Developing High School STEM Curriculum
Working with the EdEon group has given me the opportunity to gain professional experience with secondary education. Being involved with helping to develop the Learning by Making (LbyM) high school curriculum grew my passion for science education. My senior capstone project goal was to collect survey response data from students who have been taught the material from LbyM by both our outreach workshops and classes taught at local high schools. While I was able to lead a few student workshops and get some data responses I was not able get data from the high schools due to the Shelter in Place orders. From the data I collected it is evident that this program helps students to feel more confident learning difficult science concepts and they are having fun while learning. My main task with LbyM was editing material by reading it with first a student mindset and then as an educator. The most important thing in curriculum development is clarity in instructions and diagrams. A lot of work has been put into developing this material over the years and I feel my contributions have made a positive impact. I am excited for the students who have, or will have, the opportunity to be taught this curriculum as it is a very different way of learning compared to the traditional way of teaching science with textbooks, lectures, etc.
Trying to make science class fun is not a new concept and the only person who even came close in my opinion to succeeding is Bill Nye. Learning by Making is revolutionary by bringing computer science into the classroom and integrating multiple science disciplines into all experiments. It allows teachers a convenient way to teach more effectively while still fulfilling Next Generation Science Standards. Students are engaged and excited to learn which is the most important part. It is my hope that more students will continue their science education because of Learning by Making and we can help the world by growing the number of professionals in STEM careers. I believe science is for everyone and I hope to see LbyM be the new standard of what a science class should be.