Bio-Diesel-Light Vehicle Diesel
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“Education is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think,” is a famous quote by Albert Einstein. In today’s science classroom, 3-dimensional learning, whether it is NGSS, CCC, or DCI, focuses on creating free thinkers. Students need to be able to problem solve and apply skills they learn in the classroom to their everyday lives. Can the engineering design process help students gain these problem-solving skills that are so sought after in today’s world? Incorporating the engineering design process in a class will take a lot of time and effort. But the time and effort put in will be nothing compared to the possible payoffs for my students now and students that can step up to the challenge in years to come.
As the only Earth and Space teacher at my high school, I can design a STEM challenge for my honors classes that will allow them to explore “Mars,” pick up a payload and bring it back to their base. The STEM challenge will allow the students to see what it is like to go through an engineering design process while applying the knowledge they learned previously in the course about maps and space travel. This shows students that the knowledge they are acquiring is applicable in the right setting and open their eyes to possibilities in the evergrowing STEM field. My goal with the challenge is to help these students develop problem-solving skills that can be applied throughout their lives. It is also to help them get interested in STEM activities. If enough students become involved, it gives our school the great opportunity to start multiple engineering classes. To do this, I will do a pre and post survey for my students to conclude whether it was engaging and a success. I will also have the students keep track of their designs from beginning to end so I can monitor how they adapt to the new designing problems they will face. I will have different checkpoints for the groups so I can actively monitor their progress during the challenge. I will monitor their academic achievement before and after the challenge as well to see if the students gained problem-solving skills that in turn helped their academic achievement. Keeping track of them throughout the year will allow me to understand if the skills they receive from the challenge can be sustained or retained after the challenge is over.