The Integrated STEM course fuses mathematical skill-building and computational thinking applied to real-world scientific problems where solutions are constructed by students and instructors working together. This course includes 80% hands-on teacher supervised lab activities and 20% skill-building instructional time.

The lab activities include explicit information on safety and regular warnings on the dangers of electric shock. Students undertake personally-relevant investigations in chemistry and physics, using Logo, a programming language, to read sensors and to obtain and analyze data. They will develop and use models, construct explanations and arguments from experimental evidence, and report and communicate their results to peers and instructors.

This course has been specifically developed to implement Next Generation Science Standards in the high school classroom. As such, Disciplinary Core Ideas are integrated with Crosscutting Concepts and presented in the context of Science and Engineering design practices.

All curriculum is available at the following link:

Learning by Making Curriculum

These files are divided by academic year and section. They include student guides, worksheets and slides for presenting in the classroom. Additional resources include an example course syllabus and analysis of educational standards met by our curriculum. The Learning by Making Curriculum is licensed under the Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike agreement.

Unit 0: Introduction/My Computer

This short unit introduces students to the basic concepts of computers and their use, introduces navigation and operations in Linux and describes the characteristics of their provided computer. A scavenger hunt activity helps students to get comfortable using the system. Different version of this are provided, depending on computer (Chromebook or HP Stream).

Unit 1: TurtleLogo

In this newly redesigned unit, students learn the basics of programming in the Logo language as they learn about and simulate the life cycles of sea turtles. This unit includes specific programming tasks such as using loops, variables, and functions. Student programs must also demonstrate an understanding of the mathematical properties of various geometric shapes. For the final challenge, students must simulate the entire sea turtle life cycle including the motions of mother turtles and their hatchlings, as well as movement through coastal feeding areas and circulation in the Atlantic ocean gyres.

Unit 2: Going With the Electron Flow

In small lab groups, students will build and modify simple circuits using LED lights, resistors, the BasicBoard. The students will be assessed on their ability to write a Morse Code communication Logo program to send and receive coded messages via blinking LEDs.

Unit 3: Sensors

These assessments will bring together everything students have learned about Logo programming by creating a physical product that requires the use of loops and logic statements. The students are provided with a Learning by Making BasicBoard connected to an analog light sensor and an LED. Through teacher guided instructions, students learn how to interpret light sensor readings and interact with the code. They must then write the code and test it with their apparatus.

Experiment Units

Students will synthesize all the skills and practices that they have learned throughout the first three units. They will design their own hardware, software, and data analysis techniques to test a hypothesis they have put forth based on a series of simple starter experiments.

Evaporation Experiment

The Evaporation experiment is the starter for the Water and Soil experimental unit. It uses hardware found on the experiment’s shopping list.

Absorption Experiment

The absorption experiment is the starter experiment for the Light and Energy experimental unit. Hardware can be found on the experiment’s shopping list.

Microbial Fuel Cell Experiment (MFC)

Here is a shopping list for hardware used in the MFC experiment.

Reference Material

JSLogo Documentation
Troubleshooting Guide

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