PRESERVICE TEACHER SPOTLIGHT
r e h c a e t e c i v r e s e pr
he STEM Preservice Teacher Spotlight is dedicated to recognizing future elementary STEM educators who are enrolled in innovative elementary STEM education programs. The universities featured in this section believe these nominated students are inventive, engaging, and fun future STEM elementary teachers. These students are excited to share some of the great things they are learning in their STEM programs!
This issue’s spotlight is on:
Molly Brogan is a senior in the Engineering Technology Teacher Education program at Purdue University, Purdue Polytechnic Institute. Molly would like to teach Elementary/Middle School. When asked why she likes creating STEM activities, Molly says, “Engineering and Technology Education provides students with the chance to see how topics they learn in school are applied in the real world. With engineering and technology, they are able to combine all of their school subjects to create projects that can have a direct impact on the community.” Molly was nominated by Greg Strimel, who chose her because: “Molly is an extremely motivated and talented preservice engineering/technology teacher. She enjoys crafting learning experiences for children that integrate disciplinary content knowledge through engaging engineering challenges. Molly will certainly help inspire the next generation of designers, makers, and innovators.”
Molly’s Shared Activity standards STL: 2 Students will develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology. Benchmark L—> Requirements are the limits to designing or making a product or system.
Let’s Go Camping Grade Level: 3rd
NGSS: 3-5-ETS1-2 —> Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
activity In groups of 2-3, students will design and produce a shelter for camping that will keep them dry overnight. During this activity, students will be introduced to a simplified engineering design process and presented with a variety of materials to solve the challenge. Additionally, the groups will be provided with a handout describing the pros and cons of each material. Throughout the design process, each group will need to make and justify decisions as to which materials they will use for their shelter 28 children’s technology and engineering December 2016
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designs. The class will then test a model of each group’s design to evaluate how the design decisions addressed the criteria and constraints for the challenge. The students are also required to document their use of the engineering design process to assess their knowledge and application of information.
scenario Our class is taking a hiking trip to learn more about nature. While on the hike, we lost track of time and realized that we are not able to make it back before nightfall. So it looks like we will need to set up a camp for the night. However, we did not bring tents with us, and it looks like it is going to rain! We need to design and build a shelter using the environment around us before nightfall. Tools
Tools to Simulate a Multitool: Scissors EZ Cutters
Twigs (assorted lengths) Leaves (dry and green) Bark Assorted synthetic & natural fabrics Tree Limbs (coniferous & deciduous) Popsicle sticks Fishing line Shoestrings Paper strips Rubber bands
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Engage the students by saying “Today we are going on a camping trip! However, it is an unexpected camping trip.” Following this statement, the students can be introduced to the problem scenario. Explain how the students will use the engineering design process to develop a solution to the problem. However, they must identify what the requirements are for their solution, such as keeping the campers dry, withstanding the wind, and providing enough space for the campers to sleep. These requirements are the criteria for their design. Also, students should identify the limitations for their solution. In this scenario, students are limited by the available materials, tools, knowledge, and time. These limitations place constraints on their design. Allow students to explore how the criteria and constraints will impact their design decisions. To do so, provide the students with a sheet that describes the pros and cons of each material for creating their shelter. In groups, allow the students to engineer a solution to the problem by brainstorming ideas for a shelter and
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Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File: Susan_Helms_survival_training.jpg
selecting the appropriate materials based on the identified criteria and constraints. Students should create a sketch and a list of materials for their design. Once their design is created, students can use the materials to build a model of their shelter. As a class, evaluate each shelter to allow students to analyze each design and learn about the decisions each group made based on established criteria and constraints.
references International Technology Education Association (ITEA/ITEEA). (2000/2002/2007). Standards for technological literacy: Content for the study of technology. Reston, VA: Author. NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by states. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/18290.
Molly Brogan is an undergraduate student in the Engineering/Technology Teacher Education program in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University. She can be reached at [email protected]
Greg J. Strimel, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Engineering/Technology Teacher Education in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University. He can be reached at [email protected]
December 2016 children’s technology and engineering 29
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