Project Mission and Goals
The mission of SMTE is to develop and research a high-quality innovative program model addressing the DR-K12 Frontier Challenges: 1) to assure all students the opportunity to learn significant STEM content; 2) to support STEM teachers’ practice and development in an era of cyber-enabled learning; and 3) to enhance STEM learning through effective integration with local and global resources and systems. To address these challenges, the Project will:
Produce a generalizable methodology and infrastructure that can engender the development of a transformative genre of hybrid STEM curriculum involving 3-D simulation, gaming, and real-world physical modeling.
Conduct research into 1) learning acquired through simulation, gaming, and follow-up physical modeling; 2) attitudinal changes, facilitated by an educational gaming environment, toward learning about technology and design; and 3) the adaptability of the Project hybrid model.
Develop a six-week prototypical program that promotes technological literacy through design-based activities and quests in realistic contexts, addresses middle school STEM standards, and includes embedded formative and summative assessments of student understanding.
Develop a Web-based instructor design interface that allows instructors to modify the context of the game and simulations to meet specific instructional needs and geographic settings. Enhance students’ disposition to STEM learning and augment their knowledge and skill in design, technology, and related standards-based mathematics and science. Develop a comprehensive online learning environment and instructional support system that includes animated introductions to the quest, a library of tools and 3-D objects, Web-based and textual student materials, teacher guides, and professional development materials.
Evaluate, publish, and disseminate models, methods, products, materials, and results.