My students need DIY circuit boards to enable more advanced exploration of electric circuits, resistors, switches, and connectors. The hope is to prepare them for more advanced work in high school in physics or engineering.
All of the students we serve at my school are from low-income, rural households in northwestern New Mexico. As an Indigenous leadership school, we primarily focus on the cultural relevance of our classes toward Navajo and Zuni students and offer Zuni and Navajo language/culture classes.
Currently, we are still lacking several materials to ensure students can explore the full depth of the science and math curriculum demanded by New Mexico's adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core math standards.
We are trying to support student growth of over one year's growth on math and science assessments to ensure they are college and career ready upon graduation from high school.
These circuit boards will enable students to better understand everyday electrical circuits, but also to connect what they are learning to the way computers, phones, homes, and electrical grids are designed and work. So far in my STEAM class, we have a simple circular circuit, which allows for an introductory exploration of electrical circuits. Students are asking for more advanced application of the principles they learned with circuit boards, which they could use in high school or in their careers. This is the first year that our state is adopting Next Generation Science Standards, which place a much greater emphasis on student exploration and project-based learning.
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