Global STEM Challenges Program
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
In the Global STEM Challenges Program, we use both the Engineering Design Process and Project-based Learning to scaffold inquiry learning. Students work to develop meaning and make sense of information and data.
In essence, the students are presented with carefully designed Design Challenges, written from the Grand Challenges. Students then develop lists of content and skills that they know about the project, content and skills they need to learn, and identify next steps to learn that content and those skills. As facilitators, the instructors support the students to identify these Need-to-Knows and help with the Next-Steps.
Project-based Learning is implemented differently than tradiational projects. Instead of students restating content learned before the project is assigned. In PBL, students discover the content through the sustained inquiry as they try to develop solutions.
Please see the Buck Institute Website on Project-based Learning to learn more about this instructional model.
Engineering Design Process:
Working with the Knowles Teacher Initiative and their model of engineering design, we place a heavy emphasis on the intentional use of relevant and pertinent evidence for design thinking. Students consistently examine their meta-cognition by reflecting on their thinking and problem-solving attempts and reiterate their designs.
Our goals for our students are to reach the highest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. With our support, their engagement in class, and collaboration with peers, students are supported to reach the highest levels so that they can create solutions to the problems they are presented.