Tag Archives: engineering

Free STEM & PBL Resources… eGFI Is Dreaming Up The Future!

Welcome the third in a series of summer posts dedicated to bringing you the biggest collections of national and international resources you will find anywhere. Summer is a  perfect time to examine what you just might want to include in next year’s lesson plans that will engage your students. I plan to share resources that will cover all the curricular areas. Each article will give an in-depth and informative visit to one of these sites. Make sure you bookmark, copy, RSS, subscribe by email and visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! You will want to share! If it is not summer where you are, then you can jump right in and facilitate learning with some new material  tomorrow. I will announce each post on twitter at (mjgormans) so be sure to follow. – Mike

If you have been trying to dream up some great STEM and PBL related material then eGFI, brought to you by the the American Society For Engineering Education (ASEE), is a great place for you to visit! This first class organization who’s mission is to dream up the future, is committed to promoting and enhancing efforts to improve K-12 STEM and engineering education. At first glance it is apparent that this web site is a dream of student centered and actively engaging resources. It now time to go beyond that first glance. You will be amazed at the number of videos, resources, lessons, and activities that are ready for you to integrate.

Once you are done moving  the different pictures of resources around on the entry site, a great place to start is at What’s New.  In What’s New, you will beintroduced to some of the most amazing cutting edge inventions, or perhaps you will want to visit E-Tube filled with video titles like Engineers Are Cool, Stanford Researchers Make Paper Battery,  The Great Space Elevator, and Robot Football! In fact E-Tube contains over one hundred engaging videos covering the major topics of competitions, cool stuff, TV shows, in the field, and in the classroom. Perhaps you want to connect instruction with careers. Then dream on with Trailblazers, a place to connect studies with people in the field. Here you will find interesting people and the interesting things they do related to STEM careers.  If that doesn’t get you dreaming then be sure to check out the lower right hand corner of the page that will take you to 15 different STEM related industries through a funky, yet fun interface. Dream on with eGFI’s amazing Student Blog! This highly engaging blog assists upper elementary, middle and high school students as they explore the various fields of engineering and STEM related fields, plan their own projects, and get the information they need to decide whether an engineering or STEM related career is right for them.

Engineer Your Path provides a great place for students to dream about a possible STEM related future. Here you can meet a student, discover 10 essential steps toward getting in a STEM field, discover what it is like to be on the job, and just get great advice. Great information for schools interested in exploring career pathways! Be sure to read the magazine, filled with cool topics and linked to great videos. You may wish to join the thousands of teachers receiving fresh lesson plans and activities, news, feature articles and web resources every week by email. Check out this archive of teacher newsletters and then sign up here. Do your students want to learn more about The Making of Avatar, 3D Printing, and the The Kepler telescope. Each week, the eGFI student newsletter presents fun and interesting engineering innovations, STEM related topics, and great discussion topics for class. Sign up for the student newsletter and encourage your students to do so, as well. You can check out past newsletters here.

If I have you are dreaming of future possibilities for your classroom then be sure to check out the for teachers link!  This will turn your dreams into a reality! This hard to spot link in the upper right corner of the What’s New Page is one you do not want to miss. You will find close to 100 amazing lesson plans for K12, another large selection of activities that will put your students at the center of project based learning,  over 300 outreach organizations and events, close to 300 web resources devoted to STEM,  special feature articles that feature STEM related education, and some great K12 education news. eGFI is an amazing teacher resource area that could keep you dreaming all season long! If you or teachers you facilitate have an interest in STEM and PBL, then eGFI is a great place to get both you and your students dreaming up the future!

