June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Mineral properties and identification tests provide the basis for this engineering-driven STEM unit to be presented in the P12 Resource Exchange. The Mineral Mayhem unit places middle school students in the role of engineers. Built on the real-world premise of a cargo train derailing from its tracks, students will complete an engineering challenge to design a process to sort minerals that have been spilled into a lake. As they learn about mineral properties and the value of non-renewable mineral resources, students will use this information to support evidence-based reasoning as they make design decisions. In addition, there are components of research and mathematical reasoning in thinking about cost-benefit analysis and in considering the physical property of density, including how to calculate and represent mass, volume and density in different ways. Students will also strengthen their communication skills by creating a presentation to explain their process and justify their decisions, aiming to convince a client that their process is the best option.
This unit was created as part of the [Blinded Name] project, which is an engineering, design-based approach to teacher professional development that has 50 teachers per year designing curricular units for science topic areas related to the Next Generation Science Standards. The project includes summer professional development and curriculum writing workshops, paired with coaching, to allow teams of teachers to design engineering curricular units focused on science concepts, meaningful data analysis, and measurement. Each unit goes through an extensive design research cycle to ensure its quality and is published in an online format. This unit has been field tested in an additional round of classroom implementation and one of the teachers will be present to present the curriculum and her experience during the resource exchange. Curriculum and kit materials for the unit will be on display so that participants will be able to visualize the unit.
Miller, H., & Moore, T. J., & Glancy, A. W., & Siverling, E. A., & Guzey, S. S., & Johnston, A. C., & Merzdorf, H. E., & Suazo-Flores, E., & Akarsu, M. (2017, June), Mineral Mayhem: Using Engineering to Teach Middle School Earth Science (Resource Exchange) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28670
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