Practical STEM Strategy #1 Part #3

Strategy #1 Use the Science Practices as a framework for lesson plans. Using this strategy I can assess how well students use science practices as well as the student understanding of science content.

Recap of Parts #1&2: Students completed research to help solve a design problem. They sketched their solutions and collaborated to find the best possible solution. Finally they completed investigations to gather data. With the additional information,  designs evolve.

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Day 11-12: Students have completed the research including science content questions. They have conducted an investigation and now have data to support a design solution. With all this new information, it’s time to make additional changes to the designs. I like to track the design changes by asking the students at this point to tell me what changes they made and why. They collaborate again and show one another design solutions. I use Revit Architecture and students create 3D designs. When the 3D design are completed, the class shows off their designs in a Gallery Walk, walking from computer to computer evaluating design solutions.

Finally students defend their design solutions using the data from the investigation and the research. Students write a formal report. I use Easy Bib because it is so easy to put in citations. Below is a student sample. The student design problem was, “How can we design an eco-friendly Animal Rehabilitation Center?”

Design Defense

The company EB Animal Rescue is pitching a design idea for the new Eco-Friendly Animal Rehabilitation Center that will be developed sometime within the coming years. There are many components to the design plan. The most vital of all the units involved with the arrangement is the Eco-Friendly factor. There will be a solar energy source hidden behind a forest in the animals’ makeshift environment. Solar panels will generate heat and energy for the whole building. There will also be big windows installed around the edge of the enclosure to promote radiation. The sunlight will make its way inside the building through the windows and then heat it up. The insulation built into the walls will keep the heat from escaping as a way of conduction. When experimenting on this design, we found that the temperature can rise 10 degrees fahrenheit or more when done to scale. There would also be an alternate heat and cooling source in case the environmentally sound plan develops problems. Consequently, these energy sources will give back to the Earth, and hopefully preserve our natural resources.

These animals are endangered, and to create an environment for them that is eco-friendly would help resolve problems created by oil spills and not recycling. This is the best possible situation because these animals have already been robbed the vast majority of their species. So the fact that it is eco-friendly would balance out the good and bad purposes of the habitat. In the end, it all winds up as a positive effect for the Earth.

The need for a sustainable energy source is one of the most important qualities of this building. Everyday, we are starting to evolve and move more into the future, where new technologies are invented to advocate for the Earth. “A continuous investment in technology and innovation is vital to meet the rising energy demands of the world. The innovation assists in developing long-term, low-cost and more competent energy solutions.” (Zacks 1) If we continue to use the Earth’s non renewable energy, then someday we will run out. To prevent this from happening, the article is stating that we find other ways to heat or cool a building along with other requirements for energy. Not only does this design of the rehabilitation center have a new energy source, but it also has many more interesting qualities. Included in the final design are a medical facility and a research lab. Also, the caretakers of the animals have space to relax and live. There are beds, a small kitchen, and some bathrooms in a small enclosure alongside a visitor center. The space has enough room for two animals, and it is specifically fitted to their natural environment. There are two very big freshwater lakes used as water sources and just regular places for the animals to relax. There are paths running throughout the jungle environment. There is a rehab center and a meeting room located on the left side of the enclosure. Unbelievably, the animals will disregard the human spaces and only roam the environment that they belong to.

In conclusion, Earth energy is the best solution because of many reasons. You can give back to the Earth, and help prevent global warming and other problems that we could have in the future. Also, you won’t strip the world of resources like coal or oil. Chose EB Animal Rescue for the most environmentally friendly design.


“Report: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Revisited 25 Years Later | Response.Restoration.Noaa.Gov.” Report: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Revisited 25 Years Later | N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2015. <;

“Statoil, GE Team Up To Develop Eco-Friendly Energy Solutions.” Zacks Investment Research. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2015. <;


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