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.
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 small lab groups, students will create original Turtle Art with the TurtleLogo programming environment. This assignment 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. At the end of this unit, each group will present their Turtle Art to the class and share their TurtleLogo programs. Here is a summary of what to expect in Unit 1.
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. Here is a summary of what to expect in Unit 2.
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. Here is a summary of what to expect in Unit 3.
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.
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