Linda McCartney, second grade teacher at Corse Elementary in Burlington, was one of 73 GPAEA teachers to receive a STEM Scale-Up Program as part of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council initiative in 2012. Mrs. McCartney received A World In Motion-Rolling Things to implement with her second grade class.
A World In Motion uses the Engineering Design Experience curriculum, group work and problem solving to involve students in design challenges. Mrs. McCartney’s student design teams were asked by a fictional toy company to report how ramp height and car weight affected toy car crashes and then design a car for their new toy set. The teams kept science notebooks recording data and drawing conclusions as well sharing ideas during class discussion after each round of activities. There was a literacy piece that accompanied the kit and the two culminating activities before the student teams made their recommendations to the toy company related back to the literature piece. The student teams then submitted their design for the best toy set car, based on their testing data and analysis which included a writing piece giving reasons for the design features of their car.
Mrs. McCartney was impressed with the work done by the student teams. She heard students incorporating correct terminology and understandings of big concepts during team and class discussions. She was equally impressed by the depth of student explanations of their work to passing teachers and visitors as they worked on their ramps in the hallway. Mrs. McCartney found it was an excellent way to apply ELA and Math skills. ELA skills were used in the writing pieces in their science notebooks and team and class discussions. Math skills were put into practice during the investigations. The students were always engaged and excited to get to work each day and one student summed it up when they said, “Mrs. McCartney does the coolest things.” Mrs. McCartney applied for and received another STEM Scale-Up Grant to be implemented during the 2013-14 school year.
Attention all Scale- Up recipients: We will be running articles to showcase the Scale-Up programs from 2012 and 2013 in future Cornerstone Issues. If you have pictures and stories of your implementation of the program, contact Rosemary Peck (firstname.lastname@example.org)