Eighth-grade science teacher Amanda Marinaro was awarded a $9,322 grant to enhance the STEM learning in Point Pleasant Memorial Middle School in Ocean County. Using an inventory of littleBits, Ozobots and Chromebook technology, students will cover six units of study which will be repeated each marking period with a different STEM class.

Using Google Lessons Plans, students will be fully engaged in an immersive Virtual Reality experience as they move through the units to research and develop solutions to real-world problems. Spheros will enhance the experience to better weave robotics and coding into learning and problem-solving. The use of high quality virtual reality equipment in concert with the vast number of opportunities available via Google Expeditions will provide students with immersive, virtual journeys. Student explorers will form teams to embark upon group expeditions, researching global issues and choosing one to tackle. Student explorers could choose to tackle the bleaching of coral on the Great Barrier Reef or how medical innovation such as remote telesurgery can help people in regions lacking medical care.

Before the program begins, students will journal two to three interests they have in creating inventions to solve problems and what they already know about the underlying issue and the process, including the understanding of the engineering design process. Students will complete a survey at the end of the STEM class. Completed projects will be a blend of written work, picture and video documentation, and journal style entries during the process students will use the Virtual Reality and other tools to research problems and solutions to address real social, economic, and environmental problems. The lessons are guided by the engineering design process. Students will develop and test multiple solutions to identified problems and given access to a variety of hands-on and technological materials while reframing failure as a necessary part of learning.

For more information, contact:

Amanda Marinaro, Project Coordinator
(732) 701-1900 (school)

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