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Title: Extending Engineering Learning Beyond Field Trips
We worked with local K–6 teachers to develop lesson plans that would connect a 50-minute engineering design challenge, completed during a field trip, to the students’ classroom learning. The result was a model for designing pre-visit classroom activities that develop students’ familiarity with phenomena, tools, and processes that will be used during the field trip and post-visit classroom activities that provide students with opportunities to reflect on some of their field trip experiences. While the field trip activity alone is an exciting and productive learning opportunity, students who complete the full set of classroom and field trip activities participate in a richer experience that engages them in more of the practices of science and engineering and more fully develops the disciplinary core ideas related to engineering and physical science. Each Engineering Exploration module includes four activities: an engineering design activity completed during a field trip to an interactive science museum, accompanied by two preactivities and one post activity done in students’ classroom and facilitated by their elementary school teacher. While each classroom activity was designed to take no more than 50 minutes, many teachers found it valuable to extend each lesson to allow for deeper discussion and engagement with the activities. The classroom experiences presented here are associated with a more » field trip program in which students iteratively design a craft out of paper and tape that will hover above a “fire” (upward moving column of air) while carrying a “sensor” (washer). The classroom activities surrounding this field trip help students develop conceptual understandings of forces to navigate the engineering design challenge. « less
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Science and children
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National Science Foundation
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