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Taking Mathematics to the next level with Design and Engineering. Why we can't settle for anything less.

Updated: Feb 13

Here Teacher Carlos talks about his experience and how the F1 project is taking shape in his class.

Argo Navis School: Revving Up the STEAM: Designing and Racing 3D-Printed F1 Cars

In our Makerspace, this trimester the Magic Melodies class project entails each student constructing an F1 car. Using Tinkercad, an online design platform, they will design their vehicle before bringing it to life through 3D printing. Assembling all the components, including an engine, will be a key step before they participate in a contest against peers from other schools.

This undertaking encompasses many disciplines. From science and technology to engineering, mathematics, and even art, every aspect plays a pivotal role in this project. By integrating theoretical knowledge with hands-on application, students gain a comprehensive understanding of how these fields intersect in real-world scenarios.

This project challenges students to think critically, creatively problem-solve, and apply technical skills. This experience allows them to demonstrate their ability to translate classroom learning into tangible results with practical implications.

The 2022 PISA Report: Assessing International Student Literacy and America's Standing

The 2022 PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) is an international assessment that tests students' reading, mathematics, and science literacy. In the United States, the test is conducted by the National Center of Educational Statistics. The United States ranked 28th out of 37 participating countries.

In contrast to alternative assessments, PISA evaluates mathematical proficiency within the context of real-world scenarios. Students are required to showcase their ability to apply mathematical reasoning in practical situations, such as making informed purchasing decisions, navigating city routes, and interpreting data related to smartphone usage. The test emphasizes the practical applications of mathematics, highlighting its significance for both students and adults. Despite the desire of parents for schools to prioritize these skills, PISA suggests that they may not be receiving sufficient attention.

The implications of these findings are significant. Ignoring these results would imply complicity in neglecting a generation of children who lack the essential mathematical foundation needed to thrive in and contribute to society. PISA underscores the urgency for policymakers, district leaders, and curriculum developers to collaborate in reshaping the teaching of math, making it more pertinent, engaging, and rigorous for all students in the United States.

"According to a recent Pew research Study, the education and training needs of today’s employees have changed drastically in the last ten years, and many positions require constant learning and adapting to new technologies and methodologies. In this study, The State of American Jobs, researchers found that computer/technology, soft skills, and communication/writing skills were ranked as being integral to success in the job market, with 85% of respondents reporting that these skills were either extremely or vital to success in the market.

The study also compared the skills needed today to those from 1980 and found that overall there has been a 68% increase in the amount of education and training necessary to succeed in the workforce. With the market’s increased demand for talented workers who are skilled in technology and communication, the opportunities that makerspaces generate for learning many of these skills are more important than ever before.

While educators have been working towards new teaching methodologies for STEAM subjects, the impact has not yet been realized in the test scores of U.S. students. The recent findings from the PISA report, in combination with the overall economy and job market, have made it quite clear that the U.S. still has much to do to prepare students to be successful in the market. One of the keys to bridging the gap in student knowledge of STEAM subjects is hands-on and creative learning.

Makerspaces can help address this problem with their focus on creation and social interaction. In Makerspaces students are given opportunities to work with technology, bring ideas to life, interact with peers and educators in new ways, and learn to problem solve, as well as, providing an environment in which they can make mistakes and learn from them. With all of the opportunities for learning that they offer, makerspaces may hold the key to unlocking the potential for innovation in our students and our economy."

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