The 3 steps of “Challenge, Design and Solve” in a 4Cs (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking) virtual classroom set the platform for student and teacher learning, confidence and success.
Students were challenged by math and gifted teacher, David Stickle, at Lindley Sixth Grade Academy during his Wednesday Virtual Enrichment classes to design a Homework Machine. Student products included both virtual and hands on created models. Mr. Stickle implemented the STEM interdisciplinary lesson using the Discovery Education resources available to Cobb teachers. STEM Connect lessons embrace the 3 steps of “Challenge, Design and Solve,” pushing students to engage in real-world challenges using an interdisciplinary approach.
Mr. Stickle admits that it was a learning curve and sometimes a little uncomfortable for him, but taking risks are essential to ensure students are engaged and learning. He said that the toughest part of this activity was allowing the students to create independently on their own without closely monitoring them in-person. He had to step back and trust the students were being successful while completing the project. Finally, he learned that even though he was not as confident using Minecraft, TinkerCad, FlipGrid, etc., his students were highly capable of using these platforms and enjoyed sharing their proficiency to their classmates and to him.
Mr. Stickle was very proud of his students’ creativity and persistence throughout the length of the project. He emphasized the word persistence because at first not every student was interested when the project began. By the time the students presented their final products, they said they enjoyed the experience, were proud of their projects and happy they did not quit. He would like to thank Dr. Magee, Mrs. Banfield and Mr. Brown for allowing the opportunity for him to try this STEM Connect project during their weekly Wednesday enrichment. This was a learning adventure for both teacher and students in which taking risks in a 4Cs (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking) virtual classroom was very rewarding.
Cheryl Crooks, Personalized Learning Supervisor – Targeted Instruction