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Thomas College & RSU 18 STEAM Design Challenge

                      STEAM Design Challenge Launch Workshop, February 27, 2019

Design challenge! Design Thinking! Iteration! Iteration! Iteration! Collaboration!

Students of RSU #18 joined forces with Thomas College pre-service teachers for an 8-week collaborative Design Challenge unit.

Students spent the day on the Thomas campus working through a “Gravity Pull Car” design challenge with Chris Dorman, STEM librarian for the Maine State Library. The excitement of teamwork between the Thomas students and the Gifted and Talented students rivaled the enthusiasm of any sports championship game! Students then toured the campus with a scavenger hunt game ending with a Thomas swag bag and lunch in the dining hall.

The real action started when the Thomas Mentors began teaching our students, engaging them in activities that challenged their thinking and exploded their creativity. Challenge topics include Erosion, Constellations, Plate Tectonics, Biomimicry, Sustainability, and Water Recreation, which after studying the underlying issues will result in 3D printed solution-prototypes of erosion pavers, constellation flashlights, geologic globe puzzle, biomimicry objects, scale solar system, tiny homes, and toddler kayaks. This day of investigation set the stage for these challenges by gaining background knowledge through experimentation, identifying criteria and constraints, and next steps for future work.

This hybrid project now moves forward with Thomas mentors coming into the RSU 18 GT classes to teach and then providing support online via email and workshop days directed by Mrs. Paquette. The final event is a Showcase at Thomas College on April 23rd, 2019, open to the public.  Dr. Kate Cook of Thomas College, Tamiko Paquette (GT Teacher,) Rebecca Cobban( MMS Librarian), and Kim Fish (MMS Technology Integrator) are collaboratively working to ensure a positive learning experience for all.

by Tamiko Paquette


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