Integrated STEM Design & Invention
Workshop Date: October 13th, 2017
Session A: Biology/Earth/Environmental Science: "Clean Water" (9am – 11am)
Session B: Chemistry: "Emergency Batteries" (11:30am – 2:30pm)
Session C: Physics: "Music, Waves, and Vibes" (3pm – 6 pm)
Event Address: OSTA Annual Conference, PCC Sylvania Campus, 12000 SW 49th Ave., Portland, OR
Questions? Contact us at:
This is a joint OSTA/PSU College of Engineering event for regional STEM educators. It is by application with priority given to classroom teachers or district/teacher pairs. Participants will receive a full set of instructional materials and classroom supplies (supported by the Lemelson Foundation). There are three workshops as described below. Please provide your application information (select 1 workshop) in the sections following the workshop descriptions. After reviewing your application we will reply promptly within 2 days with your approval status and registration process. Thank you for making the extra effort to participate in this collaborative project.
Instructors: Mihir Ravel, Cary Sneider, and Jennifer Wells
Audience: High School, and possibly 8th grade
Workshop Info: ~ 3 hours, participants will receive curriculum and classroom materials kit (for 32 students)

Have you ever attended a terrific workshop and then found that you didn't have the time, funds or community support to teach the unit? That's not the case with these workshops! Participating teachers will receive a set of integrated curriculum materials (slides, worksheets, resources) and a classroom set of matching supplies (for 32 students) to support teaching of each module, and the chance to join a cohort of colleagues.
These 3-hour workshops present highly engaging STEM units that can be completed over a two-week period, and also extendable to three weeks. The activities can be adjusted to meet NGSS performance expectations at the high school level, and possibly late middle school level. The modules provide opportunities for students to use their understanding of core ideas in science, and to solve a problem or meet a need through the engineering and invention process. The focus is on themes relevant to students' daily lives, and based on purposeful scientific inquiry that can be applied to students' design of their own engineering inventions.

Session A: Biology/Earth/Environmental Science: "Clean Water". - What happens when “the big one” hits? How do we get clean, safe water for our daily needs when water systems may be down for weeks? This scenario motivates a design activity to design and build a personal water purifier. The module starts with an introduction of the Lifesaver, an inspirational invention created to reduce misery and save lives in locations where fresh potable water is not available, and launches students into an inquiry phase to learn about common environmental contaminants and the purification properties of common materials. This data is then used by student teams to design their own “personal water purifiers” that can remove various types of pollution, from particulates and protozoans to acids. The module combines core ideas in life science and chemistry to integrate science with engineering design and invention to let students solve a problem of high relevance to our region.

Session B: Chemistry: "Emergency Batteries". - What do we do when the power is down and the lights go out? This module expands on this real-life situation to let students explore the basics of chemical generation of electricity by exploring practical chemistry and designing their own emergency battery and LED light. Moving beyond the typical qualitative lemon battery experiment, students engage in a team design project to systematically investigate the electrochemical properties of different metals and common household electrolytes (vinegar and lemons, but also coke, coffee, salt and Smarties!) that can be used to make a emergency battery to power a night light. This data is then used by the teams to design and optimize batteries that can power an LED emergency light for several nights.

Session C: Physics: "Music, Waves, and Vibes". - What is sound? Why does the sound from a guitar or saxophone sound “musical”, and why does a guitar sound different from a ukulele or a violin? A great way to find out is to have students design their own musical instruments. Starting with a playful session building “sound machines”, students then explore the properties of sound waves, vibrating strings, and resonators. A structured scientific inquiry of strings under tension using a phone app that lets students generate their own engineering data for designing a stringed instrument. Using their own experimental data, the student teams then design and build their own stringed instruments mapped onto a specific frequency scale. The final design is optimized by exploring the role of harmonics and resonances that give musical sound it's pleasant richness.
Name *
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Organization *
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Which module will you attend (select one)? *
Grade(s) You Plan to Teach the Module *
Please tell us a little about your class and intended teaching of the curriculum module (e.g., class size, demographics, part of what topic, time of year, level of student capability, anything that gives us an idea of your class and student context). *
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How many colleague teachers at your school may be interested in teaching this module after your initial pilot? *
In exchange for attending the workshop training and for receiving supporting materials, I will teach the module in at least one class during the 2017-2018 academic year and participate in a pre/post survey process. *
I understand that the workshop and instructional/classroom materials are free to selected participants, but I will have to pay $25 to OSTA for course processing and PDU credit. *
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