My middle school students live in a small, rural community, a bedroom community for larger surrounding towns. Our families are far from affluent with over 50% of the middle schoolers qualifying for free and reduced-price lunch. My students are quite involved in sports and clubs, despite the real life challenges many are facing daily. They love to learn new things, especially if they see real life application. We have 60 minute block classes every other day and I show students how to creatively use Google apps, organize their Drive, and create a Google site to curate their learning progress. They code and they type. This trimester, with ninety 8th graders, we just finished working on a character counts Google Slides project. I converted this topic from the #OneWord2019 global movement. Students reflected on their current character traits and some they'd like to work on. They picked one trait to focus on for 2019. A 3D keychain tag will serve as a reminder to keep them on track.
My mission is to continue to STEM-ify my tech Integration curriculum to make certain that my students have a solid foundation to be future career ready.
This is part 2 to my FlashForge 3D Printer and filament project. My middle schoolers need to more quickly have their 3D projects in hand. With 90 students creating 2 projects each, we have a huge project backlog. Students need to see their designed products more efficiently to be able to make design adjustments when needed. The excitement and engagement of applying the design process to create their project proposal, using web-based BookCreator as their design journal to record their steps of identifying a problem, brainstorming, researching, creating a prototype, testing, adjusting, retesting, and finally 3D printing to show and use their product is priceless.
The experience my students are gaining with this evolving STEM curriculum will make an impression by showing them that consistent perseverance and a focus on quality will lead to a satisfying end product.
However, they need more efficient feedback with quicker turn-around print time to be able to make project adjustments as needed. The explorations of today just may persuade some of my students to become the engineers of tomorrow!
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