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STEM Explore, Discover, Apply – A Middle School Elective (Curriculum Exchange)

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Division Curriculum Exchange

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1101.1 - 24.1101.2



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Paper Authors


Krystal S. Corbett Cyber Innovation Center

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Dr. Krystal Corbett is the Director of Curricula at the Cyber Innovation Center (CIC). She received her B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (2008/2010), M.S. in Mathematics (2012), and Ph.D. in Engineering Education (2012) at Louisiana Tech University. Through the CIC, Dr. Corbett manages various educational enterprises. Additionally, she is designing and implementing a three-part middle school elective course, STEM: Explore, Discover, Apply, which fosters excitement in STEM.

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Joshua M Coriell Cyber Innovation Center

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Joshua Coriell is a Curriculum Development Specialist at the Cyber Innovation Center’s National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center. He graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2011 with a B.S. in Mathematics. A year later he completed his Master of Arts in Teaching at Louisiana Tech University. He is currently working on a high school mathematics curriculum geared toward students interested in STEM fields.

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STEM Explore, Discover, Apply – A Middle School Elective (Curriculum Exchange)STEM Explore, Discover, Apply (STEM EDA) is a three course elective sequence for middleschool grades 6-8. In STEM EDA, students are engaged in science, technology, engineering, andmathematics (STEM) through a series of hands-on projects. STEM EDA uses a holistic approachtowards instruction; such that, students are excited to learn and are able to make connectionsamong the various courses taken throughout the school day.For each level of the course, the content uses a modular design, where students spend threeweeks on one of the approximately twelve design projects before progressing to the next module.The engineering design process guides the students through the design and implementation of theprojects and concepts. Students must identify the problem, research the problem, brainstormsolutions, choose a solution, build a prototype, test the prototype, and then improve and redesigntheir solution. A majority of the time is spent on the “research the problem” phase. During thisphase, students learn the fundamental concepts that will help them in the design process. Inaddition to learning the STEM fundamental topics, students also apply English language artsconcepts and soft skills to progress through the lessons. This approach allows students to notonly improve their problem-solving and critical thinking skills, but also develop invaluablecompetencies in leadership, teambuilding, creativity, and communication.During the curriculum exchange, the presented resource materials will include physical copies ofspecific modules, visual aids used for enhancing instruction, and sample projects. Attendees canperuse both teacher and student versions of workbooks for certain modules. Additionally, sampleprojects showcased and available for demonstrations will include, but are not limited to egg drop,volcanoes, catapults, musical instruments, rollercoasters, electricity, and genetics.

Corbett, K. S., & Coriell, J. M. (2014, June), STEM Explore, Discover, Apply – A Middle School Elective (Curriculum Exchange) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23034

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