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TTU HomeT-STEM Center STEM Curriculum Resources Shining STAARS: Charting Cross-Curricular

STAARS Project Planning, Content and Activities

Today’s teachers are continually required to incorporate rigorous curricula across content areas while addressing state, college and career, and individualized school standards despite time and financial constraints. This content attempts to guide teachers toward effective planning procedures using a project-based design that can be integrated across content areas and that encourages a team approach to teaching as well as the inclusion of 21st century learning skills, college and career readiness principles, and projects that are replicable and which scaffold learning from year to year. As teaching and standardized testing requirements continue to evolve, it is important for teachers to access progressive professional development research and classroom design implementation. Articles that follow below provide just such current peer-reviewed and research-driven information.

Project Based Learning (PBL)

Integrating PBL into Classroom Instruction

Developed for TTU T-STEM Center by Dr. Beccy Hambright

Teachers experienced in integrating PBL into their classrooms report that the process is valuable for student motivation and retention across content areas. More than just a one-time project, project based learning is a systematic process that provides a series of learning experiences and lends itself to diagnostic, formative, and summative assessments, technological implementation, and the development of reflective and evaluative growth in student knowledge.

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Environmental Economics

Tragedy of the Commons

Author: Garrett Hardin, 1968

This seminal article that is relevant to a variety of fields explores how our actions naturally tend towards the overuse of resources. Hardin explains a variety of scenarios in which human activity has resulted in exploitation and prescribes some possible solutions.

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Tragedy of the Commons from an Economist's Point of View

Developed for TTU T-STEM Center by Travis Roach

This presentation shows how the tragedy of the commons comes about by considering a few different methods commonly used in economics. In the game theory segment we can see that there is an incentive to overuse resources when we take into account that we are not the only "players" in the game. In the externailty segment, the tragedy of the commons is shown by considering how people do not take full acount of their own actions. This presentation is best viewed alongside the video of the lecture to better understand the game tables and graphs.

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Tragedy of the Commons: An Active Learning Assignment

Developed for TTU T-STEM Center by Travis Roach

This active learning assignment is intended to teach students the reasons why resources (such as a fishery, common land, or the air we breathe) are overused. The activity is derived from Garrett Hardin’s seminal work, “The Tragedy of The Commons.” This worksheet will give a basic outline of how the activity is to be simulated, provide extensions to make it challenging for any grade level, and develop cross-curricular connections.

Teacher Instructions | Student Worksheet

Ethics in K-12 STEM Education

Incorporating Ethics into Project Based Learning

Developed for TTU T-STEM Center by Rich Burgess

Though not always emphasized or recognized, ethics is an integral part of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The development and deployment of technology, for example, often raises many ethical issues. Some of these issues are fairly straightforward while others are subtler and very complex. It is, therefore, important that educators help prepare their students for the ethical challenges they will face; whether as STEM professionals or citizens in our modern society. Finally, ethical reflection and discussion can promote critical thinking; a cornerstone of education and testing standards.

This PowerPoint will begin with a discussion activity that models one way to teach ethics in the classroom; integrating it alongside other content. Several distinctions crucial to teaching ethics effectively will be highlighted. Finally, several questions intended to generate critical reflection and literacy among students will be introduced.

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Engineering, the Environment, and Sustainable Development

Developed for TTU T-STEM Center by Rich Burgess

Sustainable development has become an important goal in contemporary science, engineering, and technology. Moreover, appeals to sustainable development have become increasingly common among a variety of stakeholders and across the political spectrum. Despite this growing emphasis, however, there is some ambiguity about what sustainable development really entails. After watching the trailer for the documentary, Windfall, we briefly discusses the complexity of “sustainable development” and why it is worth talking about.

View PDF | Download PPT | View Windfall Video

Energy for STAAR Project

Conservation of Energy with Wind Project: Applications of Math and Physics

Developed for TTU T-STEM Center by Greg Burnham and Stephanie Foster

This content provides hands-on activities and real-world scenarios for incorporating math and science content into classroom instruction. Math is incorporated through project applications using function and linear equations that explore the relationships between energy, work and power. The project based format provides a platform for students to use equations to evaluate and define the energy producing characteristic of their unique windmill and gauge how reasonable their numbers are. The project is easily extendable and can be used to examine rates of change, efficiencies and surface areas. The physics project provides a real-life investigation of the work energy theorem, work, power, conservation of energy and efficiency. Students can approach the conservation of energy from several different points including mechanical energy and the relationship between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy, the relationship between work and power and or the efficiency of wind turbines when converting kinetic energy to electrical potential.

View Presentation | Download PPT | View Project


Chapter 111. C TEKS for Algebra I — 111.32.1 A-E-functional relationships
Chapter 112. C TEKS for Physics — 112.39.6 A-D-momentum and energy
STAAR Geometry Blueprint
STAAR Performance Level Descriptors for Geometry
STAAR Performance Level Descriptors for Algebra I

Supplemental Professional Development Articles

Teaching by Design: Preparing K-12 Teachers to use Design Across the Curriculum

Dr. Louis Nadelson, Anne Louise Seifert, Jill K Hettinger

Engineering design holds great potential as a STEM instructional approach. By capitalizing on the design process teachers can enhance student engagement, motivation, application of knowledge, and self assessment; elements essential for deep learning in STEM. Yet, many K-12 educators are not familiar with the structure, elements, and process of engineering design. Their unfamiliarity indicates a need to address K-12 teacher knowledge of engineering design to prepare them to use the process for instruction.

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Middle and High School Teacher Professional Development

Dr. Keith A. Schimmel, Dr. Muktha Jost, Dr. Tyrette Sherlone Carter, Mrs. Shawn Raquel Watlington, Ms. Terrie Ruth McManus,
Prof. Solomon Bililign, Dr. Terry WhiteWorrell, Prof. Yuh-Lang Lin

A professional development model for middle and high school STEM teachers has been developed, implemented over two years, and assessed. The model involves a partnership between the middle and high school teachers and administrators, education graduate students and faculty, STEM graduate students and faculty, and a NOAA research center.

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Promoting STEM Faculty Members' Reflection on Their Learning Perceptions and Teaching Practices

Susan Shadle, Dr. Louis Nadelson, Dr. Janet Callahan

As part of an institutional focus on STEM student success, a group of eight STEM faculty from across the STEM disciplines participated in a year-long faculty learning community (FLC). A significant component of participant development involved promoting faculty reflection on both new ideas and on their teaching practice.

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