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Bringing Engineering into Middle Schools: Learning Science and Math through Guided Inquiry and Engineering Design

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Bringing Engineering into Middle Schools: Learning Science and Math through Guided Inquiry and Engineering Design Larry G. Richards Christine Guy Schnittka – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Bringing Engineering into Middle Schools: Learning Science and Math through Guided Inquiry and Engineering Design


1
Bringing Engineering into Middle Schools
Learning Science and Math through Guided Inquiry
and Engineering Design
  • Larry G. Richards
  • Christine Guy Schnittka
  • University of Virginia
  • ASEE K -12 Workshop
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • June 16, 2006

2
Introductions
  • Who are you?
  • Name
  • From where?
  • Subjects taught
  • Teaching for how long?
  • Who are we?

3
To begin
  • A few questions

4
Name some famous scientists
5
Name some famous engineers
6
Do you know?
  • Dean Kamen
  • Burt Rutan
  • Ray Kurtzweil
  • Carver Mead
  • Bill Gates
  • Alan Kay
  • Dave Kelley (IDEO)

7
Some major engineering achievements
  • 20. High performance materials
  • 19. Nuclear technologies
  • 18. Laser and fiber optics
  • 17. Petroleum and petrochemical technologies
  • 16. Health technologies

8
Some major engineering achievements
  • 15. Household appliances
  • 14. Imaging
  • 13. Internet
  • 12. Spacecraft
  • 11. Highways

9
Some major engineering achievements
  • 10. Air conditioning and Refrigeration
  • 9. Telephone
  • 8. Computers
  • 7. Agricultural Mechanization
  • 6. Radio and Television

10
Some major engineering achievements
  • 5. Electronics
  • 4. Water supply and distribution
  • 3. Airplane
  • 2. Automobile
  • 1. Electrification

11
What do scientists do?
12
What do engineers do?
13
What is engineering?
  • What do engineers do?
  • Engineers design and build things.
  • Engineers create technology.
  • Engineering is different from Science.

14
Herb Simon
  • Science is the study of what is.
  • Engineering is the creation of what is to be.

15
Engineering is different from science.
  • Science
  • Discovery
  • Understanding
  • Knowledge
  • Natural world
  • The world as we found it
  • Engineering
  • Design
  • Creating/producing
  • Technology
  • Artificial world
  • The world we create

16
Design
  • The man-made world
  • The creation of artifacts
  • Adapting the environment to our needs and desires
  • Concern of engineers, architects, and artists

17
Design as problem solving
  • Given
  • Problem specification
  • Initial conditions
  • Constraints
  • Standards/regulations
  • Find a Solution

18
Design is creative
  • Design problems
  • Open-ended
  • Ill-defined (vague)
  • Multiple alternatives
  • Generate lots of solutions

19
Design is Experimental and Iterative
  • Getting it right takes many tries
  • The first cut is rarely good enough
  • Some designs fail
  • Even if satisfactory, most designs can be
    improved
  • Once it works, refine it

20
Design cycle
  • Requirements, problem
  • Generate ideas
  • Initial concept
  • Rough design
  • Prototype
  • Detailed design
  • Redesign

21
Design
  • The core problem solving process of technological
    development
  • It is as fundamental to technology as inquiry is
    to science or reading is to language arts

22
Serious Problems in Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math Education
  • Declining enrollments in engineering programs
  • Numbers of women and minority students in
    engineering are not representative of general
    population
  • Lower science and math test scores of US high
    school students with respect to the rest of the
    industrial world
  • Technological illiteracy

23
What does it take to become an engineer?
  • Math
  • Science
  • Creativity

24
VMSEEI
  • The Virginia Middle Schools Engineering Education
    Initiative (VMSEEI) will design, implement, test
    and evaluate engineering teaching kits to be
    used by teachers and student teachers to
    facilitate engineering instruction in middle
    schools.

25
Engineering Teaching Kits
  • The engineering teaching kits (ETKs) will allow
    teachers to instruct students on selected
    engineering concepts and procedures within the
    context of preexisting science and mathematics
    classes

26
Engineering Teaching Kits
  • ETKs will include a strong focus on design and
    innovation, how things work, how things are made,
    and the social and environmental impacts of
    technology.
  • The ETKs will involve active, hands-on,
    cooperative learning students will work in teams
    to solve problems and design solutions.

27
Each ETK will include
  • A student guide explaining key concepts and
    methods
  • A teachers guide
  • Plans for demonstrations and experiments
  • Where appropriate a computer-based component
    (such as a demonstration or simulation).

28
Some concerns
  • Meeting state and national standards (VA SOLs,
    Massachusetts, NCES, Benchmarks, ITEA)
  • Making ETKs Female Friendly
  • Incorporating ethical, environmental, aesthetic,
    cultural and social issues
  • Conveying the excitement and importance of
    engineering

29
Our current team
  • Larry G. Richards Mechanical and Aerospace
    Engineering
  • Chris Schnittka Curry School PhD Candidate
  • Randy Bell Curry School of Education
  • Students
  • Engineering
  • Education
  • Teachers from schools in Central Virginia

30
New senior design course
  • Creativity and New Product Development
  • Focused on the design, implementation, and
    testing of ETKs
  • Multidisciplinary teams
  • Fifth offering 2006-2007

31
Designing experiences for students
  • Conceptually structured
  • Evidence-based
  • Materials-centered
  • Project-based
  • Inquiry-oriented

32
Under Pressure
33
The Pressure Begins
  • Assemble tank
  • Gather materials
  • Revise and finalize lesson plans
  • Test all activities
  • Teacher meetings

