The last four weeks, we’ve been discussing how to create your own design challenges to use in your classroom. So far, we’ve learned where to find great ideas for design challenges, the importance of aligning them to your standards and how to introduce and facilitate challenges.
In this last part of the series, I’m going to address:
In the past couple of weeks, we began the How To Develop Student-Centered Design Challenges series learning the reasons why design challenges are an effective way to engage students. We’ve also talked about the importance of aligning design challenges to the standards, what successful solutions look like and how to facilitate the challenge.
This week, in Part 4, I’m going to address:
What expectations should I establish?
How do I introduce the design challenge to students?
What should students be doing during design challenge time?
What should the teacher be doing during design challenge time?
In the past couple of weeks, we began the How To Develop Student-Centered Design Challenges series learning the reasons why design challenges are an effective way to engage students. We’ve also talked about the importance of aligning design challenges to the standards and what successful solutions look like.
Last week in Part 1, we began the How To Develop Student-Centered Design Challenges series learning the reasons why design challenges are an effective way to engage students, where good ideas come from and how develop criteria to evaluate potential ideas.
This week, in Part 2, I’m going to address:
How does my idea align with the standards I need to teach?
What will my students actually “do” in this challenge?
How will my challenge engage and motivate students?
Time is flying by so much quicker than I’d like! We are halfway through the summer already (yikes!) and that means beginning to think and plan for the upcoming school year.
In this How-To series, we’re going to look at “how-to” develop student-centered design challenges…and I’m going to try my hand at presenting this as a video series, so we’ll see how that goes!
In this series, I’ll outline the step-by-step process that I use and recommend for developing an engineering design challenge. So, if you’re new to STEM or you’re just looking for more tools and resources to help you plan, join me! In the meantime, enjoy your summer!
Thank you to this year’s participants in the Electric Airplane Challenge! We hope to see you again next year. If you missed this fun engineering design event, here are this year’s winners:
1st Place- The Three Stooges (Raisbeck Aviation HS)
2nd Place- Heavy Lifting (Raisbeck Aviation HS)
3rd Place- Alpha Tangos (Takotna Community School)
As we move forward to next year, we are thrilled to announce that this project will come to you under a new name- the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Flight (LEAF) STEM Challenge.
Starfish Education and the Pacific Northwest AIAA are proud to partner with Erik Lindbergh and Powering Imagination to continue to provide this hands-on, standards-based engineering design project for middle school and high school students!
This Brown bag series gave me a chance to dig through my files and share some more STEM Challenge oldies-but-goodies.
In each post, I’ve shared different engineering design projects that are appropriate for a wide age range. All of these activities work to prove that you don’t need an endless budget to teach STEM and promote STEM principles and skills.
Here’s a recap of the project ideas shared in this series:
In this challenge, students design and fly a hot air balloon that will stay aloft the longest. This one sounds simple, but don’t let it fool you! It is more difficult than it sounds, so be sure to provide a little more time as students learn which shapes and designs “fly” the best.
I like to have teams of three for this project, simply because it is more involved and requires students to follow specific directions for this first round. I’m also a big fan of assigning jobs, so I prefer to divide up the work either specific to this challenge or like this.
So, what did we learn? Next Generation Science Standards: Planning and Carrying out Investigations, Designing Solutions; Obtaining, Evaluating and Communicating Information CCC- Patterns, Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
CCSS Math: Measurement and Data, Geometry, Ratios and Proportional Relationships
Have you ever played the shooting gallery game at the carnival? Here’s a STEM twist on that carnival game for students…a slingshot gallery.
For this Challenge, students are tasked with building a working slingshot that will knock down the designated targets from a specified distance. Students can work in pairs, but I like each student to design and build their own slingshot. It shows more ownership and also results in each student having their own data to analyze later.
In addition to establishing a required distance to “fling” from, I like to also require other parameters based on age group or based on available supplies to increase the difficulty. Adjusting these parameters allows me to differentiate the challenge, even within the same classroom.