Engaging Students in Science & Engineering to Solve Real Problems
“The biggest connection for my students is realizing that science is not something done only in the classroom. This stormwater unit helped them to connect science and engineering issues in their own schoolyard and neighborhoods to solutions that they could design themselves. Kids are noticing a lot more potential areas of concern, and are thinking of ways to solve these real-life problems.” – Aaron Kinion, 4th grade teacher at Broadview-Thomson K-8
IslandWood has partnered with Seattle Public Schools to develop a stormwater engineering science unit for fourth grade called Community Waters, now being implemented in 28 Seattle schools. A district-wide launch of the curriculum is planned for 2018.
The unit incorporates the new Next Generation Science Standards with a focus on engineering design process and community based learning, through lessons like stormwater runoff investigations in local neighborhoods and building solutions for schoolyard stormwater problems.
In addition to the curriculum, teachers recieve professional development and direct support in planning sessions with the IslandWood Urban School Programs staff and school-specific content. IslandWood is collaborating with the district to support teachers as they deliver the lessons and make the curriculum their own.
Read our blog for more on this project.
Seattle school teachers can find the Community Waters curriculum, supporting materials, links and details here.
IslandWood has developed customized materials for each school and community, including a school-specific map, pictures of built and natural features that influence stormwater runoff, and suggested routes for a walking field trip.
We are grateful to the generous support of our partner organizations who have helped make this work possible: Seattle Public Schools, King County, Seattle Public Utilities, Boeing and the Washington State Department of Ecology.