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For many science teachers the integration of technology and engineering into the science curriculum will mean a new way of teaching, new concepts and skills for their students to learn, and new assessments that will measure their students’ progress and their own capabilities as teachers. The source of this concern is a publication by the National Research Council of a new blueprint for science education standards, appropriately titled A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Core Ideas and Crosscutting Concepts (NRC 2012). The Framework is currently severing as the blueprint for Next Generation Science Standards, aimed at replacing the current patchwork of state science standards with a common core, as has already been done in mathematics and English language arts. Since these documents raise engineering ...

Slider Science Learning Integrating Design, Engineering, and Robotics
Slider science learning integrating design, engineering, and robotics
Marion UsselmanMike Ryan

Figure 4.1 Assembled LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT Kit

Image courtesy of the authors.

Science Learning Integrating Design, Engineering and Robotics (SLIDER) is an inquiry and project-based learning curriculum designed to teach middle school physical science disciplinary content, science and engineering practices, and cross-cutting concepts within regular middle school physical science classrooms. SLIDER students use LEGO® MINDSTORMS® NXT kits to investigate and learn about force, motion, and energy (see Figure 4.1). During the two 3- to 4-week units, students organize, think about, and design solutions for engineering challenges, and, in the process, actively engage in investigations, data analysis, and scientific argumentation.

The SLIDER materials consist of (a) two comprehensive workbooks that ...

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