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WP2: Adaptation/Development of Engineering Design Challenges
The main goal of this work package is to develop 10 new engineering design challenge units based on the EiE‘s Engineering Design Process (EDP) model (Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve). – Students will identify a particular problem, brainstorm for ideas, and choose one idea to develop, build a model using a carefully chosen set of inexpensive materials, and refine the completed design.
The content of each engineering design challenge unit will be connected to a specific engineering field (e.g. civil engineering, chemical engineering, food engineering, environment engineering, and mechanical engineering). Each unit will include an introductory lesson on the specific engineering field and its links to science and maths, followed by three class sessions that deal with a practical design challenge taken from the children‘s everyday environment. WP2 will begin with a workshop supported by BMOS, where BMOS leaders will share their knowledge and experience in developing and running engineering programs for elementary school teachers in the USA.
Starting with an EiE unit dealing with a particular engineering field, each team (science museum professionals, science teachers and academic experts in curriculum development and IBSE methods) will develop a new engineering design challenge. The teams will be assisted by local advisory boards, made up by local engineering practitioners and researchers, specializing in the different engineering fields that relate to each unit.
Development will be conducted in two phases: 1) Development of an initial version to be piloted; then after pilot results are evaluated 2) a second phase to allow fine-tuning, improvements and additional local adjustments to the units prior to their use in widespread outreach activities. Special attention will be given to issues of translation and cross cultural transfer. Each museum will translate the units developed by other teams of museums and schools to their own native language with due consideration of local social and cultural context and cross cultural transfer of meaning.
All materials developed will be accessible, modular, flexible, and translated for use across countries and will be web downloadable.
Task 2.1: Requirements analysis by country – will include the design and performance of a survey to identify appropriate science topics within each participant country‘s curricula and to select EiE units suitable to these topics. The survey will also aim to identify relevant local country features to be taken into account. Based on the survey results, the RA will also recommend on the assignment of the different topics (i.e. engineering fields) per country (and team).
Task 2.2: Development plan and strategy – The development plan will be guided by the results of Task 2.1 The development strategy will involve working jointly with teachers in schools and with museum educators to understand how inquiry-based pedagogies can be negotiated and incorporated into local contexts. The strategy will include identifying and putting in place appropriate support for teachers involved in Task 2.3, including support for local adaptation of units. As part of this task, partners from each country will approach local engineering departments in institutions of higher education and practicing engineers that are relevant to the engineering field assigned to them. These professionals will form a local advisory board for the development work of each unit.
Task 2.3: Development of the engineering design challenge units – The development process will be carried out by five teams of partners, with each team made up of two pairs of science museums and local schools who will work on two engineering units, with academic guidance from MMU. Each team will also draw on the advice and support of its local advisory board.
Task 2.4: Adaptation of plans for the museums – the units of the engineering design challenges, developed in task 2.1, will be adapted to shorter programs designed for museum visitors.