- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1239968
- First Name Margaret
- Last Name Mohr-Schroeder
- Discipline Other: STEM, STEM
Jennifer Wilhelm, University of Kentucky, firstname.lastname@example.org; Stephen Testa, University of Kentucky, email@example.com; David Royster, University of Kentucky, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bruce Walcott, University of Kentucky, email@example.com
Margaret J. Mohr-Schroeder, University of Kentucky, firstname.lastname@example.org; D. Craig Schroeder, Fayette County Public Schools, email@example.com
The CCSS-M and NGSS practices emphasize the importance of modeling where CCSS-M states that students should model with mathematics and NGSS similarly claims that students should develop and use models. Teachers need more practice and ideas on what instruction around this looks like and how they can implement into the classroom.
Our unique NOYCE project engaged Fellows in an intensive summer workshop that brought past NOYCE Fellows together with current Fellows. The workshop exposed 24 STEM pre-service and in-service secondary teachers to creative ways to incorporate modeling throughout their mathematics and science instructional practice. Modeling experiences included: geometric design using 3-Dimensional (3D) pens, 2D SketchUp drawings transformed into 3D figures constructed with a 3D printer, crystal modeling of stalactites and stalagmites, and engineering design.
Our research study focused on the following question: In what ways can professional development within an intensive summer workshop influence teachers future instructional practices? During the summer workshop, Fellows experienced a number of activities that included 2D and 3D modeling using various instructional technologies (3D pen and 3D printer, Sketchup, etc.), cave tours to examine stalactites and stalagmites as a precursor to their crystal modeling, and engineering design. Grant writing was also included in their experiences to empower teachers to write their own grants to obtain funding for instructional technologies for items like the 3D pens and printers. The focus was to increase the Fellows’ understanding of how to model real world phenomena and design creative ways to solve real world problems. An open response survey was given to the Fellows at the conclusion of their summer workshop.
Results showed Fellows’ notions of workshop activities that were beneficial towards their future instruction as a STEM teacher. Fellows deemed the mathematical modeling with 3D pens and printers, cave tours and crystal modeling, and grant writing experiences to be among the most immediately beneficial for their teaching practice to advance STEM learning in their classrooms. Fellow responses included: The sketchup demonstration because it is practical for my classroom especially since each student has a laptop, The grant 101 talk was very helpful because I would like to learn how to write grants so I can get awesome stuff for my school! 3D modeling was fun, and Cave tour realizing a stalactite the size of my thumb is older than most big trees in our area. Mind blowing! 3-D modeling w/ 3D pens. It’s most applicable.
If each of the 24 NOYCE fellows who participated in the project has an average of 100 students, over 2400 secondary mathematics and science students within the Commonwealth of Kentucky will have the opportunity to engage in instructional strategies that emphasize modeling in their classrooms. Participating in the summer institute aimed at increasing fellows’ content knowledge, especially around the Common Core Standards for Mathematics and the pending Next Generation Science Standards, and its implications for their classroom instruction.