STEAM Discovery Lab

March 7, 2019 at 6:27 pm Leave a comment

By Sara Willner-Giwerc, Doctoral Student in Mechanical Engineering

The STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Discovery Lab is one of Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach’s (CEEO) newest research projects. Check it out here: https://www.steamdiscoverylabbeta.com. On the surface, the STEAM Discovery Lab is a website dedicated to providing teachers with new and exciting ideas and resources for conducting hands-on activities in their classroom. The website provides teachers with inspiring lesson plans and activity ideas that they can tweak to best meet the needs of their students and subject area needs. The site also features activity ideas that combine different technologies in unconventional ways. For example, STEAM Discovery Lab has a library of examples for how teachers can combine LEGO bricks with craft materials, softwares, and other technologies to create unique learning experiences for their students!

Screen Shot 2019-02-13 at 9.17.33 AM

Our goal is not to get all teachers doing the same thing, but rather to provide a database of exciting and engaging ideas leveraging a multitude of subject areas and technology platforms. STEAM Discovery Lab seeks to provide a community and resources surrounding making in education and promotes teacher and student creativity, curiosity, self-motivation, and self-confidence.

STEAM Discovery Lab is also active on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Everyday we post a different exciting idea for teachers to test out. On Mondays, we post a weekly challenge. These challenges can be done at any time (i.e. there is no deadline or official competition), and are designed to give teachers new engineering design challenge prompts for their students. On Tuesdays, we post some current events or real-world engineering connections that teachers can discuss with their students. On Wednesdays, we share a new 5-minute classroom video, which features Bill Church. Bill is an expert maker-teacher and shares new lesson plan ideas and tips from his extensive experience. On Thursdays, we share a different educational technology platform and an exciting idea of how it could be used in the classroom. Fridays are reserved for cool stuff! This can be retweets/shares of inspiring ideas we find on social media and/or projects happening at the CEEO and other STEAM education institutions. We are always excited to get tweets/posts showing how real teachers are using our ideas to get their students excited about STEAM.

Screen Shot 2019-02-26 at 6.47.00 PM

Behind the scenes, STEAM Discovery Lab is a research project investigating strategies for using online platforms to inspire teachers to conduct hands-on, student-driven activities in their classrooms. With the rise of social media and online resources, we understand that teachers are finding curricula from a variety of online sources. We want to know how teachers find content (web searches, referrals, etc.), what makes them decide to try one thing over another, and how we can generate content that has the maximum positive impact for students and teachers. Leveraging website/social media analytics and interviews with teachers we are beginning to answer some of these questions.

If you want to know more about STEAM Discovery Lab feel free to send us an email at steamdiscoverylab@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and share your ideas We are also keeping a research blog, documenting our findings as we continue to explore of research questions. Check it out here: https://www.steamdiscoverylabbeta.com/research.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: .

Design and Engineering Workshops (DEW) Registration Now Open for Summer 2019 We Want to Make Free Toys!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Follow Us

facebooktwitterlinkedinby feather