Friday, November 22, 2013

Why is STEM important...? Imagine if people had not created this technology...?

Before you watch the video, ask yourself the following questions...


What would have happened if someone didn't think this was possible? Some people's big idea was to develop the medical procedures to do this?

Who designed the miniature tubes? Who made the tubes? 

Who designed the machines? Who made the machines?

Who did the mathematical computations to figure out to read and record all of the testing, research, and development to determine the right air flow, temperature, lighting required for this to be successful. 

Just in case you don't think STEM is not important, it is for this family?


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cadets Using PBL (Projects Based Learning) ...What Is It?

Here is a short video about Project Based Learning (PBL), lets take a look at what it is.

Here is a Link To another short video about PBL:

PBL Are You Engaged Yet?

Lets talk about how we might conduct a year long project based learning with a year timeline? 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Let Us Grade Homer

Purpose of this Task in Class: To become more familiar with the school-wide rubric (assessment tool) which will be used for you to assess and evaluate yourself, your peers, and that the teacher will utilize to assess and evaluate you. 

Administrative Instructions

  • Provide every student with their own hard copy of the rubric (BMHS Problem Solving / Critical Thinking / Innovation).
  • Have students write their own name and class period on the top of the rubric.
  • Rank the criteria in sequence from (Step 1) Define the Problem through (Step 6) Develop A Plan of Action to familiarize them with the process. 
  • Write the name of "Homer Hickam" on the upper right corner of rubric sheet. (He is the "student" they the "teacher" will conduct a summative assess on from the movie the October Sky. Homer Hickam was one of the West Virginia Rocket Boys who through his passion for space, creativity, and innovative spirit launched amateur rockets in high school. 
  • Have each student split each criteria assessment box in half by drawing a line. See below picture. 
  • Conduct a quick review of the rubric criteria (6 criteria) and assessment ratings (basic, goal, developing, exemplary)

CLASSROOM TASK:  The discussion associated with the assessment ratings is more important than the assessment ratings themselves. 

Step 1: (Your Summative Assessment of Homer Hickam) Review rubric content and scoring criteria by yourself. In the teacher evaluation column grade Homer in each of the six rubric criteria and assign one of the following assessment ratings (B,G, D, or E). (Individual Summative Assessment)

Assessment Ratings: Basic, Goal, Developing, Exemplary (refer to rubric for definitions of each rating for each category)

Step 2:  (Group Collaborative Feedback on Hickam Summative Assessments) Form into 4 person small groups and discuss your grades with the group. Annotate the group grade on the rubric sheet. Taking the BMHS Problem Solving / Critical Thinking / Innovation school wide rubric, in small groups you will grade Homer Hickam's performance in his big idea project.

Steps 1 and 2

Step 3: (Formative Self Assessment on Your Big Idea Project) Remain in your small group seating arrangements. Now that you are somewhat familiar with using this rubric to assess someone else (Homer Hickam) as well as discussing how other in your small group used it to assess Homer Hickam, now you will conduct a formative self assessment of your performance thus far on your Big Idea Project using the rubric. Do not collaborate during this step. Your candid assessment of yourself is key. Your assessment DOES NOT EQUATE TO YOUR GRADE. 

Steps 3 and 4

Step 4: (Group Collaborative Feedback on your Formative Self Assessment) Once your self assessment is done, now you will collaborate and share your formative self assessment (Big Idea Project) per criteria with your small group. Collaborate and give each other constructive input on how each can improve.  

Step 5: (SNSI Teacher Formative Assessment of Student's Performance on their Big Idea Project). Teacher will use the rubric to assess each cadets present level of learning on their Big Idea Project at this time. Their assessment rating score will be entered in the bottom quadrant of the student score box for this evolution. 

Note: If you were absent see the teacher to make up this assignment.

The Rubric is a tool to evaluate and assess student learning and can be used to measure the effectiveness of student centered activities. It assists the teacher in how to navigate the depth and direction 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

High School and Innovation... What Could The Future Hold

Cadet Keen at US Navy  Sub School

As we finished the movie, October Sky, we saw how Homer Hickam, who came from humble beginnings, but had a passion for rocketry. He and his fellow "Rocket Boys" developed the ability to plan, design, and launch rockets. They accomplished this at a time where many of the countries in the world at that time could not accomplish what they did in a poor West Virginia coal mining community. 

As we reflect on our focus on innovation (STEM-Social topics), student creativity (passion and interest), and increased "student centered learning" let us take a look at the future. 

Watch this video about Innovation High  

Classroom Assignment to be completed by the beginning of your class period on Monday, November 18

1. Watch all three videos (33 mins in total): 

Video 1. Innovation High School (above video / 22 minutes)  

Video 2. Watch the video: Invisible Bike Helmet from Sweden  (3.5 mins)

Video 3. Watch the video:  How Gardening Involves Interdisciplinary Learning (7 mins)

2. After watching the videos, make a blog entry (Comments section) commenting on the following: 

A. How Brien McMahon could move more towards innovative learning in the near future? ( Make specific recommendations)

B. What have YOU  learned about innovation so far?

C. What have you learned about yourself from working on your Big Idea project so far...?

Ensure your comment blog entry addresses all three areas listed (A,B, C) above after watching the videos (Videos 1,2,3). 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Invisible Bike Helmet...? Whose Big Idea Is that????

Invisible Bike Helmet

Click on the Link above, talk about innovation and thinking invisible bike helmet!!!!


Having a creative interest in an area or a problem you want to solve coupled with a deep desire to learn how to solve it or improve a process can result in amazing things. 

These two ladies loved riding bikes but didn't like wearing the available bike helmets, but they needed protection if there was an accident or they fell off of the bike. See what they came up with to solve is amazing.   

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Let's See A High School Student's Big Idea...Finished Product


This is an example of how a student used biology, agriculture, and economics to develop food for the cafeteria. Think of what your Big Idea Project will look like at the end of this school year...?