Nov 23, 2011

Squishy Circuits and the D3 Curriculum

This summer I took a class with Louisa Campbell in which we worked with a 7th grade science teacher to develop a unit long curriculum around matter and energy through the creation of various electronic projects. It is NYS Standard aligned and offers ample resources to guide the teacher in implementation (there is also a step-by-step guide that I am in the process of unearthing). For our approach to the curriculum framework, our main reference was Understanding by Design by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe. As with the goal of my thesis, our aim was to make this curriculum modular, thereby allowing the teacher to rearrange, subtract, or even add based on their own discretion and classroom setting.

Here is the lesson plan I mentioned the other day on Squishy Circuits:
Squishy Circuits D3

Here is a link to view the curriculum in it’s entirety, and below is the table of contents:

Presentation Instructions
We believe that presentation (whether as a public presentation or blog post) is important to
students understanding and caring about their work. Optimally, each project should end with each
group displaying their results. This document provides more defined instructions for how students
should structure each of their presentations.

Unit 2 Lesson Outline
This mentions all of the projects we’ve designed and give a short synopsis/context for each.

Materials List
Listed here are the materials needed for each project (organized by project).

Project Documents
This section of documents discusses each of the projects in detail. It gives context, learning
outcomes, and procedures for each project. We’ve organized these all in a similar manner, but
can reorganize them based on a different lesson plan structure, if provided with an example.

Projects listed are:
PROJECT 1: Creating an Electromagnet
PROJECT 2: Make a Speaker Out of a Styrofoam Picnic Plate
PROJECT 3: Squishy Circuits
PROJECT 4: Fabric Printed Circuit Board
PROJECT 5: Creating Paper with Embedded Lights

Electronic Portfolios in the Classroom
This document provides some research for the use of electronic portfolios. We believe this is a
valuable tool for students, because it allows them to keep a record of the work they’ve done.
Additionally, if a project is completed but there isn’t time for each group to do a public
presentation, a blog post can take its place.

Design Process
This document provides a visual and written explanation for each step in the design process.
(Separate document)

Scientific Method
We’d like to provide the students with visual procedures that can be followed with all of the
projects we’ve provided. The process we’d like them all to think about when completing their
projects is a cross between the traditional scientific method and the design process. This
document provides different visual representations of the scientific method.
(Separate document)

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