34
The Tank
35
Materials
36
Lesson Plans and Worksheets
  • Day 1 Density
  • Day 2 Buoyant Force, Drag, Propulsion
  • Day 3 Preliminary Vehicle Design and
    Construction
  • Day 4 Testing and Revision of Vehicle Designs
  • Day 5 Final Testing Day

37
Teacher Meeting
  • Met with Arlene Terrell, Karen Power, and Bill
    Sterrett
  • Went over supplies needed, lesson plans,
    logistics

38
The Pressure Mounts
  • Day 1 Density
  • Coke vs. Diet Coke intro
  • Finding Mass and Volume
  • Why do things float?
  • Density Graph

39
The Pressure Continues
  • Day 2 Buoyant Force, Drag, Propulsion
  • Forces acting on an object moving through water
  • Three stations, one for each concept

40
Buoyant Force
  • Illustrated apparent loss of weight when an
    object is submerged
  • A force pushes up on an object when submerged
  • Neutral Buoyancy

41
Drag
  • Illustrated orientation of an object in a fluid
    effects force on object, i.e. drag
  • Students timed objects moving through honey

42
Propulsion
  • Reviewed Newtons Laws emphasizing the third law
  • Conducted balloon demo

43
Applied Pressure
  • Day 3 4 Design and Construction of Underwater
    Vehicle
  • Introduce engineering design process and problem
    statement
  • Calculate mass and volume necessary to make
    submersible neutrally buoyant
  • Start building!

44
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45
The Pressure Peaks
  • Day 5 Final Competition
  • Each team demonstrates their vehicles
    capabilities
  • Success is determined by
  • Vehicle being neutrally buoyant
  • Ability to pass through rings

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The Pressure Release
  • What We Learned
  • Emphasize engineering
  • Uniform engineering design process
  • Time constraints
  • One teacher not enough?
  • Group Dynamics

51
Ra Power
  • Solar model car design

52
RECENT SIGNIFICANT SOLAR APPLICATIONS
Clockwise from top left The UVA Solar Car Team,
The UVA Solar House, The UVA Solar Airship,
The International Space Station, NASA
Sojourner Rover.
53
HOW DOES A SOLAR CAR WORK?
HOW IT WORKS
Energy Transfer
  • Light hits the Solar Cell.
  • Light Energy gets converted to Electrical
  • Energy (Voltage and Current) through the
  • Solar Cell.
  • The Motor converts the Electrical Energy to
  • Mechanical Energy.
  • Directly or through Gears or Pulleys the
  • Mechanical Energy drives the wheels.

54
THE COMPETITION THE WORLDS STRONGEST MODEL
SOLAR CAR
An interesting twist on the overdone solar car
drag race Students will be asked to build a car
based on power rather than speed. The winning
car will be the one that pulls the most weight.
55
Ra Power
  • Your turn to design and build a model solar car.
  • Solar cells
  • Motors
  • Wheels
  • Car bodies

56
Ra Power
  • Go to it!

57
Ra Power
  • The design competition

58
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63
Ra Power
  • What did you learn from this experience?
  • Can you see a project like this working in your
    class?

64
Another (abbreviated) ETK
  • Catapults In Action Projectile motion
  • Base structures
  • Springs
  • Bolts
  • Tasks
  • Build a catapult that can be modified to achieve
    accuracy or distance.

65
Other ETKs
  • The Green Team Sustainable Design
  • S.M.A.R.F. Simple Machines
  • Brainiacs Brain tumor treatment technology gels
    and brain perfusion
  • Destructural Mechanics Engineering materials and
    the design of structures

66
Other ETKs
  • Pump It Up Human circulatory system
    functioning, heart disease, fluid flow, and
    artificial heart pumps
  • Alternative Energy Resources Primarily wind
    power
  • Losing Stability Designing and building stable
    floating structures
  • Aerospace Engineering planes and rockets

67
  Other ETKs
  • Bio - Mech - a Tek designing devices to
    achieve armfunctions  
  • Get Stressed building bridges from everyday
    materials   
  • Sustainable House Design construction,
    insulation, energy sources, water and waste
    management   
  • Crane Corp Simple Machines for complex tasks

68
Other ETKs    
  • Aspects of the Crash protecting vehicle
    occupants
  • Filtering Ideas Water Filtration
  • HoverHoos Hovercraft design
  • Crash and Burn Cars racing off a ramp.
  • Roller Coaster Physics keeping marbles on track
    on curves and hills
  • Transformers Energy Transformation

69
Your turn
  • Questions???
  • Comments!!!
  • Suggestions

70
Turning Projects into Products
  • Student teams
  • initial concepts and materials
  • Classroom trials
  • Feedback from Students
  • Feedback from teachers
  • Teacher reactions

71
Test environments
  • Middle school classes
  • Summer Enrichment Program
  • Introduction to Engineering Summer Program
  • After school programs

72
Our pedagogical approach
  • Directed inquiry
  • Well defined concepts to be mastered
  • We lead the students through the process of
    discovery
  • Embedded authentic assessment
  • Reflection

73
Engineering emphasis
  • Hands-on experimentation
  • Lab sheets fill in the details
  • Measurement, data analysis and display
  • Design challenge

74
You have seen our approach
  • What topics in your curriculum should we address
    with ETKs?
  • What concepts or problems can you think for which
    the engineering design approach makes sense?

75
Our sponsors
  • Payne Family Foundation
  • National Science Foundation
  • NSF ECC 0230609
  • Bridges to Engineering Education
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