Thus, my focus, to share with you vast resources such as eGI this summer! Take some time to investigate and possibly implement in the school year,  or tomorrow! I will continue to bring thought, reflection, and amazing web apps along with this summer series. Please share with others, visit the 21centuryedtech Wiki, follow on me twitter (mjgormans), and subscribe to this blog by RSS or email . If you have resources that you feel need to be included please leave a reply!  Enjoy, relax, play, and smile…. also take a moment to transform education toward 21st Century Learning! – Mike

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Free STEM Programs For Probe Ware, PBL, And Computer Simulations

Last summer I had the opportunity to attend an awesome workshop presented by the Concord Consortium located in Concord, Massachusetts. Available through its ITSI Portal, you will find a collection of amazing free software that will allow classroom learning to come alive with a wide range of probe ware activities. It doesn’t stop there, because you will discover free ways  to connect probe ware and harness computer simulations  to facilitate content and skill application in science, math, computers, and engineering. There is even a project that allows students to build their own inexpensive probe ware!  Before you get the details, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS to this Blog and  follow me on twitter (@mjgormans). Have a wonderful week! – Mike

Time to learn about an outstanding organization serving up first class resources! The people at the Concord Consortium have developed a program that goes beyond the ordinary use of probe ware. It is an adventure that includes a perfect mix of technology and 21st century skills. You will find a true opportunity to engage students, allowing them to cross the disciplines and experience real world applications. These activities also allow students to work in a collaborative effort as they problem solve, analyze, and hypothesize. While the Concord Consortium does not supply the probe ware, they do provide free interface software support for all brands of probe ware. This includes facilitation for both Mac and Windows platform. If you don’t have any probe ware, no problem!  They even have an inexpensive soution on how to make your own. Yes, it’s true, they recommend a process of creating your own probe ware as an engaging student project.

The Concord Consortium has created over 100 activities that incorporate probes and models for middle school physical science, earth science, and life science. Included in these 100 activites are also lessons in High School biology, chemistry, and physics. These are outstanding, well thought out units, that give the teacher all the needed resources to facilitate real student learning. The lessons incorporate both on-line models and the java interface for probe ware. All lessons are made up of models, probe activities, or a combination along with supporting documents and on-line activities. Students will be engaged in designing inquiry based STEM activities that use computational models and real time data. Probes facilitate activities involving voltage, light, relative humidity, motion, pressure, and force.  The do-it-yourself probe ware kits allow students to build simple, inexpensive circuits that measure more than 14 different parameters. Models include activities such as atomic scale, global warming, circuits, and seismic eruptions. The included portal provides an area for teacher account set up, and for class and student log in. The ingenious interface allows for teachers to monitor student progress online as they work individually and in collaborative groups. Best of all, it is free and has been made possible by the people at the Concord Consortium and the National Science Foundation. Take a look at the links below, providing you access to the immense amount of resources available. You will be impressed with this outstanding program that supports probe ware, models, and true 21st century learning through STEM education.

I recommend the following: Watch this introduction video Next, look over this page devoted to the activities preview. Are you ready to sign up for an account? After you do, you will discover even more activities and resources. Visit this link to register. Be sure to check out this getting started page with videos on many topics. Last, here is a link that provides build it yourself information that really won’t bust the budget!

Thanks for joining me on this adventure in 21st Century Education! As always please check out the resources and share this post with others!  I look forward to you subscribing by RSS or email. I am also on twitter at (mjgormans) and I will follow back!  Take a moment to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki that includes hundreds of free resources to expand your 21st century collection! I have some great info coming your way on 21st Century Learning, Google advanced searching, and cool collaborative applications in the near future! Please enjoy and share! -Mike

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Free STEM And PBL Resources From Discovery Education and Siemens

What an appropriate time to  celebrate the NSTA Conference with a tribute to an awesome collection of  STEM resources! For those not familiar with STEM education, imagine the power in combining Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math into a program that brings cross curricular understanding with real world application. Those familiar with Daniel Pink even understand the importance of a fine arts contribution to STEM. Now combine the outstanding and first rate resources of Siemens Corporation and Discovery Education. Welcome to a posting that highlights a great web site based on STEM, PBL, and 21st Century education!  Don’t miss any part of this posting, including the conclusion which includes what may be the best free professional development opportunity for STEM educators this summer! As always feel free to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans) and I will be sure to follow you back and we can learn from one another! You are also invited to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! Please enjoy and share this post with others! Have a great week! – Mike

I have been working with STEM education and Project Based Learning for over ten years! I have presented on this topic at  regional and national conferences along with facilitating in-service at various schools. When I first visited the Siemen’s STEM Academy I was amazed at the resources already collected in the short time this website has been online.  It is evident, as stated in the website, “Siemens is committed to supporting the next generation of scientists, engineers, and business leaders through multiple educational initiatives.” Additionally, Discovery Education has a reputation of delivering not only a diverse and highly engaging streaming service, but also a commitment to programs that are transforming classroom instruction across the nation.

The first thing you may notice are links to some STEM activities that have been well known for their past success. This includes the  Siemens Competition which allows high school students to gain national recognition as they explore Math, Science & Technology with challenging research. Visit Siemens Science Day where elementary students can make slime, create creatures, or forecast a funnel cloud. The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge empowers students in all grades to participate in the only national challenge to develop and share environmental ideas that just might just change the world. The Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement encourages advanced placement students today to advance innovation for tomorrow.

Perhaps you want to check out the Professional Development Webinar Page featuring upcoming webinars such as;  Getting Started with Project Based Learning with Jennifer Dorman on April 8,  7 PM ET and Layers of Learning with Google Earth with Brad Fountain May 4, 7 PM ET. Take a look at the outstanding archive of ready to watch webinars including;  How Math Can Solve Everyday Problems, Using Technology To Create New KnowledgeTop Ten STEM ResourcesSTEM Connect with Michio Kaku, Live Green Webinar #1Live with Mr. Wizard!Summer School – Science Week, The Science of Hurricanes and Go Wild: Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Talks About Environmental Education in the Age of Technology. There are more webinars planned for the future!

Another important area to visit is the Resource Page.  It contains quality information and lessons that will assist teachers in the implementation of STEM lessons and 21st century learning.  Teachers can share their favorite lesson plans, tips, tricks, ideas, presentations, websites, videos and other STEM related resources that may prove useful for others who want to expand their classroom materials.   Subjects include Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics,  and Integration. Once again, this site is relatively new and while there is over one hundred resources available already, it is bound to grow! One example, check out this entertaining video that teaches students major concepts about rocks? (You may need to sign up to view)  Be sure to visit the STEM Blog packed with current and cutting edge  STEM ideas and news information. Blog content is contributed by Discovery Education’s Patti Duncan and Lance Rougeux.  At the Blog you can learn about National Lab Day and take time to view this video including a message from the President. The Blog links to some great STEM related resources such as this ESchool News Article on STEM education resources. This Blog will prove to be a valuable resource as you look for information to use and share with others while investigating the growing STEM movement.

Are you looking for what may be one of the best free professional development opportunities for educators interested in STEM this summer? If  you are looking to bolster STEM learning in your classroom, want access to top STEM scientists, thought-leaders, and innovators, and want to network with like minds across the country, then apply today to attend the Siemens STEM Institute The application deadline is April 16, 2010. The Siemens STEM Institute is described as ” a one-of-a-kind immersion program that promotes hands-on, real-world integration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the classroom.” You, or a colleague you pass this on to, could be one of fifty teachers selected as a STEM Fellows to attend this all expenses-paid, week-long (Aug. 1-6) professional development experience. The event will be hosted at the world headquarters of Discovery Communications, located just outside of the nation’s capitol, in Washington D.C. The week will be filled with guest speakers at the forefront of STEM, field trips to leading institutions where Fellows will observe real-world applications of STEM subject matter, and opportunities for networking and collaborating with peers from across the nation. In addition to broad-based STEM applications, each Fellow will be assigned to a thematic working group that will provide additional deep-dive exposure. Take a look at an agenda that any serious STEM educator would want to be a part of!

It is time you take a moment and discover what Discovery Education and Siemens have created to facilitate our student’s success in the Twenty-first Century! As more educators understand the value of STEM education, Discovery Education and Siemens will join that necessary and important partner, which is you and your students!  Take a moment to register for free and explore the world of STEM education and real Inquiry – Project Based Learning!

