Teachers commit to six days (48 hours) of professional development, integrating four WIP units into their curriculum over the school year. Teachers naturally transform their instructional practices from teacher-directed to student-directed inquiry. They are supported with in-classroom facilitated sessions and relevant project-based learning that affects the community, including the opportunity for students to design and conduct their own investigation at an Arizona river.
WIP students understand their interconnected water resources and how the natural environment and human water distribution system are connected. Engineering becomes understandable as they apply science and mathematics to solve real-world problems like reducing water use at school and at home. Mathematical thinking skills are the focal point as students become water auditors, measuring flow rate, thinking through other variables needed to calculate gallons per year, developing a process to collect data, calculating answers including unit conversion, and analyzing data graphically. Students learn about careers and use equipment in the field that chemists, hydrologists, aquatic biologists, soil scientists, biologists and engineers use. They record daily learning and use digital tools summarize ideas, data, photos, videos and discoveries about their studies online. Finally, students synthesize their learning and present their ideas, recommendations and commitments to peers and adults at a STEM Symposium. The experience is transformative.
The programs in this database clear a high bar. STEMworks reviewed each program against CTEq's Design Principles for Effective STEM Philanthropy.
Identify and target a compelling and well-defined need.
Use rigorous evaluation to continuously measure and inform progress towards the compelling need identified.
Ensure work is sustainable.
Demonstrate replicability and scalability.
Create high impact partnerships
Ensure organizational capacity to achieve goals.
Offer challenging and relevant STEM content for the target audience
Incorporate and encourage STEM practices.
Inspire interest and engagement in STEM.
Identify and address the needs of under-represented groups.