DESIGN OF THE CLASS
Title of the Program: Scientific Enrichment And Research (SEARCH) class
Delivery Model: This is a one semester elective class.
Implementation: This elective class will be first offered for the 2014-2015 school year.
Who will be able to enroll in this class?
Any 7th or 8th grader will be able to enroll in this class regardless of prior or current grade in science.
Are there any prerequisites?
There are no academic prerequisites for this class. Students must have an interest in science and have the motivation to see a project of their own creation through from its inception to its display in a public forum at the end. Students must be willing to work collaboratively as small corporations will be formed from the pool of participants.
Purpose of Program:
This program will give students the opportunity to experience real world application of scientific inquiry. Students will utilize the Lean Launchpad approach towards customer discovery and test out all hypotheses to create a product solution of a current problem. Students will be encouraged to continuously iterate their solutions and emphasize learning to take place at their level of scientific understanding. This will offer our middle school students the opportunity to practice what science teachers often preach. That is, scientific inquiry is useful and middle school students can solve a wide range of problems using the scientific method in context of a business venture. A second purpose of the program will be to explore the aspects of startup businesses to practice communication skills, develop prototyping strategies, and ultimately gain a sense of appreciation for the hard work it takes to bring an idea to reality.
Overall Learner Outcome:
Students will provide a solution to a problem deemed worthy of solving. Presentations will be required to explain their evolution of understanding, their design and redesign process, and their ultimate solution. This will be how our middle school students will provide a tangible service to the community while learning the process of scientific discovery. Students will also enhance their knowledge base of scientific topics that reach beyond the traditional curricula as they purposefully explore the junction of customer discovery, technology, and invention. These provide the premise for learning and practicing innovative thinking.
The following was copied and pasted directly from the Next Generation Science Standards website for California (http://nextgenscience.org) under the Middle School (6-8) grade levels and under the Disciplinary Core Idea of Engineering, Technology and Applications of Science.
MS-ETS1 Engineering Design
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Students who demonstrate understanding can:
MS-ETS1-1.Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.MS-ETS1-2.Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.MS-ETS1-3.Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.MS-ETS1-4.Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.The performance expectations above were developed using the following elements from the NRC document A Framework for K-12 Science Education:Science and Engineering PracticesAsking Questions and Defining ProblemsAsking questions and defining problems in grades 6–8 builds on grades K–5 experiences and progresses to specifying relationships between variables, and clarifying arguments and models.
- Define a design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process or system and includes multiple criteria and constraints, including scientific knowledge that may limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)
- Develop a model to generate data to test ideas about designed systems, including those representing inputs and outputs. (MS-ETS1-4)
- Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria. (MS-ETS1-2)
- The more precisely a design task’s criteria and constraints can be defined, the more likely it is that the designed solution will be successful. Specification of constraints includes consideration of scientific principles and other relevant knowledge that are likely to limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)
- A solution needs to be tested, and then modified on the basis of the test results, in order to improve it. (MS-ETS1-4)
- There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. (MS-ETS1-2), (MS-ETS1-3)
- Sometimes parts of different solutions can be combined to create a solution that is better than any of its predecessors. (MS-ETS1-3)
- Models of all kinds are important for testing solutions. (MS-ETS1-4)
- Although one design may not perform the best across all tests, identifying the characteristics of the design that performed the best in each test can provide useful information for the redesign process—that is, some of those characteristics may be incorporated into the new design. (MS-ETS1-3)
- The iterative process of testing the most promising solutions and modifying what is proposed on the basis of the test results leads to greater refinement and ultimately to an optimal solution. (MS-ETS1-4)
- All human activity draws on natural resources and has both short and long-term consequences, positive as well as negative, for the health of people and the natural environment. (MS-ETS1-1)
- The uses of technologies and limitations on their use are driven by individual or societal needs, desires, and values; by the findings of scientific research; and by differences in such factors as climate, natural resources, and economic conditions. (MS-ETS1-1)
Physical Science: MS-PS3-3Connections to MS-ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions Problems include:
Physical Science: MS-PS1-6, MS-PS3-3, Life Science: MS-LS2-5Connections to MS-ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution include:
Physical Science: MS-PS1-6Articulation of DCIs across grade-bands:
3-5.ETS1.A (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3); 3-5.ETS1.B (MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3),(MS-ETS1-4); 3-5.ETS1.C (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3),(MS-ETS1-4); HS.ETS1.A (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2); HS.ETS1.B (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3),(MS-ETS1-4); HS.ETS1.C (MS-ETS1-3),(MS-ETS1-4)Common Core State Standards Connections:
ELA/Literacy -RST.6-8.1Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3)RST.6-8.7Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-ETS1-3)RST.6-8.9Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3)WHST.6-8.7Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. (MS-ETS1-2)WHST.6-8.8Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources. (MS-ETS1-1)WHST.6-8.9Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (MS-ETS1-2)SL.8.5Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points. (MS-ETS1-4)Mathematics -MP.2Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3),(MS-ETS1-4)7.EE.3Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3)7.SPDevelop a probability model and use it to find probabilities of events. Compare probabilities from a model to observed frequencies; if the agreement is not good, explain possible sources of the discrepancy.(MS-ETS1-4)
* The performance expectations marked with an asterisk integrate traditional science content with engineering through a Practice or Disciplinary Core Idea.
The section entitled “Disciplinary Core Ideas” is reproduced verbatim from A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Cross-Cutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Integrated and reprinted with permission from the National Academy of Sciences.