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.

Advertisement

Writing for Science Learning: Book Creator

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Science teacher Kathy Blakemore has inspired generations of seventh-graders to take better care of our planet, to be curious about all its inhabitants, and to learn more about what makes its ecosystems work as they do.

Recently, Kathy and her students at Elsinore Middle School in Lake Elsinore, California decided to take their learning public. Using Book Creator, the students published a book titled, Incredible Invertebrates. Students worked in teams to identify sources about various phyla and then synthesize graphics and their reading. They learned about what it takes to write a book that is appealing to their audience as well.

Amazing Invertebrates

Incredible Invertebrates Click to read this book, made with Book Creator https://read.bookcreator.com

Each chapter is organized describing where the invertebrates live, what threats exist to their survival, and what fun facts the student scientists and authors uncovered. I was very impressed that the students cited their sources and identified key vocabulary that their readers will want to understand.

Congratulations to Mrs. B and her 7th-grade GEMS students on a job well done.

Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

In this post, I share an infographic representing the ideas in the article,
“Accuracy in Digital Writing Environments: Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check”. Access the article by clicking here and scrolling down to the article.

You are welcome to share this infographic in your classroom or for nonprofit educational purposes.

Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check

Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check

Infographic design by Getty Creations

Creative Commons License
Read Up, Ask Around, Double-Check by @TDWolsey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at literacybeat.com/2019/03/26/read-up-ask-around-double-check/.

Exploring Literacy in the Disciplines: What Disciplinary Experts & Teachers Think

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

4:30 – 5:25 PM, July 6, 2017, Room 2, Palacio de la Audiencia Cultural Center

Soria, Spain
For this presentation, the researchers brought literacy professionals, professors, experts from several disciplines, and teachers together to inform each other and us about the role language and literacy plays in their respective disciplines. Their conversations highlighted how the literacies are used during an “at work day”, how professors can share this information with perspective teachers, and exactly what that means for middle and high school students (Draper, Broomhead, Jensen, & Siebert, 2010).

Presentation slides [ PDF]

Literacy in the Disciplines Interview Project page. Visit the conference site here.

Literacy in the Disciplines

Literacy in the Disciplines

International Literacy Association Pre-Convention Institute

Developing Conceptual Knowledge Through Oral & Written Language  – Literacy Practices in Schools and in the Workplace: Match or Mismatch? #ILA2017

  1. PowerPoint  (Opens in Box.com)
  2. Introduction to Literacy in the Disciplines PDF
  3. Writing in the Disciplines by Time and Source PDF
  4. Accuracy in Digital Writing Environments: Read Up, Ask Around, Double Check [Free Access – Scroll down to find the article].

devere-bernadette-at-ila-july-2017-2-e1500226951644.jpg

Bernadette & DeVere representing Literacy Beat at #ILA2017

Reference:

Draper, R.J., Broomhead, P., Jensen, A.P., Nokes, J.D., & Siebert D. (Eds.). (2010). (Re)Imagining content-area literacy instruction. New York: Teachers College Press.

 

 

Literacy in the Disciplines: A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 5-12

My book with co-author Diane Lapp will be available in October 2016.  Besides many resources, some of our colleagues and friends contributed to our chapter on specific disciplines.

A Special Offer for Readers of Literacy Beat from Guilford Press: Save 20% with Promotion Code 2E! Just click the link or the cover art to automatically have the discount applied in your cart. You may also enter the code 2E directly in the cart to receive the discount.

Literacy Disciplines Cover

Meet some of our experts:

A great lineup of experts in teaching and in the disciplines contributed to chapter 2 with sections for many content areas and topics.  Take a look!

Faith Bass-Sargent teaches mathematics at Elsinore Middle School in Lake Elsinore, CA.

Kathy Blakemore is an outdoor education enthusiast who also teaches science and physical education at Elsinore Middle School in Lake Elsinore, CA.

Cameron Brown is the Director of Instrumental Music at Thurgood Marshall Middle School in San Diego, California.

Devin Burr, D.O., is a resident physician at Aspen Dermatology in Spanish Fork, Utah.

Dr. Maria Grant is a Professor of Education, California State University at Fullerton working in the College of Education.

Dr. Dana L. Grisham is a retired professor in the Department of Teacher Education at CSU East Bay (Hayward) where she taught courses in literacy teacher preparation and in the graduate reading program.

Liz Jardine owns a design studio and is an artist in San Diego, California.

Dr. Denise Johnson is professor and director of the Literacy Leadership Program and Department Chair of Curriculum and Instruction at the College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA.

