Brenda Pacey, University of Illinois Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Affiliate Director, provides brief history of the growth of PLTW high school, middle school, elementary STEM curriculum program implementations across the state - from 12 high schools in 2004-05 to over 200 K-12 schools and 35,000 students in 2014-15. Join us for reflections and observations about the impact of PLTW STEM participation on students.
Teaching students about the nature of science is a goal set out by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), but this goal can be a challenge to meet in the classroom. Project NEURON developed a curriculum unit on microbial ecology which opens with a lesson to help address this challenge. In the lesson, students work in groups to examine how models of the tree of life have changed throughout history. The activity supports exploration of concepts such as: new technologies advance science, science is subject to change based on new evidence, and science is a result of human endeavors.
Daniel Wendel from MIT will be Skyping in to present. He will be talking about their BioGraph project, an NSF-funded effort to study the impact of complex systems understanding and computational thinking (by way of making and using StarLogo TNG models) in introductory Biology classes. He will talk about tools and curriculum, their original experimental design, and the modifications they've had to make to get the teacher buy-in needed.
The advent of ubiquitous quality mobile computing tablets gives hope for a real transformative role using technology in education reform. A vision for a re-imagined curriculum, with mobile tablets playing an integral role, will be presented and discussed. With this motivation, a short demonstration of iPad programming will be presented intended to inspire a community of developers to implement meaningful reform using these recently deployed technologies.
Barbara Hug will be joining the group to present on Project NEURON (Novel Education for Understanding Research on Neuroscience).