Tuesday, July 15, 2014

STEM Summer Institute & Digital Badges

Building Prototypes at the STEM Summer Institute 
Making learning relevant to the real world, helping students build skills to define and solve problems and make their learning come alive are goals of the STEM Summer Institute at The Ellis School in partnership with the Center for STEM Education for Girls. Girls from across the region are exploring the culture of Kenya through the lens of the Lwala Community Alliance. Lwala's mission is to build the capacity of the people of North Kamagambo, Kenya to advance their own comprehensive well-being. The Lwala Community Alliance gives scholarships to girls to continue their education, runs mentoring clubs for both in and out of school girls and provides water and sanitation infrastructure to 13 schools. The STEM Summer Institute is focusing on redesigning the tippy tap hand-washing stations at the 13 schools. Girls from around the Pittsburgh are working in teams learning not only about Kenyan culture but about water filtration, the design process, 3D printing, prototype creation and how to document design projects. The camp is being led by my Active Classroom for Girls partner, Sam Rauhala. I have been popping in a few times a day to see what progress is being made and I am impressed each time I walk in to see what they have designed. 

Entering design information into Innovation Portal 
Water Treatment Tinker, 3D Printing Explorer
and Passionate Perseverance Badges
We are also participating in the Pittsburgh City of Learning initiative exploring the use of digital badges for learning. Girls in our camp can earn three types of badges: knowledge, skill and disposition badges. These badges scaffold with knowledge being at the base. To earn the knowledge badge "water treatment tinkerer," girls must understand how to filter water and explore preparing cultures from dirty water and explain what they find. The skill badge, "3D printing explorer" requires designing parts in Tinker CAD, preparing them to be printed on the 3D printer and then printing the designed part successfully. Last, the disposition or mindset badge "passionate perseverance," can be earned by demonstrating perseverance in approaching set-backs, must be nominated by other camp members and completes their design. 

In this camp we are exploring learning about STEM through active learning where learning is:

  • fun
  • engaging
  • promotes collaboration
  • challenging
  • student centered and driven

Learn more about digital badges:
Alliance to Increase Access To Open Badges thumbnail

Alliance to Increase Access To Open Badges

A MacArthur-supported network of organizations building a new culture of credentialing and learning has committed to increase access to opportunities in education and the workforce using open badges to 10 million students and workers worldwide. Read More
Digital Badges Help Young People, Adults Demonstrate Skills thumbnail

Digital Badges Help Young People, Adults Demonstrate Skills

A report from the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Mozilla Foundation details how a MacArthur-supported initiative to expand use of digital badges can improve learning and outcomes for students and adults. Read More

No comments:

Post a Comment