physical example 4 Compare series and parallel electrical circuits for residential security lighting 5 Determine the effect of extracellular sugar concentration on transport rate of sugar across cell walls 6 Determine the effect of extracellular Na+ concentration on transport rate of the ion across cell walls 7 Determine the solubility rate of commercial aspirin pills as a function of pH for the principal biological fluids encountered in human systems 8 Design a minimum-cost transport system to enable wheelchair-bound visitors to access an elevated observation platform 5 meters above an accessible base platform of specified dimensions 9 Compare the efficacies of three common growth mediums for producing spring onions hydroponically 10 Design soft-landing mechanism for drone delivery of specified fragile freight with total power loss at 8 m elevation


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⇒A STEM System�

Key Assumptions: 1. Team Leaders (usually two) are well aware that: a. they are responsible for ensuring team members understand the science concepts applicable to their immediate Student Projects. b. they must ensure that a couple of questions relevant to the Student Project are developed to ask the STEM Catalyst regarding career/working situations. c. they are responsible for the safe operation of all aspects of their Project 2. Adequate supplies of materials are available or obtainable reasonably for physical experimentation and work 3. All students have acquired or can learn mechanical skills adequate for the current activities. 4. All Student Team members are aware of safety requirements and the team will assure thought before acting. 5. Each student must prepare a Student Project report after collaboration within the team 6. The Teacher Team has assigned members to Student Teams, designated leaders, and enabled teams to have input into selecting a Student Project from several possibilities. The Lead Teacher for each Student Project has final responsibility for ensuring each Student Team member gains adequate experiences from each Student Project with the three basic sciences plus engineering.


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⇒A STEM System⇐

Biology Teacher: Starts class by assembling all freshmen and additional students found to be deficient in the subject by formative testing for a 20/30-minute lecture on “Cell Wall Structure and Transport Mechanisms.” The teacher helps Teams 5 & 6, which are just beginning their Student Projects, develop questions for their respective STEM Catalysts about the chemical characteristics that facilitate transport across cell walls. Dividing time between Student Teams 5 and 6, the teacher demonstrates common protocols for studying transport across cell walls. Chemistry Teacher: Starts class by spending 15 minutes discussing weak acid/strong base titration issues with Team 7. Then spends 20 minutes with 6 students from Teams 1 and 2 to ensure they understand and can interpret solubility diagrams. She then offers to answer questions about chemical properties that facilitate or prevent transport across cell walls for Teams 5 and 6. The assistant notifies her that a brief formative test indicates 4 members of Team 7 continue to have serious problems with solution concentrations, so she addresses this matter with these students for the remainder of the period.


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⇒A STEM System�

Physics Teacher: He starts the class period making a quick survey of half the teams to identify any problems with their immediate work activities. Spends 10-minute Q & A period each with Teams 3 and 4 and finds several students have an inadequate understanding of parallel and series circuits, so he takes them into a small classroom for re-education for another 20 minutes. Engineering Teacher: She starts the class period making a quick survey of half the teams to identify any problems with their immediate work activities. Notes that Student Teams 1 & 2 have collected most of their data and are now dealing with the engineering design phase of their Projects and that the Chemistry Teacher needs to complete her teaching of members of Student Teams 1 and 2. Late in the period, she discusses batch/continuous processing of chemicals, answers questions, and leaves student teams to prepare flow diagrams and develop questions about processing issues for the STEM Catalysts for their respective Student Projects. Teaching Aide: Following the general guide developed for the semester by the Teaching Team, the Aide posted for student viewing as the class convened specific formative tests to be taken by about 20 specific students. These students collected in a gallery of computer stations to take those tests. She also made a quick survey of another 15 students pursuing information or public data needed by their respective Student Teams or for their specific learning. After ensuring each student was taking the assigned test and seeing that the other students in the gallery appeared focused properly, she helped the Engineering Teacher oversee the students engaged in advancing the work of the Student Teams,


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⇒A STEM System⇐

Students: As students complete their immediate work of formative testing, instruction, or information-base study/data acquisition, they join their student Team to engage in experimentation, data recording or analysis, working on questions associated with their Student Project, or preparing draft sections of the final report. Student Team Leaders have learned to delegate tasks appropriate to the capabilities of individual team members and accommodate the needs of members to be requested to take formative tests or required instruction. All students are subjected to formative testing as called for by an AI directed program that ensures students work toward mastery levels of required or advised STEM content. Students also are expected to request help with any STEM topic or Student Team management issue which they have a problem. Student Team Leaders also are expected to bring any team member behavior problems to the attention of Lead Teachers or Teacher Team members. Chaos? This day’s scenario appears chaotic when compared to the common lecture/recitation/experiment day of 20th century, one-teacher STEM courses. At he beginning of the semester, the Teacher Team implemented an AI program based on STEM standards (e.g., NGSS). The Teacher Team set general content guidelines for the semester, selected (or designed) a matching formative and summative testing program for AI program oversight and operation, and developed a list of acceptable Student Projects. STEM Catalysts are selected and “contracted” within a couple of days of each Student Team choosing a specific Student Project. Formative and summative testing results are automatically recorded and reported to parents/administration communication devises along with comments by teachers when appropriate. Teacher Teams have a 30-minute planning window each morning before class for addressing the problems of specific students and/or Student Teams, and to make changes to the overall plan-for-the-day as provided by the AI program.

Typical day  
Typical day