June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.440.1 - 24.440.2
We introduce teachers and students to STEM topics and careers by taking a designthinking approach, which we view as a variation of engineering practice that prioritizesempathy and user-centeredness. To date, we have worked with over 225 educators and350 students, exposing them to the connections among design thinking practices,engineering topics and careers, and the current K-12 education imperatives. The projectsupports the Common Core Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation ScienceStandards (NGSS), which contain a critical mass of standards that are well aligned to thedesign thinking process and mindsets.Curriculum is a powerful means for connecting educators and students to design andSTEM learning. We team university students in the School of Engineering and GraduateSchool of Education to develop curriculum activities that they pilot in middle schools andin workshops with teachers. The lessons reflect those that the university students thinkwere impactful in their own pathways to engineering and STEM-related careers. Thematerials that are most effective in pilot testing are included in a widely disseminated,open-source curriculum.Dive In! An Integrated Design Thinking/STEM Curriculum provides an integratedapproach to building STEM knowledge and skills while engaging middle school studentsin identifying, defining, and designing solutions to in their communities and the largerworld. The focus of the curriculum is water. In this 40-hour program, students engage ina series of high-energy activities to solve water-based challenges. They learn about thewater conservation, drought, purification, recycling, patterns of use, water-relatedproducts and technologies that have been designed, and topical issues that impact localand global water usage. Samples of lessons include: engineering-related activities suchconducting a school water audit, teams building a water tower that meets specifications,and empathy-building with students carrying from a water source the amount of waternecessary daily to sustain a family of five.The curriculum engages the steps of the design thinking process, with studentsconducting interviews and observations, engaging in empathy-building activities, andusing evidence to develop user insights. Brainstorming activities and techniques givestudents ideas for solutions, and they build low-resolution prototypes, test them, andincorporate user feedback. Evaluations indicate that students leave the curriculum withSTEM content knowledge, an introduction to how engineers might work, and insightsabout design as a way to solve real-world problems.The teacher guide provides an overview of the project goals, background information ondesign thinking, teaching tips, a curriculum calendar overview, descriptions of materials,lesson plans, and supplemental media presentations. The activities are arranged so theyform a cohesive unit of study.This interactive session will demonstrate hands-on engineering task activities from theDive In! An Integrated Design Thinking/STEM Curriculum. Participants will leave thesession with sample lesson plans, information highlighting links to the Common CoreStandards and the Next Generation Science Standards, and the URL to download theopen-source curriculum.
Goldman, S., & Carroll, M., & Zielezinski, M. B., & Loh, A., & Ng, E. S., & Bachas-Daunert, S. (2014, June), Dive In! An Integrated Design Thinking/STEM Curriculum Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20331
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