We propose an exploratory EAGER project to test the feasibility of supporting students (and their teachers) in the design and development their own scientific instruments using inexpensive Arduino-compatible hardware and software. We see this project as a unique opportunity to combine the learning and motivational affordances of engineering design practices with the exploration of core scientific phenomena while bringing the growing enthusiasm for making, tinkering, and coding activities that is occurring primarily in out-of-school contexts into science classrooms. Researchers and educators have stressed the importance of approaches in which students are encouraged to explore the discovery and design of solutions to scientific and engineering problems. This project would address key goals of the EAGER:Maker program by a) exploring the learning and engagement affordances of making and b) by developing and testing the role of making in improving the effectiveness of formal learning pathways and for increasing retention and broadening participation in STEM for students. We propose a yearlong, design-based research effort consisting of three phases: a summer research internship for high school students to explore the feasibility of the approach; an after school scientific instrument club to develop and test prototype instruments; and finally a pilot test in high school physics classrooms.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/16 → 2/28/19|
- National Science Foundation (DRL-1623550)