July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Pre-College Engineering Education
The I am STEM Lesson Library has been curated as a digital library for PK-5 educators written by teachers, for teachers. It contains several lesson plans for each grade level that help educators engage students actively with engineering in a fun but structured way by solving problems in story books. Each lesson is aligned to a grade level science, technology and engineering (STE) or math standard, as well as an ELA standard and is designed to be both linguistically and culturally responsive. Throughout each lesson, the students work in teams to follow the steps of the engineering design process, culminating with a presentation and a reflection on how students can see themselves in STEM.
Although each engineering challenge will vary depending on the chosen book and standard(s), the lessons are designed to be completed in five-45 min segments. Learning targets and relevant vocabulary are provided and STE/M and ELA practices are identified for each lesson. During each of the five days, teachers guide students through one or two components of the engineering design process. The problems are intended to be solved using everyday materials that can be found in most households or classrooms including recycled and/or craft materials.
Teachers begin by reading a book and identifying a problem in the story. Students work in teams, following the engineering design process, to brainstorm solutions, plan and sketch their ideas, build and test their prototype and improve their design, all while sharing and collecting feedback throughout the process. Their design should not only meet the criteria and constraints of the problem, but must be informed by STE/M concepts related to the chosen standard(s). After at least one iteration, students present their solution to a “special guest” of the teacher’s choosing. This could be a parent, school or community member that has a vested interest in the student’s work. At the conclusion of their presentation, students reflect on how they see themselves in STEM by completing the statement, “I am STEM because…”.
One example is shared below. (Full lesson contains much more detail) Example: Grade 1 Lesson Book Title: Trombone Shorty Overview: This is a story about music and how family support and encouragement helped a young musician find his passion. The students will experience jazz music and discover how people make sound or music through instruments. After listening to the story, students are challenged to create a musical instrument for Trombone Shorty and his friends. The instrument should make sound that can be heard from a distance of 12 feet, and be played while walking or marching.
STE Standard: PS4. Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer 1-PS4-1. Demonstrate that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate. 1-PS4-4. Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to send a signal over a distance.
ELA Standard: 1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
Chen, K. C., & Dubosarsky, M., & Taylor, D. (2021, July), I Am STEM, an Engineering Lesson Library for PK-5 Educators Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37267
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