Diffusing the Confusing Has he lost his marbles? RET Corps Member: Mark Casey Workshop Attendee Group Members: Syed Warisi Veronica Alexander Sheila Rollins Stella Muir IIT Research Mentor: Dr. Eric Brey This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No. EEC-0502174. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Overview of Module • Topics Covered: • Diffusion, Diabetes, Polymers, Wound healing, Gels, Collagen, Properties of Gels, States of Matter, Brownian Motion, Extracellular Matrix, Transport of Materials, Ethics and team behavior, Engineering, Writing Problem Statements, Identifying Prior Knowledge and Knowledge, Proteins • Student Involvement: • Used PBL to engage students and keep inquiry student-centered. Students were active participants. Are you sure about this?
Pretest/Posttest Results * Topic was not covered. Question not valid.
Design Activity • Brief Description • Designer Cookies: Given a basic recipe, specifications, and constraints, students became food engineers to design new recipes to produce sugar cookies of three different levels of “browness.” • Lessons Learned • Engineers fill needs with new creations • Engineers must consider specifications and constraints • Rarely get it right the first time, may need to go back to the drawing board • Requires an iterative process • Must follow specifications!!!!!! (Mark has an oven to sandblast.) They do know we’re guys, right?
Inquiry • Brief Description • Used Problem-Based Learning • Dr. Brey asked them to help him solve the problem of poor transport in diabetic tissue in order to improve wound healing. • Lessons Learned • Students learned to write/detail a problem statement • They learned to distinguish prior knowledge and the knowledge they needed to gain (inquiries) to solve the problem. • They used a variety of self-teaching experiences to learn (Demonstrations, “Ask the Expert,” Experiment, Investigate, Engineering Exercise, Text) Huh?
Ethics • Brief Description • Hand-out prompted discussion of what ethics is, and why it is important. • Discussed what professional codes are. • Given a Code of Ethics for Teamwork in Science Class • Lessons Learned • Ethics are useful to bring order out of potential chaos. • Codes help finish work in a timely way. • Codes help reduce arguing/fighting. • Codes promote respect. • Codes can be used in the classroom. Well, I know I didn’t do it!
Improvements/ Recommendations • Engineering Design • Give students two or more iterations before revealing a successful recipe (assuming no team designs one). • Relate design errors to the need to follow the specifications (directions). • Correlate Food Engineering to Chemistry as opposed to Culinary Arts • Scientific Inquiry • We ran out of time before it was covered in final debriefing. • Professional Ethics • Provide adequate time for discussions. • Provide adequate time for student development of their own code. • Materials • Substitute alternatives for hands-on diffusion table (shaker cups?)
Modifications • Elementary (K-4) • Safety concerns and time constraints call for parental involvement for completion of the baking project. (Engineering). • Provocative questioning leading to the topic of diabetes. (Scientific Inquiry) • Student generated Code of Ethics for Cooperative Learning. • Middle (5-8) • High School (9-12)