Engineering & Design
Among the most critical academic disciplines for success in a 21st centruy workforce are those involving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). These disciplines are increasingly digital, networked, and rapidly changing.
This course is designed to provide students with, as Guy Claxton (2002) wrote in Building Learning Power, students who are:
- Resilient - able to lock onto learning and to resist distraction either from outside or within
- Resourceful - able to draw on a wide range of learning methods and strategies as appropriate
- Reflective - able to think profitably about learning and themselves as learners, and
- Reciprocal - making use of relationships in the most productive, enjoyable, and responsible way.
Students taking this course will use an "Engineering Education" or "Engineering Design" to apply appropriate technologies to concepts such as constraints, modeling, systems and trade-offs, and skills such as drawing and experimenting to clearly define problems and solve them systematically through the "Engineering Cycle" that involves:
- (Dreaming It) - Imagining the problem and solution
- (Designing It) - Articulating the potential solution
- (Making It) - Creating a prototype of the solution
- (Testing It) - Evaluating the solution
- If the solution does not solve the problem or creates a different problem, start the cycle again.
This course is designed to help our eighth grade students meet and/or exceed State and National Standards that include the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects and The Next Generation of Science Standards.
And finally, this course is designed to increase students' "Seven Survival Skills" as found in The Global Achievement Gap (Wagner, 2010), that include:
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
- Agility and adaptability
- Initiative and entrepreneurship
- Effective oral and written communication
- Accessing and analyzing information, and
- Curiosity and imagination.