FOSS Introductionand Summary Michael Bostwick STEM Curriculum Mentor GST BOCES
What is STEM? The Empire State STEM Learning Network defines STEM as: “STEM education” refers to the teaching and learning of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines, in an integrated, innovative and applied fashion to a level of challenge sufficient for college and workforce readiness. http://nystem.net/index.html
Why STEM? • 43% of 2010 U.S. high school graduates are ready for college-level math • 29% of 2010 U.S. high school students are ready for college-level science • 25th out of 30: The U.S. ranking in an international assessment of high school student performance in math source: http://www.changetheequation.org/why/stem-education-in-your-state/
Why STEM? • “By 2016 the 10 fastest growing occupations in New York State will require STEM Competencies.” • www.changetheequation.org/ • “Its time to restore science to its rightful place, and to wield technology’s wonders to meet the demands of a new age.” • President Barrack Obama • Source: http://nystem.net/why.html
Inquiry Based Learning We need to move away from this: And move more toward this: Interdependence in the 21st Century
What is your experience? • I have very little knowledge about FOSS other than what I’ve heard around the district. • I understand the basics and/or have had the opportunity to discuss FOSS with classroom teachers. • I have a great understanding of the FOSS program due to extensive experience with FOSS integration and teacher collaboration.
FOSS • FOSS is an acronym that stands for Full Option Science System • Created to engage students in exploration and the construction of their own meaning of the world around them. • This is a critical aspect of the FOSS Program
Goals of the FOSS Program • Scientific Literacy • The need for citizens to have at least a foundational understanding of scientific concepts • Instructional Efficiency • Reflects current research and uses effective instructional methods • Systemic Reform • FOSS recognizes the need to produce 21st century thinkers with global understanding
FOSS Instructional Pedagogies • Inquiry • Hands-on Active Learning • Multisensory Methods • Student-to-Student Interaction • Discourse and Reflective Thinking • Reading and Research
FOSS Structure • FOSS breaks down the curriculum in the following ways:
General Activity Structure (Inquiry) • Engage the students • Pose a challenge or question • Allow students to explore and construct meaning • Discuss findings and explain content • Allow for further exploration (if needed) • Wrap up with word bank, important science concepts, and further inquiries.
Helpful Tips • Remember to let the student do the work • Allow students to create their own understanding of the concept • Encourage students to put their learning into words (discourse) • Questioning students is helpful in guided learning • Try to question students in an open-ended fashion rather than leading them to a yes or no answer • Authentic learning takes time and patience – but it’s well worth the investment!
How do you envision integration? • Take a minute to jot down some ideas that are specific to your area of teaching
Ideas for Supporting FOSS • In general: • Ask a lot of probing questions to promote critical thinking. • Require students to use scientific skills: predictions, observations, analysis, classification, inferencing, identifying variables, drawing conclusions • What is the evidence that supports your claim? • Make students defend their choices such as use of color, sound, choice of book, or physical activity. • Finding connections to science whenever possible. • Lead instruction/activities with focus questions?
Activity • Module: Balance and Motion • Investigation 1: Balance • Part 3:The Pencil Trick • Teacher must facilitate and guide the activity rather than “teach the lesson.” • Move from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered classroom.