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Judith LaPlante Powell High School

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1 Judith LaPlante Powell High School JELAPLANTE@PCSD1.ORG
Engineering Notebooks: Documenting the process of inquiry, exploration, and problem solving in project based education Its not about notebook to compete really, its about some form of writing to document the “process” This isn’t about a domain specific document or a competitive notebook, but common themes that Haans talked about yesterday is what we are going to talk about today STEM can be about a lot of things This talk is about documenting the process while being engaged in active learning I don’t come at this as an every day educator. I did not go to school to be a teacher, I am Computer Scientist. This is my second career I managed Microsoft’s Visual Studio (Developer Tools) I saw documents every day and come at this problem with experience informed by 2 core concepts 1 – notion of idea meritocracy. The best idea should always win 2 – the best idea doesn’t always win because people aren’t able to communicate it I have seen too many time people with the very best technical answer not able to get that solution approved or get accepted into the team because they cant document the process they have been on. They can’t offer the compelling data, they can’t offer how they will fix problems. Judith LaPlante Powell High School

2 Breadth of Students Prepared for STEM Jobs (infused & expert)
Accountant Inquiry, exploration, problem solving Technical Writer Manufacturing/Assembly Project Manager STEM infused vs STEM intensive Engineers might be the ones who are naturally gravitate to my classes, but all the people in this company is designed for everyone, not just these people. I use a different version for each class, because they do change for each domain. You will have to customize the document, but about how to use this process for STEM infused careers. When I think about grading is more about the process of documenting the inquiring than the result. Varied skills testers, document writers, dreamers, completers, starters Opens up to kids with different skills I’d rather see someone try 20 times and get it right than get it right the first time you don’t learn from getting it right you learn from fixing it Need something in school that rewards someone who tries and tries need to reward someone who continues to improve upon it – that is the best student! I want students to take 20 attempts Journey not the destination Real World you WILL write engineering specs, design documents, user manuals, schedules, etc… Rookie through expert graphic If I get 10% of my STEM infused to be STEM expert I feel great If I get 90% of them to intermediate than I have achieved my goals From infuser to experts is my goal Engineer/Developer/Scientist CEO Quality Assurance Architect Chief Creative Officer

3 Stacked Skills Real World Process vs Product Communication “Coachable”
Peer Review Articulate Goals and Decision Frameworks Fail Fast, Fail Forward Documenting the Journey Good Communication Stacked Skills Real World Process vs Product Coming from that perspective, these are the stackable student skills that we are looking to build and demonstrate using our “engineering notebook” as a tool. Just like Maslow's hierarchy of needs, you have to satisfy the first layer before the net layer, in the same way, the further up we move up this triangle, you need to master the unlaying skills first. Competency in those lower skills must increase to do the higher skills. I am going to talk about skills in three are, so I have layer those behind those skills. Communication involves mix formatting, media, color, audience identification clarity, domain specific terms Journey do they know where they are in the process, can they manage time, can they work with others Fail Fast what are the lessons you learned from them bazillion engineering processes to follow, they are all cyclical and all involve refinement this ties into technical writing. Write the solution as if someone else is reading it and using to solve the same problem. Goals can they set and state a goal, can they work toward it, can they stay focused on it? The meta decisions Coachable can they take feedback can they improve can they GIVE feedback Communication

4 Beginner Communication Process vs Product Real World Answer questions
Back up answers with facts Proper formatting Good English conventions Use multi media Process vs Product Show your work Make predictions Make plans Reflect on how it went Real World Talking in front of people This is the format you’ll see going forward in this presentation I will only list the skills I am teaching and enforcing, assuming that the next “level” can demonstrate those skills in addition to what is listed

5 Your Turn Beginner Folder Compare Amazing 1 and Amazing 2
Which one is better? Why? Be Specific on where they meet the expectation for a beginner. Dark Side of the Moon 1 and 2 Everything is digitally done. Nothing gets printed out.

6 Students don’t write in complete sentences
They want to regurgitate a fact and I want proof of concept Not capturing when student fails, what failed and why, what to try next? Allowing them to complete the task first then write what they did Introspection is a four letter word Not capturing when student fails, what failed and why, what to try next? – talk with them, get them to “say it” before writing it Allowing them to complete the task first then write what they did – have them keep their robots on the shelf until you see they wrote something, have a class discussion before moving onto the “doing” part Introspection is a four letter word – got to pry it out of them

7 Intermediate Communication Process vs Product Real World
Documents have cover pages Documents organized by date and topic Describe the problem you are trying to solve Plans include parts and drawings Pros and cons Include photo of plans, drawings Process vs Product Include research Break down plans using charts, tables, decision trees, and drawings Break down the process into steps and turn in steps as you go Plans (including break down of work) Real World Produce own documents, not just fill in worksheets Student make documents from scratch Looking for more finished/polished format Little more depth Not given prompts

8 Your Turn Intermediate Folder Compare: Mission 4 example 1 and 2
Where do they meet the expectation for an intermediate? How do they fall short? Is one noticeably better?

