Hello. This book is a tool to help implement engineering principles and practices into your classroom activities. All information is based on Next Generation Science Standards, current S.T.E.M. education curriculum, and www.artefactgroup.com
design thinking methodologies.
Letâ€™s get started.
What is engineering? Ask yourself, ask around. Itâ€™s pretty difficult to define. Even harder for students, right? Letâ€™s start by thinking about it differently.
What can we do with engineering?
Design a chair that looks different from anything you have ever seen.
Reuse your broken bike to make something brand new.
Design the shape, color, and material of a pair of headphones.
Create a pet carrier that makes scared pets feel safe.
Design a car that requires no gas and uses very little battery.
Research chemicals that keep childrenâ€™s hospital germ free.
To teach our students how to apply engineering, they need a solid foundation on which to build their skills.
The following seven basic principles are aligned with the science and engineering best practices and are rooted in critical thinking and testing.
1 Identify the problem 2 Ask questions 3 Work together 4 Make it real 5 Try again and again 6 Think about your process 7 Share with your friends
The following pages are a lesson plan example of how to incorporate engineering practices into classroom activities.
Example: Applying engineering practices for Earthâ€™s Systems.
Earthâ€™s Systems Criteria: Design solutions to slow or prevent wind or water from changing the shape of land. Direction: Create ways to prevent snowmelt from flooding in the state of Washington.
Investigation prompt: It is the first hot day of summer and the snow on Mt. Rainier is beginning to melt and trickle down the mountain. To make sure the snowmelt doesnâ€™t flood your backyard, build a structure to direct the melting snow away from your home. Investigation material: - Map of local area - Large cup of water - Accessible materials that have the potential to be successful or unsuccessful at redirecting water: Popsicle sticks, dirt, sticks, sand, sponge, felt, play-doh, pipe cleaners, etc. - Safety scissors - Cardboard box - Pens/pencils
Let’s talk about flooding. Today we’ll be designing things to prevent flooding from snowmelt in our backyard.
What kinds of questions do we need to ask about snow, snowmelt, flooding, building, or climate? What would we ask an expert?
Here’s a map of our neighborhood. Draw where you are and where your friends live. Draw out the location of Mt. Rainier, the ocean, highway, and your favorite ice cream shop.
Let’s take our maps and pick our materials to create a structure that prevents the water from damaging our neighborhood. Chose 3 materials and create structures! (allow short time, about 5 minutes)
(Teacher pours water through structure to simulate snowmelt). When/if something goes wrong, ask students to act quickly and redesign. (Allow students to chose more materials). Repeat this process.
Now that we’ve tried several times, let’s talk about what happened and how we can improve. What worked? What did not? Why?
You have 2 minutes to share your team’s final design with the class and talk about what you have learned from your process. After every team shares their designs, combine them into one and test again.
The following pages are a lesson plan template to incorporate engineering practices into your classroom activities.
Template: Apply engineering practices to create your own investigation.
Title of Curriculum Criteria: This is the summary from the Next Generation Science Standards (N.G.S.S.) Direction: This is the way in which you choose to frame the investigation. Think about keeping it local and making it relatable.
Investigation prompt: Think of this as a design challenge that you are presenting to your students. Investigation materials: A list of materials that will be needed for this investigation.
Help the students define the problem they are trying to solve or understand.
Encourage the students to ask questions and discuss what makes a valuable question. Offer prompts when needed.
Put students into groups and encourage them to work together. Many brains are better than one.
Begin creating! Whether itâ€™s building, solving, drawing or modeling, encourage the students to begin. Sometimes the hardest part is getting started.
An important part of engineering is the ability to accept where something went wrong, acknowledge it, figure it out, and try again. Encourage this process as many times as it takes.
Think about the work. Encourage the students to review what theyâ€™ve done and think about the best and the worst parts of the process.
In engineering, people rarely work alone, and they often have to share their work and/or defend their ideas. Use this opportunity to encourage sharing and to instill confidence in presenting.
For more information, check out the following links.
K-12 Framework: http://www.nap.edu
Washington S.T.E.M http://www.washingtonstem.org/
Washington State Laser http://www.wastatelaser.org/
The performance expectations in this book were developed using elements from the NRC document. A Framework for K-12 Science Education.