(510a) Science The World: The Development of Structured, Research-Inspired Discussions, Demonstrations, and Experiments For K-12 Curricula
Past research has proposed that students learn better when they are provided with a greater sense of structure in their education; students build associations between their previously acquired knowledge and their current classes and can thus branch out towards understanding new concepts if their curricula have been well connected. Our research group attempts to address these needs by designing and developing new curricula for the entire K-12 spectrum by incorporating current engineering research into STEM discussions, demonstrations, and experiments. Connecting directly with K-12 educators nationwide, series of structured curricula have been designed and implemented for student groups in grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12, allowing for better connection between concepts to help improve students’ understanding and to encourage more young scientists. Curricula examples include friction and lubrication experiments with comparison to drag-reducing polymers and household materials, chemical synthesis and physical elasticity based on polymer networks, groundwater contamination involving remediation treatment and filtration systems, and drug delivery through diffusion rates and concentration. This presentation will describe some of our current efforts with assessment of their effectiveness.