Title

What do Chocolate and Robots have to do with STEM Education? Collaborative Approaches to STEM Education Utilizing Entrepreneurship, Science, and Industrial Technology

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

Our presentation is best represented in the conference strand, “’Head’: Academic Achievement & Leadership” for its strong ties to common core standards, academic instruction, and career and college readiness while providing alternative pathways through differentiated instruction, real-world education, project and problem based learning, and competency-based instruction.

Brief Program Description

This presentation focuses on an integrated curricular approach that merges STEM Education with Entrepreneurship in a unique project-based model that incorporated students into the process of chocolate manufacturing and robotics. This project contains a robust mixture of inquiry, engineering, problem solving, project-based learning, the Entrepreneurial Business Model, and Iowa Core Mastery including 21st century skills. STEM resources pertaining to this topic will be available. In addition to curricular resources, chocolate samples and robotics interactions will be provided.

Summary

This presentation focuses on an integrated STEM curriculum that contains a robust mixture of inquiry, engineering and problem solving. Classroom objectives are met by engaging students through a project-based learning environment that focuses on an entrepreneurial business model. This process is strongly driven by the Iowa Core in the areas of science, math, and 21st century skills. This project is a collaborative entrepreneurial project with a goal to meet standards within the Common Core while also creating a self-sustaining program by generating fundraising dollars. Students collaborate across science, industrial technology, and business classes and work to develop, manufacture, and market a product while building a network of community support. Students focus on problems that they find within their world and develop practical solutions through science, engineering, and inquiry. Students are provided with instruction and hands-on skills in utilizing specialized equipment within the industrial technology classroom that provide integrated science opportunities for both programming and manufacturing. Students gain practical skills by using CNC machines, advanced laser cutting technology, 3-D printers, CAD Design Software, Programing Software, and a host of other industrial technology machines and tools which are current technology that can be found within the manufacturing and industrial sectors and are beneficial to students as they move forward in future career opportunities.

Evidence

METRO High School’s innovative STEM programing has been recognized locally by business professionals and media sources for their work to connect kids to school and future employers. Research has shown that “Students who learn science or technology through project-based learning also report that they find it more engaging than traditional instructional techniques” (Geier et al., 2008; Yazzie-Mintz, 2010). In addition, students participating in METRO’s program have experienced tremendous growth in the area of 21st century skills. Students participating in this program have voiced strong personal support of the benefit as they progress to either worksite or college programs. Dropout-prevention research clarifies the importance of making school relevant to students’ lives and in developing innovative instruction that is engaging and challenging. “In a 2006 survey of students who dropped out of high school, 81 percent said that if schools provided opportunities for real-world learning, including internships and service-learning, it would have improved their chances of graduating high school” (Bridgeland, Dilulio, and Morison, 2006). The study also found that clearly defining the connections between school and a future career may convince more students to finish school. Graduation rates for those participating in this project will be compared to determine impact.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Mr. Tonelli is a Science Teacher at METRO High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. METRO is the Alternative high school in Cedar Rapids and serves a growing population of at-risk youth with an 80+% free and reduced lunch rate and a 40+% special education rate. Mr. Tonelli earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Science Education from the University of Iowa in 2005. Now in his 10th year teaching at METRO, Mr. Tonelli is passionate about implementing innovative programs in robotics, STEM education, and Outdoor Education. He is an active member of the National Science Teachers Association and the Governors STEM Advisory Council in the state of Iowa.

Mr. Ellis is a Business and Career Teacher at Metro High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mr. Ellis has worked to bring career and college readiness to the forefront at the alternative high school. His collaboration with the Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa and the SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) groups of both Mount Mercy and Coe College in Cedar Rapids has led to the creation of many student ran businesses that connect students work to the real world.

Mr. Secl is an Industrial Technology Teacher at METRO High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mr. Secl earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Forest Products and Processing Technologies from Iowa State University in 2003 and a Bachelor Degree in Technology Education from the University of Northern Iowa in 2008. Mr. Secl is in his 7th year of teaching and enjoys incorporating job skills training, technology, and manufacturing into the classroom.

Keyword Descriptors

STEM, PBL, Common Core, Entrepreneurship, manufacturing, inquiry

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

What do Chocolate and Robots have to do with STEM Education? Collaborative Approaches to STEM Education Utilizing Entrepreneurship, Science, and Industrial Technology

Harborside Center East and West

This presentation focuses on an integrated curricular approach that merges STEM Education with Entrepreneurship in a unique project-based model that incorporated students into the process of chocolate manufacturing and robotics. This project contains a robust mixture of inquiry, engineering, problem solving, project-based learning, the Entrepreneurial Business Model, and Iowa Core Mastery including 21st century skills. STEM resources pertaining to this topic will be available. In addition to curricular resources, chocolate samples and robotics interactions will be provided.