Thanks for joining me on another journey dedicated to learning in the Twenty-first Century! Please share resources you find that promote STEM education! It truly is an exciting time to be an educator!  As always feel free to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans) and I will be sure to follow you back and we can learn from one another! You are also invited to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  Please enjoy and share this post with others!  Have a great week! – Mike

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Explore GPS and GIS In Engaging STEM Related PBL Activities : Free Resources And Site License

 


Give a kid a GPS and allow them to enthusiastically explore the world outdoors, introduce them to GIS and engage them with a world of relevant data, maps and information. We are all aware of of Google Maps, but are you aware of ESRI and Arcview? It is time to introduce your students to one of the fastest growing  job sectors in the world. This mid week post offers you an opportunity to discover free resources, inspire students using awesome activities,  and do a PBL project on your community while getting a free site license in return. As always fee free to visit me at my 21ceturyedtech Wiki and follow me on twitter @mjgormans. I will do the same and we can learn from each other. – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

Even before  there was Google Earth, there was a company called ESRI (Environment Systems Research Institute) based in Redlands, California. This company still exists and is not only a leader in GIS application but is also dedicated to K12 education. GIS (Geopgraphic Information Systems) can be integrated in science and social studies, as well as in mathematics and art/design. It also connects with GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to provide engaging adventures for students. GIS provides a foundation for interdisciplinary projects that allow for connections to the real world. Working with GIS also allows today’s students to develop 21st Century skills relating to computer literacy, problem solving, communication, collaboration, and presentation. Using GIS opens the doors to occupational fields that are growing and in demand for students upon completion of their schooling. Most resources from ESRI are either free, very low cost, or available through an ESRI grant for K12 educators and students.

You will find  abundant resources of materials at the ESRI Main K12 Page  in education This web page provides a format that educators can use to collaborate and share lessons with techniques that are successful. Check out this listing of over 300 lessons available for download using ESRI software. Be sure to download  a copy of Arc View for use in education

Most recently I came across four books (Our World GIS Education ) that were developed for K12 education. These books are available through ESRI at a retail price of about $50.00 each.These same books can be found at Amazon about $10.00 cheaper. The books do an excellent job of providing teachers with lessons and units that are based on twenty-first century skills and project based learning. They also include two CD in each book. One CD gives free access to necessary ESRI software for 365 days on up to 50 machines. After the 365 days schools can buy a site license for the entire school (about $500.00) or, better yet, engage students in an activity that provides the license for free. The other CD provides all lessons and support files for the book in a digital format. Our World GIS Education Books is the place to find these four books that were winners of the 2008 Geography Excellence in Media (GEM) Awards by The National Council for Geographic Education. Books are presented as levels going from level 1-4. This site provides a look at each book including a description along with links to Workbook Support, Teacher Resources, and Podcast with Authors. Also you must scan Taking a Look Inside which includes the  Table of Contents and the First Three Chapters, and, of course, a link to buy the book. Information links for each book follows along with descriptions from website.
Thinking Spatially Using GIS – provides geographic tools–maps, geographic data, and GIS–to teach young students a basic understanding of spatial concepts, pattern recognition, and map trends analysis.
Mapping Our World Using GIS – encourages students to acquire and continue building broad-based problem-solving skills using geospatial technology.
Analyzing Our World Using GIS – helps educators use GIS technology and geographic data to promote inquiry-based learning among students studying world geography and other disciplines. This book combines open-ended geospatial exploration opportunities with the structure of nationally standardized course content, classroom activities, teacher notes, student handouts, and assessments.
Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS – encourage the use of GIS in solving problems and making decisions. The lessons in this textbook build on the rich array of GIS tools available, enabling students to perform sophisticated analyses in a variety of content areas. This book encourages readers to make decisions and ultimately create their own analysis to investigate and answer based on real-world concerns.

How about a free site license from ESRI? Visit the ESRI Community Mapping Page and get your students involved. On this page you will learn more about Community Atlas and the grant program, have an opportunity to visit winning Model Projects from each year, download the Community Atlas instruction pages and model projects, explore all student projects, and submit or edit your project.

This was an enjoyable post for me to write. In fact I recieved some of my first training using GIS and GPS from Bob Kolvoord at James Madison University in the Project Vism (Visualization in Science and Math) through a grant with the NSF. Bob is one of the authors in Book Four, Making Spatial Decisions Using GIS. It was Project Vism, almost ten years ago, that engaged me in finding ways to use technology as a tool. Thanks for this visit and as always feel free to reply and comment. Check out my 21centuryedtech Wiki and feel free to follow me on twitter at @mjgormans, I will return the favor! – Mike (mgormans@sacs.k12.in.us)

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