STEAM + Literacy

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

In 2019, I supervised a group of terrific scholars who were graduate assistants, and most were teachers. The bulk of the work was done by this terrific team. The idea was to create STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) with literacy, then align all of that with Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, digital literacy standards, and Egyptian curricular standards.

The team worked together to produce the units, eventually four in all, and each of those was then reviewed by an independent expert who was not part of the team. While we were never able to spin those off to a website, as planned, I am adding them here with a Creative Commons license so that others can benefit from the great work the development team did. Because these were intended to be digitally available and designed for online access, technically, these are still drafts.

ThemeThe world we live in!
TitleSecuring access to clean water  
Unit Essential QuestionHow could we secure better access to fresh/clean water sources?
Grade Level6-8

The problem:
Water scarcity and desertification are common challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The growing demands of securing more freshwater have impactful effects on demographics and economic development. Families living by the sea coast, and/ or remote places might spend many hours daily lining up to get a few liters of fresh water from the water delivery truck to maintain their day-to-day needs. Can you help them find a more sustainable and convenient alternative to access/ provide fresh water in their area?

CategoryLife Sciences
ThemeFood Security
TitleWe Garden!  
Unit Essential QuestionHow can we improve food production to meet the needs of the growing populations?  
Grade LevelGrade (6-8)

The problem:

With the ever increasing population in Egypt and elsewhere, people need increasing amounts of food. In order to meet the increased food needs in Egypt, we have a lot of options such as importing food, which costs a lot of foreign currency, growing more food or rationalizing our food consumption. The government economic agenda gives priority to different agriculture projects with the aim to enlarge the cultivated area and to guarantee sufficient production of the main crops to satisfy the needs of the growing population. Can you help design a system that facilitates gardening for food production?

Source: https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/14877/Hamza-Mason%202004SAVED.pdf

CategoryLife Sciences
ThemeEnvironmental Awareness
TitleDealing with Climate Change
Unit Essential QuestionHow can we reduce the impact of climate change?
Grade LevelGrade (6-8)

The problem:

July 2019 was recorded as the warmest month in history. In general, it is anticipated that the period between 2015 to 2019 is turning out to be the hottest years in history (World Meteorological Organization, 2019). In Egypt, we continuously feel the summer heatwaves. As there is no hint for any environmental improvement, the climate change problem will continue bringing us more heatwaves and warmer weathers in the years to come. While using air conditioners might look like an immediate solution that helps us deal with the problem, the power used by air conditioners, like most other regular electricity-run devices, actually add to the problem causing climate change. Do you know why? Can you help us have a better solution that might have less negative impact on the environment?

Reference: https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/july-matched-and-maybe-broke-record-hottest-month-analysis-began

ThemeTheme: Transportation
Unit TitleTravel safely!
Essential QuestionHow can we protect passengers in a car crash?
Grade Level6-8

The problem:

The number of road traffic deaths continues to rise steadily, reaching 1.35 million in 2016 (WHO, 2016).  Although automotive and mechanical engineers are innovating many safety procedures to help passengers, these innovations haven’t made their way into enough vehicles to reach their full potential in reducing fatal car crashes. 

Do you remember those days that you spent hours outlining and drawing your dream car? What are the most important aspects in automotive design? How do automotive designers build cars that are speedy and safe at the same time? 

Mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and industrial designers collaborate to develop and enhance motor vehicle structures, engines, and associated systems to ensure optimum wagon performance. In addition, they carry out a series of crash tests to modify their design in order to ensure optimum safety to all passengers in case of accidents. 

The project team was ably managed by Bola Ibrahim with the assistance of these team members:

Hanan Abou Zaied

Hanaa Mahmoud

Alaa Badran

Hemmat Mahmoud

Dr Mohamed ElNagdi

Dr. Thomas DeVere Wolsey served as faculty supervisor

with Gihan Osman and Heba El Deghaidy as Co-PI and PI (Principal investigator)

The project was funded by the office of:

Associate Provost for Research, Innovation and Creativity at The American University in Cairo

The content of the PDFs linked on this page only are

STEAM + Literacy by https://literacybeat.com/2022/10/28/steam-literacy/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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