This project is built on the collaboration between the Department of Construction Management at the University of Washington (UW-CM) and selected K-12 schools in the Seattle area. Relying on Experiential and Contextual Learning (ECL), this collaborative effort will identify and deliver activities for innovating STEM+ Learning and Teaching.
To date, two schools are actively collaborating with UW-CM such as Franklin High School and Dearborn Park Elementary school. Both schools are public and their student population is significantly diverse. For instance, Franklin High School students are 51% Asian descent, 33% African American, 7% Caucasian, 8% Latino, and 1% American Indian respectively. Dearborn Park Elementary School students are 43% Asian descent, 34% African American, 3% Caucasian, 17% Hispanic, and 2% American Indian respectively.
Findings & Achievements:
UW-CM is working with teachers at each school to develop specific and integrated activities for 5th, 10th and 11th graders. For instance, UW-CM is developing a three phase procedure to promote the learning of engineering and math concepts by fabricating and utilizing educational toys: PHASE 1 - High-school students in the classes of Introduction to Engineering (10th grade) and Principle of Engineering (11th grade) produce the design of the educational toys according to provided specifications. Thus, these students will apply engineering concepts to translate the specifications into design documents (e.g., blue-prints and/or a 3D model of the object); PHASE 2 - High-school students in the class Wood Technology (10th grade) fabricate the toys according to the provided design documents. Thus, these students will apply engineering concepts to read the design documents, and math concepts to translate the design documents into actual objects (e.g., the students have to determine how much material is needed to fabricate the toy); and, PHASE 3 - The toys are provided to the elementary students and used to strengthen the learning of math-related concepts. One of the educational toys that we are developing is called the house model. The goal of the House Model is to support the elementary students in visualizing the concept of perimeter, area, and volume of simple and complex plane shapes. In particular, the students will be provided with: • An assemblable house model (Figure 1 and 2); • Square (1”x1”) and isosceles right triangle tiles (half of a 1”x1” square); and, • Cubes (1”x1”x1”, 2”x2”x2”, and 4”x4”x4”) and isosceles right triangle prisms (half of a 2”x2”x2” cube). By using the provided material, the students can perform several activities: Activity 1 – Build the house The students can choose among the different walls to build a house that they like, or the teacher can provide instructions to build a house with specific features. For instance, the teacher can tell the students that all windows must be rectangular, and explain why windows are generally rectangular in actual houses. Activity 2 – Calculate the Floor and Wall Perimeter and Area The students use the tiles to tile the house elements (Figure 3). Thus, the students can calculate the perimeter and area of all the house floor and walls by counting the tiles and using standard perimeter and area formulas. Activity 3 – Calculate the House Volume The students use the cubes and isosceles right triangle prisms to fill the house rooms. Thus, the students can calculate the volume of the house rooms by counting the cubes and using standard volume formulas (Figure 4 and 5). Further, the students can add and subtract fractions by using the different cubes (1”x1”x1”, 2”x2”x2”, and 4”x4”x4”) and the isosceles right triangle prisms (half of a 2”x2”x2” cube). To date, the HP mobile machines proved to be extremely useful in managing the extensive coordination efforts and developing the education toys prototypes.
Collaboration within Catalyst:
Franklin High School, Seattle, WA and Dearborn Park Elementary school, Seattle, WA