Integrated STEM in the El Ed: The Natural History of Our World

Wednesday 4:30pm-5:45pm Student Union: Ballroom B
Poster Session Part of Wednesday Session


Leah Courtland, University of Indianapolis
Steve Spicklemire, University of Indianapolis
Elizabeth Turner, University of Indianapolis
Anne Cutler, University of Indianapolis
Mary Gobbett, University of Indianapolis
At the University of Indianapolis (UIndy), the School of Education has partnered with the Shaheen College of Arts and Science to develop a series of five courses known as the "STEM block" aimed at graduating STEM competent elementary education teachers. Faculty from Earth science, physics, biology, chemistry and engineering are working together to develop a suite of integrated science courses that build upon one another and relate to content students are experiencing in their elementary education coursework. This poster outlines how concepts traditionally covered separately in individual Earth science, physics, biology, engineering and chemistry courses have been integrated into a single course with the aim of promoting science literacy and enabling future educators to consider science as an integrated set of methodologies for exploring the world around us. Attendees will explore one of the five integrated science courses of the Elementary Education STEM block: The Natural History of Our World, which introduces students to the methods by which we develop understanding of the history of the universe. Specific emphasis is on the formation of our solar system and particular properties of our planet with an emphasis on the development of life and the mechanisms responsible for plate tectonics. Students in the course will be guided in their investigations through a short series of inquiry projects and will develop a set of educational activities appropriate to elementary students.

Emphasis of the presentation is on the process undertaken by the faculty of both schools, still ongoing, that enabled them to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries to design these courses, which will be offered beginning in the Fall of 2018.