9 Intermediate Other Examples
Mission One Aquatic Robot Plan Detailed drawing with mathematical relationships NXT-G Engineering Notebook P 5 – Breakdown of tasks between team members P 10 – poor drawings P 11 – better idea for drawings, tasks being tracked daily Mission 4 Engineering Notebook P1 – requirements and constraints P2 – images of designs P4 – summary of testing, table of movements Team Pandora P3 – using parts to describe robot P4 – Resource List and plan P5 – math to determine distance Final Project P1 – cover page P2 – great drawings P3 – parts list and requirements Pruney Robotics P2 – 4 - research P7 – drawing of plan, used the actual field P8 – weekly feedback Stark Industries P1 – resource list with reasons behind their decisions

10 Students don’t know the basics
How to create a table Can’t insert or edit an image Can’t take and insert a screen show Don’t know how to create a cover page Can’t describe the problem they are trying to fix Difficult to predict and schedule

11 Proficient Communication Process vs Product Real World
Clear description/Objective of task at hand Clear description of constraints More developed Pros and Cons lists (table or bulleted lists) Process vs Product Table of contents kept up to date Description of predictions include evaluation of potential trouble spots and contingencies Real World In-depth study of how technical document differ from research papers and other English papers you do in school

12 Your Turn Proficient Folder
Compare: Team Scooby Snacks and No Comment Notebooks Where do they meet the expectation for proficient? How do they fall short? Is one noticeably better?

13 Proficient Other Examples
No Comment Notebook Title page Table of contents Clear description of task at hand Entries in chronological order Clear pros and cons lists Images and links to more information Obstacle Race ELL students – lots of writing Great drawing using tools available

14 Pros and Cons only touch the “surface”
Entries in order but don’t capture anything but the date Students ignore constraints Unclear goals Reasoning and criteria for decisions muddled Not using enough domain specific terms Plans are too high level and don’t contain contingencies

15 Advanced Communication Process vs Product Real World
Document independence Given set of expectations, students execute on projects Coaching given weekly on document contents Expect students to make changes and improvements every week Students allowed to use more variety of tools at their discretion

16 Your Turn Advanced Folder
Compare: SkillsUSA notebook and Computer Science Notebook

17 Advanced Other Examples
Team SnS Large variety of methods to convey images Table of contents by date and topic P3 – chart showing critical thinking P9 – table clearly comparing three designs P13 – clearly comparing three designs for consideration No Comment Notebook More developed table of contents Good breakdown along the engineering process for organization, but did not follow it through until the end P4 – Excellent chart for comparison P6-7 images showing progression of design SkillsUSA Notebook P2 concept of engineering process and how to organize their notebook (good) didn't follow through and that is evident in their final robot project. Trieme Robotics P8 – star ratings to clearly compare designs p5-10 does a good job of the journey of how they looked at arm/claw/base subsystems. CONS - lacks any real criteria for determining and didn't close the loop on other subsystems pg 11/12 has some good hand drawings incorporated. some good pics throughout

18 Not structuring the document to get the journey
Getting “Dear Diary” entries Not enough peer review Check in/ feedback on the process being ignored

19 Other Examples Computer Science Independent Study - CS - Apollo 2000
“advanced” student P1 - Cover page P2+ table of contents, P8 – Initial Entries document goals, problem and solution P9-11 – Code samples, goals, external links, explanations – Off to a GREAT start! CS - Apollo 2000 These are “beginner” students all working on one document Lots of drawings Work is broken down by student so they know who is working on which part of the program CS - RoboBomb 7 “beginner” students working on the same document Good use of headings Broken down by levels and owners

20 Summary Well designed engineering documentation assignments (short term or long term) can help make clear to the students the difference between work product and engineering process Must scale throughout their coursework Starts with guided questions and teaching inquiry and prediction Moves to exploration & problem solving Problem based learning -> project based learning -> challenge based learning Look for the journey not the out come - the inquiry, exploration, and problem solving are most important Create a culture where “failure IS a success” so long as the value created is the learning achieved


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