Designing Fun Sandra RobertsKaleidoscope Learning NSTA STEM EXPO May 19, 2012
The Goals• To create science activities that emphasizes design, innovation and creativity.• To engage students with activities that present interesting, challenging problems to be explored.• To guide students in a way that encourages them to lead with their ideas and develop critical thinking skills.
The Buzz• Inquiry-Based Education• Problem-Based Learning• 21st Century Skills• Child-centered or student-led learning• Differentiated Instruction• Hands-on Learning
The Problem From Dan Meyer’s TED Talk “Math class needs a makeover,” March 2012 http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_meyer_math_curriculum_makeover.html
The Problem• Many textbooks use “recipes” rather than experiments.• Procedures lead students to the answers and provide only the data they need to some obvious problem.• Supplies and variables are limited.
An Example From Glencoe Science, Chapter Resources, Force and Newton’s Laws, Hands-On Activities, Reproducible Student Pages
Science vs. Engineering From “21st Century Skills” by Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel, pgs. 92, 93.
The Heart of Design• Consider engineering – Select a problem to solve. – Select an item, process or system to modify, adapt or improve. – Set a challenge by limiting materials, placing time constraints or adjusting other variables.
Project Cycle “At the heart of an effective learning project is the project cycle: define, plan, do, and review — the ‘wheels’ of the project for both students and teachers. ‘Steering’ the project is the real world question or problem that drives students to research and find appropriate answers or solutions. The gauges of project progress are the formative evaluations and assessments that guide the learning along the way, the ‘brakes’ determine the pace of the project, and the learning ‘gear’ is the sum of theFrom “21st Century Skills” by Bernie Trilling learning resources, human and technological, available toand Charles Fadel, pgs. 96-107. support the project work.”
Design ProcessFrom “Design Thinking for Educators” by Riverdale Country School and IDEO, April 2011
Engineering Design Process From NASA. http://www.nasa.gov/ From PBS Design Squad Teacher’s audience/foreducators/plantgrowth/reference/ Guide, Eng_Design_5-12.html http://pbskids.org/designsquad/
Design Cycle “Our recommended approach for solving problems is the design loop. Learners can enter the loop at any point because ideas can originate from anywhere. It should also be noted that there are a myriad of miniloops within this model. The mini-loop of testing, modification, and retesting is common in most design projects.”From “Inquiry by Design Briefs” by Julia Gooding and Bill Metz inScience Scope, November 2007
Scientific Method vs. Design Cycle• What kinds of topics or projects are better suited to a design cycle, rather than the scientific method? • Physics: forces & motion, friction, gravity, simple machines, waves and fluids • Chemistry: molecular structure, materials • Biology: genetics • Earth Science: distillation, water filtration, solar energy, telescopes • Math: area and perimeter, geometry
Transforming an Activity• Dig out the problem; find the challenge – What is your “ah ha” moment? – What do you want your students to discover? – What concept do you want students to explore deeply? – Where is there room for creativity? – What variables have a lot of opportunity for modification?• Make the challenge clear to everyone.
Transforming an Activity• Give the students room to innovate. – Leave the activity open ended. Don’t make the path too clear. Model the activity with care. – Provide a wide variety of materials. Let students bring in materials. – Allow time! Break the project into several sessions if needed. – Provide support materials. Let the students research. – Encourage collaboration between students and between groups. This isn’t a competition.
Transforming an Activity• Let students ask questions.• Use prompts. – How can we. . . – In what ways can we. . . – Can we make a item that will. . .• Ask students questions. – What does the item do? How does it act? – How can you change the materials to affect the action of the item? – How could we measure the change in the item or how the item works as we change materials? – What observations can we collect?
Transforming an Activity• Design the groups well. – Encourage positive interdependence. – Support and guide interactions within groups. – Make sure each students has a job.• Know when groups aren’t needed. – Consider partnerships or individual design.• Allow groups to merge or divide.
Transforming an Activity• Take breaks! – It’s important to evaluate results regularly. – Encourage students to share their knowledge and growing understanding. – Help students build the vocabulary needed to express their ideas. – Build new questions and challenges as you go! Be flexible.
Transforming an Activity• Flip the classroom. – Give students resources to help them review and explore concepts between classes.• Assess the results. – Construct a rubric. Consider “Novice, Apprentice, Master, Expert” rather than numerical values. – Consider breaking from a traditional lab report. • Can they make a video, photo collage, poster or power point presentation instead? • Can they design questions for a game or quiz? • Can the class create a website, blog or wiki on the project?
Warning!!!• You will hear, “I can’t.”• There will be frustration.• Some groups will “fail” at the task.• Some students will struggle to be creative.• That’s ok!
A Demonstration • What can we explore? – Force and motion – Friction – Gravity – Lift, weight, thrust and drag – Angular motion
Challenge Ideas• Student designed challenges – Who’s balloon can go fastest? Slowest? – Who can use the smallest or lightest balloon to travel the distance? – Who can use the largest or heaviest balloon to travel the distance without hitting the wall? – Who can design a balloon that does “tricks?”• Teacher designed challenge – Who can make their balloon reliably stop over an X placed under the line on the floor?
Questions and Answers• What are some “recipes” you’d like to transform?• What are some successes you can share?
References and Resources• Meyer, D. 2012. Math class needs a makeover. TED Talks. http:// www.ted.com/talks/dan_meyer_math_curriculum_ makeover.html• Fadel, C. and B. Trilling. 2009. 21st Century Skills. San Francisco: Wiley.• Everlove, S., N. Frey, and D. Fisher. 2009. Productive Group Work. Alexandria: ASCD.• Design Thinking for Educators. 2011. Riverdale Country School and IDEO.• Gooding, J. and B. Metz. 2007. Inquiry by Design Briefs. Science Scope. 45(3), 35-39.• Flannagan, J. and R. McMillan. 2009. From Cookbook to Experimental Design. Science and Children. 46(6), 46-50.• Capobianco, B. and N. Tyrie. 2009. Problem Solving by Design. Science and Children. 47(2), 38-41.
Further questions?Please keep in touch!Sandra RobertsKaleidoscope Learning908firstname.lastname@example.org