June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.911.1 - 22.911.7
Integrating NASA Science and Engineering: Using an Innovative Software Curriculum Delivery Tool to Create a NASA-Based CurriculumDuring the spring of 2010, A team at Whatchamacallit University collaborated with a team from Another University to create, test and train teachers on a NASA-‐based curriculum, “Living in Space”. The curriculum was designed to integrate NASA science and engineering through the use of LEGO Robotics and a new, interactive curriculum delivery tool developed at Whatchamacallit University. In this curriculum unit, students work in groups on an iterative, design-‐based challenge of creating a device to explore an unfamiliar planet for its potential to support life. The curriculum tool helps scaffold lessons in which students engage in designing and programming a LEGO rover to traverse unfamiliar terrain, collect physical samples and collect sensor data. Students progress through the unit using the curriculum tool, which provides students with programming support, technical support and instruction empowering them to work at their own pace. This support alleviates some of the load on the teacher to address technical or troubleshooting issues freeing him/her up to focus on teaching and learning. The interactive environment of the curriculum tool integrates text, graphs, tables, pictures, movies, and LEGO MINDSTORMS programming that can be used to design lessons that scaffold engineering design challenges and investigations. Students link the virtual (computer) world with the physical world (robotics creations) in the curriculum environment allowing them to collect all their data, ideas, reflections, and artifacts (through pictures and video) into one place. In this curriculum environment, students interact with and use multiple forms of representations to accomplish the design task. This paper will discuss the teams’ experience in the process of developing a curriculum unit that integrates NASA science and engineering through the scaffolding that curriculum tool affords. We will share insights and feedback from our testing with over forty teachers and more than 120 students. We will close with a discussion on the potential benefits of integrating NASA science and engineering through this innovative and interactive software curriculum delivery tool and future directions.
Hynes, M. M., & Head, E., & Danahy, E. E. (2011, June), Integrating NASA Science and Engineering: Using an Innovative Software Curriculum Delivery Tool to Create a NASA-Based Curriculum Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18236
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