Creating Project-Based STEM Environments pp 21-34 | Cite as

# How Can Project-Based Units Be Designed for STEM Classrooms?

## Abstract

When implementing project-based instruction (PBI) in a STEM classroom, we need to consider what it is that we want students to learn. What students should learn is determined by national, state, and local curricular standards in terms of content. In addition, the PBI designer needs to be aware of classic student misconceptions that students may have with concepts within the discipline content (see Chap. 4). This is where the driving question emerges. The driving question (DQ) drives the learning within the unit of study. Krajcik et al. (2014) claimed the DQ should be meaningful, sustainable, worthwhile, feasible, ethical, and contextual (see Table 3.1 from Krajcik et al. 2014).

## References

- Boaler, J. (2002).
*Experiencing school mathematics: Traditional and reform approaches to teaching and their impact on student learning*. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar - Carr, M. (1984). Model confusion in chemistry.
*Research in Science Education, 14*(1), 97–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Chang, H. Y., Quintana, C., & Krajcik, J. S. (2009). The impact of designing and evaluating molecular animations on how well middle school students understand the particulate nature of matter.
*Science Education, 94*(1), 73–94.Google Scholar - Chéreau, F. (2010).
*Open source planetarium*[Computer Software]. http://stellarium.org/ - Cole, J. E. (2018).
*PBI Criteria Artwork*Google Scholar - ExploreLearning. (2016).
*Gizmos*. Retrieved from https://www.explorelearning.com/ - Flick, L., & Bell, R. (2000). Preparing tomorrow’s science teachers to use technology: Guidelines for science educators.
*Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 1*(1), 39–60.Google Scholar - Google. (2014).
*Transform your classroom with Google Classroom*. Retrieved from https://edu.google.com/k-12-solutions/classroom/?modal_active=none - Harrison, A. G., & Treagust, D. F. (1996).
*Secondary students’ mental models of atoms and molecules: Implications for teaching chemistry*. Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/%28SICI%291098-237X%28199609%2980%3A5%3C509%3A%3AAID-SCE2%3E3.0.CO%3B2-F CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Harrison, A. G., & Treagust, D. F. (2010).
*A typology of school science models*. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/095006900416884 - Kozma, R. B., & Russell, J. (1997). Multimedia and understanding: Expert and novice responses to different representations of chemical phenomena.
*Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 34*(9), 949–968.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Krajcik, J. S., & Czerniak, C. M. (2014).
*Teaching science in elementary and middle school: A project-based approach*. New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar - Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (2003).
*Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation*. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar - Moore, E. B., Chamberlain, J. M., Parson, R., & Perkins, K. K. (2014). PhET interactive simulations: Transformative tools for teaching chemistry.
*Journal of Chemical Education, 91*(8), 1191–1197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Paivio, A. (1991). Dual coding theory: Retrospect and current status.
*Canadian Journal of Psychology/Revue canadienne de psychologie, 45*(3), 255–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Pallant, A., & Tinker, R. F. (2004). Reasoning with atomic-scale molecular dynamic models.
*Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13*(1), 51–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Perkins, K., Moore, E., Podolefsky, N., Lancaster, K., & Denison, C. (2012). Towards research-based strategies for using PhET simulations in middle school physical science classes.
*AIP Conference Proceedings, 1413*(1), 295–298. AIP.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Peterson, B. E., Averbeck, P., & Baker, L. (1998). Sine curves and spaghetti.
*The Mathematics Teacher, 91*(7), 564–567.Google Scholar - Polman, J. L. (2000).
*Designing project-based science: Connecting learners through guided inquiry. Ways of knowing in science series*. Williston, VT: Teachers College Press (paperbound: ISBN-0-8077-3912-X, $23.95; hardbound: ISBN-0-8077-3913-8, $50).Google Scholar - Stieff, M., & Wilensky, U. (2003). Connected chemistry – incorporating interactive simulations into the chemistry classroom.
*Journal of Science Education and Technology, 12*(3), 285–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Tinker, R. F., & Xie, Q. (2008). Applying computational science to education: The molecular workbench paradigm.
*Computing in Science & Engineering, 10*(5), 24–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - University of Colorado. (2018).
*New Sims – PhET simulations*. Retrieved from https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/new - Vernier Software and Technology. (2018).
*Products*. Retrieved from https://www.vernier.com/products/?stellar-service - Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J. (2005).
*Understanding by design*. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.Google Scholar - Wilhelm, J., & Confrey, J. (2003). Projecting rate of change in the context of motion onto the context of money.
*International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 34*(6), 887–904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Wilhelm, J., Sherrod, S., & Walters, K. (2008). Project-based learning environments: Challenging preservice teachers to act in the moment.
*The Journal of Educational Research, 101*(4), 220–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Wilkerson-Jerde, M. H. (2014). Construction, categorization, and consensus: Student generated computational artifacts as a context for disciplinary reflection.
*Educational Technology Research and Development, 62*(1), 99–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Wilkerson-Jerde, M. H., Gravel, B. E., & Macrander, C. A. (2015). Exploring shifts in middle school learners’ modeling activity while generating drawings, animations, and computational simulations of molecular diffusion.
*Journal of Science Education and Technology, 24*(2–3), 396–415.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Williamson, V. M., & Abraham, M. R. (1995). The effects of computer animation on the particulate mental models of college chemistry students.
*Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 32*(5), 521–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar - Yezierski, E. J., & Birk, J. P. (2006). Misconceptions about the particulate nature of matter. Using animations to close the gender gap.
*Journal of Chemical Education, 83*(6), 954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar