STEM and Project-Based Learning: What`s All the Excitement About?

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STEM and Project-Based Learning: What`s All the Excitement About?
S.T.E.M.(science, technology,
engineering, mathematics)
What’s all the excitement
about?
Curious Minds LLC – science through imagination and
investigations!
www.curiousminds.info
612.232.4400
Amy Blaubach, Educator, CEO
Tennis Ball Lift
• National Science Ed Standards: Physics, science as
inquiry
• Word: Engineer
• Skills Set: problem solving, team work,
communication, recording observations,
• Challenge: Design and build a contraption that will
lift a tennis ball 50 cm in to the air. You may build
using your hands however; the contraption must be
set in motion and lift the ball without using your hands.
• Challenge: Design and build a contraption that will lift a tennis ball 50
cm in to the air. You may build using your hands however; the
contraption must be set in motion and lift the ball without using your hands.
• Materials you may use (you may not need all of them but you may
NOT use any more than noted here):
• 1 dowel rod
• 2 cups
• 1 tennis ball
• 1 weight
• 4 ft string
• Scissors
• Tape as needed
The Engineering Design Process vs the Scientific Method
Benefits of the Engineering Design Process
 Invites the incorporation of instructional technology into
the curriculum
 Promotes higher order thinking skills
Benefits of the Engineering Design Process
 Engineering is differentiated: offers an “in” for
learners of all types
Students with unique needs
Traditional classroom
Benefits of the Engineering Design Process
 Directly connected with improvement of living
conditions/safety/health and welfare of people.

Rich cross-curricular possibilities.
Plate Tectonics and Land Forms
National Science Education Standards: earth and space science, geography, social
Studies
Materials: play-doh, foam squares, oranges, index cards, tubs for water
Objective: Students will understand how landforms are made; in particular,
lakes, volcanoes, mountain ranges and rivers.
Vocab: Pangaea, fault lines-plate tectonics, magma
1. Inquiry questions:
What are some changes that happen to landforms in the world daily? Yearly?
What changes have happened over millions of years?
How have these changes made the Earth look as it does today?
Plate Tectonics and Landform continued…
2. Introduce layers of the Earth. Explain that the crust (our land and water)
is made up of pieces, like a puzzle called plates. (7 large and several small plates)
The outer part of the mantle is a hot liquid.
If solid, formations were laid over a liquid, what would happen?
3. Students will do experiment with a bucket and
foam squares.
Have students write “tectonic plates”
on a foam square.
Cut up the foam square in to at least 5 pieces.
Lay it in a bucket of water and observe what
will happen.
Plate Tectonics and Landform continued…
Think about it, if a single plate moves only 1/2 inch per year, that means
it moves:
•
5" in 10 years
•
50" in 100 years
•
500" in 1,000 years
•
5,000" in 10,000 years
•
50,000" in 100,000 years
•
500,000" (or about 8 miles) in 1 million years
Orange activity
Plate Tectonics and Landform continued…
Salt Dough Landforms
River
Land
Water
Mountain
Land
Volcano
Land
Water
Water
Peninsula
Land
Lake
Land
Water
Plain
Land
Draw and label where the landforms mentioned above are located in the United States.
Plateau
Water
Water
Choose at least 3 types of landforms for your
island:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Mountain
River
Volcano
Peninsula
Lake
Plain
Desert
Canyon
Island Name
Location
Landforms
Weather
People
Disciplines incorporated into this project:
Earth science
Art
Mathematics
Geography
Social studies
English
May easily incorporate
technology & engineering among
others.
Q&A
Curious Minds LLC – science through imagination and
investigations!
www.curiousminds.info
612.232.4400
Amy Blaubach, Educator, CEO

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