Engaging K-12 Students in Integrated STEM via 3D Digitization, Printing and Paleontology
The goal of this Strategies project is to expand and extend our understanding of integrated STEM learning by designing and testing a model for K-12 STEM engagement using a highly relevant but unexplored educational pathway to K-12 STEM – paleontology. Paleontology, or the scientific study of fossils, is a broad, interdisciplinary field that spans biology and geology, and harnesses the resources provided by advanced technologies and modern statistics. Our team of K-12 teachers, museum professionals, 3D digitization industry experts, and STEM education scholars will design, implement, and study a paleontology-focused and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aligned curriculum that infuses cutting-edge 3D scanning and printing technologies in K-12 science. Authentic paleontological data, model-based reasoning, and socio-scientific problem solving will provide rich experiences integrating all 4 STEM disciplines in K-12 science and contribute to cultivating students’ interest and identity in STEM. Students will develop scientific habits of mind (e.g., curiosity, informed skepticism), employ scientific and engineering practices (e.g., developing and using models, analyzing and interpreting data), engage with the concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries (e.g., patterns, scale, change), and explore relevant disciplinary core ideas in physical and life sciences.
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