Modeling Engineering Practices
Purpose: Frontline staff and volunteers will facilitate STEM learning experiences for youth to engage in engineering practices, including defining the problem, design a solution, testing, responding to failure, and optimization.
As a result of ongoing, consistent professional development efforts, frontline staff and volunteers will be able to:
- Design activities to emphasize effort, attention, practice, and persistence.
- Encourage youth as they try out new skills with imperfect results.
- Reinforce the understanding that engineers make mistakes and learn from their failures.
- Support youth to accurately define problems including criteria and constraints.
- Facilitate activities that encourage youth to apply the engineering design process and solve problems.
- Engage youth in solving local problems.
- Identify local engineers to visit your site, like technicians, musical instrument repair specialists, or computer scientists.
- Keep notes, drawings, or tables to systematically show successes and failures.
Staff Development Guides
Staff development guides are designed for coaches and trainers to use when providing professional development to frontline staff or volunteers. These downloadable step-by-step professional development guides include agendas, social and experiential learning activities, videos learning modules, supporting documents and handouts. The guides available below are designed to support the skill Encouraging Collaboration. For more information about Staff Development Guides, please visit About Staff Development Guides.
Participants will reflect on the Try and Try Again Video-Based Learning Module in order to emphasize the engineering design process.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetSituation:Meeting (small group)Length:25 minutes
Participants will analyze a Video-Based Learning Module of staff supporting youth to re-test in order to help youth succeed through persistence.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetSituation:Coaching (one-on-one)Length:15 minutes
Participants will engage in NASA's Heavy Lifting Balloon Rocket activity to plan high-quality engineering activities.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetSituation:Training (large group)Length:80 minutes
Participants will design a sandwich "protector" to learn how engineers use multiple practices to design solutions.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetSituation:Training (large group)Length:60 minutes
Participants will do a chalk talk around engineering design and testing in order to incorporate thoughtful testing and local resources.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetSituation:Meeting (small group)Length:30 minutes
Participants will use "What-If" cards in order to help youth engage in engineering design practices like using criteria and constraints, facing a failed test, and redesign.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetSituation:Coaching (one-on-one)Length:15 minutes
Self-Directed Web Lessons
Click2Science Web Lessons offer self-directed, on-demand professional development for frontline staff and volunteers. Web Lessons are hosted on Penn State Extension Better Kid Care learning management system. To complete a Click2Science Web Lesson, please review our instructions for accessing lessons on Better Kid Care. For more information about self-directed Web Lessons, please visit About Web Lessons.
People who are comfortable with testing and retesting are better equipped for 21st Century STEM work. OST staff and volunteers can intentionally support the testing and retesting phase of science and engineering experiences to nurture this attitude in today’s youth. Learn the basics about testing during an inquiry experience and view examples of testing from OST settings. Try a simple STEM experience that staff can use to introduce the idea of testing variables to children.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & Mindset
Out of school time (OST) programs provide school-age children with opportunities to play and explore. In this module facilitators learn how to maximize the value of these experiences by helping children to finish the learning process, developing and communicating the explanations about what they have discovered. Developing explanations is an important STEM skill, linked to the 21st century skills of critical thinking and communication.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & Mindset
Asking questions, trying ideas, and seeing how things work--that’s what scientific inquiry is all about. Out of school personnel support youth in this process by modeling these skills to the children in their care. Knowing that discoveries don’t usually happen in a linear order allows adults to meet children wherever their curiosity emerges and to guide them to deeper investigations. This module includes video examples and downloadable resources to equip the provider in this coaching role.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & Mindset
Click2Science hosts virtual professional development webinars each month focused on out-of-school time learning environments. STEM, professional development best practices, and other relevant events. All webinars are recorded and made available for on-demand viewing. The recorded, on-demand webinars below are designed to support the skill. Encouraging Collaboration. For more on-demand webinars or to register for an upcoming webinar, please visit our Webinar page.
The engineering process involves trial and error. Learn how to help staff develop the skills they need to support youth in using engineering practices. This webinar focuses on helping youth evaluate what did or did not work with their design and how they can solve problems as they redesign.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetDate:November 8, 2017
Micro-Messages are small, subtle messages we send and receive verbally and non-verbally. Most micro messaging is not intentional. We communicate values and expectations subconsciously. These messages can be supportive (micro-affirmations) or negative (micro-inequities).Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetDate:October 18, 2017
This webinar focuses on strategies to encourage and demonstrate learning in making and tinkering activities. It will help you develop strategies for bringing play and learning together and prepare you to have a lot of fun this summer!Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetDate:June 13, 2017
The on-demand professional development webinar will help you engage learners in science and engineering, understand what scientists and engineers do, and learn how scientific knowledge is developed. You'll find easy to use strategies to prepare yourself to engage youth in STEM learning. You'll also receive great activities to try out in your out-of-school time program.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetDate:May 24, 2016
This on-demand professional development webinar is full of resources and strategies to help you prepare yourself to engage youth in engineering experiences. In the webinar, we shared resources for great engineering activities, brainstormed a To-Do List to prepare for engineering and shared strategies to support youth engaging in engineering.Strategy:Developing STEM Practices & MindsetDate:February 16, 2016