Strategy #1 Use the Science Practices as a framework for lesson plans.
Unpacking the Lesson Plan Framework
Day 1: Introduce the design problem and ask kids, “What do you need to know to solve this problem?” Students develop their own research questions. To add your content standards, put in a science content standard as a question. For example, in the design of a blade for a wind turbine, my students wanted to know, “Should the blades be curved?” I also used “What is the difference between Newton’s Laws of Motion?” and “What is Bernoulli’s Principle?”
Day 2: Evaluate the questions as a class. Start by looking for question patterns. As you find repeated questions or words, develop the best way to revise the question so it is easier to search. My 8th graders need lots of scaffolding with this so I am helping them wordsmith by asking, “How would search that question?” Make a class list of research questions by using a shared document.
Next, partner up the students and divvy up the questions for answering. Allow them to cut and paste answers & images. Demand that they include URL’s so they can go back to the site when they need it later in the unit. The use of Google images and movies is important. Most people learn better when it is in an image or a movie. Make sure they have that URL so they can go back to the answer when they need it. The purpose of the document is a reference document. They will use it to develop design ideas and then to write about their design ideas.
Day 3: Use those Google images and ask students to evaluate the information. The image is a conceptual model. What did you learn from this image? How does it help solve the problem?
Below is a student sample.
Think about all the Reading Common Core Skills tapped in two days!
Stay Tuned for Practical STEM Strategy #1 Part #2