How does our S.T.E.A.M class function?
STAGE 1: Discovery Process
For every thematic unit there is a Discovery Process where our learners explore and discover the concepts needed to solve the design problem which will be presented to the learners later down the line. In this process, students will explore the concepts, make observations, and create questions and hypothesis to explain how the presented phenomenons are working. The learners will create and document a variety of tests to test out their hypotheses to see if their own theory works within the constraints of their test.
STAGE 2: Design Process
The design process was adapted from Dick, W., Carey, L., and Carey,. J. ADDIE process which stands for Analysis, Development, Design, Implementation, and Evaluation. Within the design process, students will look at a variety scenarios, collect data, and figure out what is the problem behind the presented scenarios. According the Acosta’s Habits of Minds, the analysis phase incorporates some data gathering and analysis of the data to help form the essential question which is the states the dilemma and focus of the problem.
After the analysis phases, students will start developing their ideas within the development phase. During this phase, there is a brainstorm process. Within any brainstorm process, you want to put as many ideas out within a time constraint without judgement. Judgement of an idea wastes a lot of time. Within a design process, we can always a look back at a premature idea and tune it. At this moment, ideas should be coming out like a faucet. Out of all the ideas, the learners will discuss each idea and select one idea they want to use to answer the essential question.
After the development stage, the learners will start designing their solution by prototyping using a variety of prototyping material whether it be a digital prototype or a physical prototype. This stage is all about building an creating and determining the mechanics behind the prototype design. At no point in this stage should anybody be testing the prototype until the prototype is completed.
Once the design stage is completed, students will implement their prototype within the constraints and parameters of the problem and test out their prototype. During time students will gather data around the effectiveness of their solution with a variety of variable, constraints, and parameters.
After implementation stage, students will evaluate their solution and determine the strengths and weaknesses behind their prototype design. This is also time to determine was to enhance their current prototype or discard the current prototype and pick/building another prototype based upon the brainstorm stated in the development stage.
There is a time constraint within this process so a deadline is always presented to the learners.
STAGE 3: Exhibition Process
During the Exhibition Process, students will share their product, process of solving the problem, and reflect on the process of creating the product and effectiveness of the product. Learners will be required to create a script of what to say for the presentation and create a visual to enhance and complement their presentation. The visual should document not only the product but also the process of solving the problem. The visual should not function as a script to be read from. Some text is fine but when the learners starts reading from the screen, the visual becomes a script and not a visual. Visual media are full of graphic, video, and minimal text.
The script should include the following point:
- Description of the Product: Describe the specification of the product/solution that the learners created.
- Rationale: Explain how the product/solution solved the problem and answered the essential question. Use evidence from credible sources to support the explanation and cite those sources.
- Process: Describe the major processes that the learners went through to create the prototype and answer the essential question.
- Implementation: Test the product in front of the audience.
- Reflections and Risk Analysis: Provide the pros and cons behind the design of the product/solution and provide possible enhancement to the current prototype to enhance the performance of the current prototype. Reflect on the work flow process. In reflecting on the work flow process, what team working processes did the team perform well on and what team working processes does the team need to work on. The learners should describe possible enhancements to the work flow so that future team based projects are perform efficiently.
Students will then rehearse in front of a camcorder or in front of another group in which they will watch themselves or be listened to respectfully and receive feedback to see what presentation skills they performed well on and what presentation skills they need to work on.
After the rehearsals, students will present in front of an audience.
This concludes the project cycle. On to the next STEAM project.