Engineering

Accessible Playground Design: A Community-Connected Elementary Engineering Unit Focused on Designing Accessible Playground Equipment

In the ConnecTions in the Making project, researchers and district partners work to develop and study community-connected, integrated science and engineering curriculum units that support diverse elementary students’ science and engineering ideas, practices, and attitudes. In the community-connected units, students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades use human-centered design strategies to prototype and share functional solutions to a design challenge rooted in the students’ local community while scientifically exploring the phenomena and mechanisms related to the challenge.

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Urban youth and the environmental commons: rejuvenating civic engagement through civic science

Civic-science integrates science knowledge with civic practice but differs from the citizen-science prototype by reframing science as a public good and citizens as both recipients of and actors in policy. We draw from our studies of a civic-science model in which adolescents (majority African-American) collaborate with teachers and community partners to mitigate an environmental problem in their urban community.

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Applications of 3D Paleontological Data at the Florida Museum of Natural History

The past decade has seen an exponential increase of innovative applications of 3D technology in the geosciences. Here, we present a case study from the Florida Museum of Natural History applied to the multidisciplinary field of paleontology. We have deployed 3D scanning and printing techniques for the purposes of scientific research, formal education, and informal outreach. Depending on the application of the 3D file, different techniques are utilized to create high-fidelity models of physical fossil specimens or geologic field sites.

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Simulation Technology and Student Engagement

An authentic learning environment with the integration of technology can effectively engage students and improve their academic performance. Technology can support learning situations that relate to real life, and provide opportunities for inquiry and collaboration, fostering engagement. This paper will provide details of an authentic learning environment that utilizes flight simulation software to engage middle school students in the learning of several math and science concepts. Active learning lessons were developed using missions flown on the flight simulator.

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Engagement in Practice: STEM Engagement through Mentoring

The declining levels of U.S. student achievement in mathematics and science were brought into focus by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, which stated that the U.S., especially at the elementary and secondary levels, is struggling to remain competitive with other nations in STEM education (PCAST, 2010). Furthermore, according to a report issued by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NCES, 2015), less than 30 percent of students enrolled in the U.S. are proficient in the areas of science or mathematics.

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Mapping Students’ Engineering Processes with Design Zones

The engineering design process (EDP) can be a wonderful tool to nurture creative problem-solving abilities, prepare students to tackle problems with intentional planning, and encourage learning from failures. Many lesson plans and instructional strategies are guided by the EDP (Hill Cunningham, Mott, and Hunt 2018). Visual representations of the EDP often show a set of actions arranged in a cycle.

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Impacting Teacher and Counselor Practices as They Support Traditionally Underrepresented Students to Pursue STEM Majors and Careers

This Innovative Practice Work in Progress paper presents Catalyzing Inclusive STEM Experiences All Year Round (CISTEME365), a multi-year project funded by the National Science Foundation. We designed a networked community of middle/high school teachers, counselors, and administrators focused on improved understanding and promoting practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue science, engineering, technology, and mathematics (STEM) careers.

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Embedding Life Design in Future Readiness Efforts to Promote Collective Impact and Economically Sustainable Communities: Conceptual Frameworks and Case Example

This is the first of two sequential papers describing the design and first-year implementation of a collaborative participatory action research effort between Sociedad Latina, a youth serving organization in Boston, Massachusetts, and Boston University. The collaboration aimed to develop and deliver a combined STEM and career development set of lessons for middle school Latinx youth. In the first paper, life design and the U.N.

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Building Community Capacity for Integrating Engineering in Rural Middle School Science Classrooms

Broadening participation in engineering is an important national priority and has led to increasing demands for engineering content to be integrated into traditional K-12 curriculum. However, expecting teachers to incorporate en- gineering into their classrooms without additional training or resources is unreasonable. Partnering teachers with industry partners is one promising way to prioritize integrated science and engineering content while also introducing youth to pos- sible career paths.

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A different Environment for Success:” A Mixed-Methods Exploration of Social Participation Outcomes Among Adolescents On the Autism Spectrum in an Inclusive, Interest-based School Club

Background: Adolescents on the autism spectrum often experience challenges participating socially in inclusive education. The majority of school-based social supports focuses on social skills training, although research shows that students on the spectrum prefer activity-based social groups over social instructions. Thus, activity-based school clubs incorporating student interests may support social participation.

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