Griffin Spalding County School System - STEM Curriculum Ahead of the Pack

On March 3, Cowan Road Middle Technology Teacher Amber Smith and Kennedy Road Middle Technology Teacher James Ray, along with Georgia Tech CEISMC (Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing) AMP-IT-UP Program Director Jeff Rosen, shared GSCS successes at the 2016 International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) Conference in Washington, DC.
Their presentation "The New Power Tool: Student Generated Data" launched the newly-developed STEM Innovation and Design (STEM-ID) curriculum for sixth through ninth grade students.

The curriculum was developed by Jeff Rosen, engineering and robotics program director, and Dr. Roxanne Moore, research engineer, from Georgia Tech CEISMC through the National Science Foundation Math & Science Partnership AMP-IT-UP. The curriculum engages students in experimental design, data driven decision making and prototyping to solve a client driven problem.

The 18-week problem-based learning (PBL) engineering courses present students with a design challenge based on research at Georgia Tech, where each challenge relies heavily on applied mathematics and science concepts. In the sixth grade course, Carnival Tycoon Challenge, students explore the engineering design process and entrepreneurial thinking in the context of a carnival. In the seventh grade course, Flight of Fancy Challenge, students pose as new airline companies and redesign airplanes to be more comfortable, profitable and environmentally friendly. In the eighth grade course, Robot Rescue Challenge, students further their understanding of the engineering design process and entrepreneurship.

GSCS technology teachers piloted the curriculum in all four middle schools. This was the third school year to pilot the curriculum for Carver Road Middle School and Cowan Road Middle School and the first for Kennedy Road Middle School and Rehoboth Road Middle School. All four GSCS middle school technology teachers collaborated and made suggestions to improve to the curriculum before it was finalized.

Kennedy Road Middle School Technology Teacher James Ray said, “The presentation attendees were very excited about the use of the engineering design process log and were interested in our viewpoints of implementing this project-based learning curriculum in our classrooms.”

“While attending other sessions at this conference and discussion with others I realize that our current curriculum seems further advanced than the emerging STEM curriculum. This discovery made me feel ecstatic to be a part of a program that was ahead of the pack,” stated Cowan Road Middle School Technology Teacher Amber Smith.

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  • ITEEA 2016 PIC

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