Michigan teachers pilot test three Mi-STAR units

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Teachers and students in five Michigan schools are currently pilot testing three Mi-STAR units. Each unit is NGSS-aligned and written around a challenge that ties lessons of the unit together. Through the challenge, students employ science and engineering practices to address real-world issues and opportunities. For example, in a 7th grade unit on resource sustainability, students select material for the walls of a hypothetical “green building” in their community. Throughout the unit, they investigate the properties and life cycle of building materials. In order to make their final proposal for the wall material, they revisit everything they learned about that material throughout the unit.

Teachers are reporting enthusiasm for the extent to which that their students have been engaged in learning with the Mi-STAR units.

“The students have been so joyful this week with what we’re doing. They’re having so much fun!” -8th grade teacher

“They have been very engaged when previously it was difficult to engage them.” – 7th grade teacher

“This is an amazing lesson.  Kids are so engaged!” – 6th grade teacher

We thank teachers and students for delving into these units and providing valuable feedback.

7th grade students record their observations about the geologic origins of raw materials. 6th grade students measure plant growth during a 5E lesson on competition. 8th grade students ask questions about global climate change.

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Mi-STAR was founded in 2015 through generous support provided by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Mi-STAR has also received substantial support from the National Science Foundation, the MiSTEM Advisory Council through the Michigan Department of Education, and Michigan Technological University.