Hauze, S., & French, D. (2017). Technology-supported science instruction through integrated STEM guitar building: The case for STEM and non-STEM instructor success. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 483-503.
The most difficult aspects of STEM education is integration of each of the learning disciplines. Additionally the shortage of educators with STEM skills mirrors the national shortage of science, technologist, engineers and mathematicians in the workforce. The paper examines a problem based learning curriculum centered around the building of a solid body guitar as a vehicle to engage students with an integrated STEM Modular Learning Activities (MLAs) Each of the STEM educators attended STEM Guitar Faculty Professional Development Institutes, a 50 hour camp on the building of the guitar, which aligned with the Common Core mathematics standards and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The building of the solid body guitar by each student in the STEM program afforded recognition of 12 core STEM activities e.g., guitar geometry, the use of CAD/CAM, electronics tolerances, oscilloscopes, gauges, and such. Each of the academic disciplines of STEM are addressed in the guitar’s construction, i.e., the sciences inclusive of biology of woods, physics of waves, the technologies available for design, the engineering of the guitar body, neck, and electronics, and the mathematics of geometry. The conclusion of the study, funded and grants by the National Research Council, demonstrated statistical evidence of improvement of learner STEM skills upon completion of the guitar. It also statistically indicated that STEM and non-STEM educators (educators with expertise in the humanities) were both equally capable of successfully implementing the guitar project.
Marshal, J. A., & Harron, J. R. (2018). Making learners: A framework for evaluating making in STEM education. Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning, 12(3), n.p. doi:10.7771/1541-5015.1749
The maker movement has been an area of great interest in recent years. Making’s connection to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is strongly touted. With the emphasis of the addition of creativity into the curriculum of STEM, the maker movement is poised to add new dimensions to STEM education. Researcher, Marshal and Harron, through their investigations have developed and examined the essential components of the maker movement with a rubric to evaluate the effectiveness of making within the STEM academic disciplines. The authors of the paper see the melding of Art, Crafts and the elements of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology as relational. The authors have created a framework for Making in STEM education. The elements, 1) Ownership/Empowerment, 2) Maker Habits, 3) Production of an Artifact, 4) Collaboration, and 5) the use of STEM tools, are listed with corresponding qualities (Marshal & Harron, 2018). The rubric evaluates each component of the maker- base project to assess the essential element of making. With this evaluation rubric, value and efficacy can be determined for a maker project’s utilization within STEM curriculum and determine compliance with national, state, and local STEM standards.
Bennett, A., & Saunders, C. P. (2019). A virtual tour of the cell: Impact of virtual reality on student learning and engagement in the STEM classroom. Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 20(2), 1-3. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i2.1658
The use of Virtual Realities takes a new form of instruction for the student of Stem and for the use in today's medical practice. The Body VR company and its products illustrate the power of Virtual Reality. This article demonstrates a practical example of a singular virtual reality usage to a classroom of undergraduate sophomore-level biology students involved in a course on cellular biology. The twelve-minute virtual reality experience, “Journey Inside a Cell” demonstrated the interior and exterior of a single cell and its organelles. The experience was interactive with a wireless wand affording the viewer the ability to interact with the surrounding. After completion of the experience by 65 participants, a survey of the VR experience was administered, and survey result evaluated. The conclusion of the survey indicated a positive, knowledge retentive experience suggesting learning value and long-term memory of the material.