Dr. Linda Lungren, a music teacher for San Diego City Schools (elementary).

Stacy Miller teaches at Stuttgart High School (DoDEA) in Germany.

Dr. Stephen Mogge is an Associate Professor in the Graduate Reading Education Program at Towson University.

Dr. Barbara Moss is a professor of literacy education at San Diego State University, where she teaches courses at the credential and masters levels.

Dr. Donna Ogle is Professor Emeritus of Literacy Education at National Louis University (NLU), Chicago, IL.

Dr. Susan J. Pearson is an Associate Professor of History at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Tim Peterson is a bass guitar specialist. He works in retail at Guitar Center in the Los Angeles area and is a member of the popular band, EverTheory.

Steve Sheinkin is the author of several award-winning nonfiction books for young adults: The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery; Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon; and the Port Chicago 50.

Dr. W. David Scales is a professor and psychometrician in the Department of Psychology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC.

Javier Vaca is a teacher of social studies at Health Sciences High and Middle College, San Diego, CA.

 

 

Language and the Sciences

Students Use Language in the Sciences

  • The Literacy in the Disciplines Interview Project 

Because what students do with language as they learn about and through any given discipline should be the end result of our work in disciplinary literacy, we share this example of student work in science. In this video newscast, students Garrett and Ben demonstrate their understanding of the language of science, particularly physics, as they explain the principles of matter and antimatter. Note the precise use of the language of science in their presentation. Watch this video to see them in action.

 

Josh Lawrence at the University of California, Irvine, shared this video about reading a graph like a scientist with us. We hope you’ll find it useful:

 

Literacy Meets Music

  • The Literacy in the Disciplines Interview Project

We invited Dr. Linda Lungren, a music teacher, pianist, composer, and choral conductor to interview Tim Peterson, bassist for the band, Everytheory, in Los Angeles CA regarding the literacy demands of working in the music industry. Download Evertheory’s music at freedownload.evertheory.net/ and visit the band’s website at www.evertheory.com/. Listen to this podcast of Linda’s interview with Tim.

 

 

Our colleague, Josh Lawrence at the University of California, Irvine, shared this video on a disciplinary approach to reading sheet music, as well.

 


Literacy in the Arts

  • The Literacy in the Disciplines Interview Project

Dr. Barbara Moss of San Diego State University interviews artist Liz Jardine in San Diego about the role literacy plays in her art and her art business, and the role art plays in literacy.

 

Art teacher Tim Benson responds in this podcast to the YouTube video interview with Barbara Moss and Liz Jardine who discuss the role of literacy in creating art. Tim is also the President of the San Diego County Art Education Association.


Technology, Entertainment, & Literacy

Literacy in the Technology and Entertainment Fields

  • The Literacy in the Disciplines Interview Project

Alex Gonzalez interviews Paul Hill about the demands of literacy in the technology industry in this video. Alex is a technology expert in education at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Paul works in the technology and entertainment industry.

 

Next, Annaleah Enriquez, a health educator at Health Sciences High and Middle College in San Diego responded with ideas for engaging students based on the interview with Alex and Paul. Please listen to this podcast:

 

STEM and Literacy

  • The Literacy in the Disciplines Interview Project

Cynthia H. Brock interviewed Cal Anderson of SpaceX and Joe Assof of Health Sciences High and Middle College about the intersections of literacy, mechanical engineering, and mathematics in this video series.

In Part I, Cindy, Cal, and Joe discuss some of the expectations and demands of language in the mechanical engineering field.

 

In Part II, the team converses about how the ideas they discussed in Part I might look in the classroom. At two points in the conversation, Joe provided video of his students in the classrooms.  Look for the callout to take you to the classroom videos or view them separately, below.

 

In this video, Joe Assof works through a complex problem with a group of 11th graders where they have to understand the context of the problem and what is being asked in order to understand how to apply the mathematics. Notice how the students use language to support their understanding in mathematics.

 

Joe is working with an outstanding group of students who use close-reading to understand two short word problems in this video. The students are using an annotation scaffold to guide their thinking as they read and discuss the word problems.

 

Next, W. Ian O’Bryne, College of Charleston, interviews Kurt Becker, Utah State University, about intersections of engineering education, design, STEM, and literacy.

 

You may also access this set of videos in the Interview Series that have to do with STEM topics as a playlist on YouTube.

Soon, I will have these interviews uploaded as podcasts to iTunes or GooglePlay, so stay tuned!

%d bloggers like this: