Part I: Unit Title: North Carolina’s Water Quality - An Engineering Grand Challenge
Part II: Background on LMS and Science Teacher relationship: This unit was created by Library Media Specialist Lauren Schultz, Engineering teacher Kristen Ward and Biology teacher Keiauda Tennant. Lauren’s strengths were identified as text-based inquiry and the curation of resources. She requested to see Keiauda and Kristen model what inquiry looks like in an engineering and science classroom. Kristen’s strengths were identified as the engineering design process, and Keiauda’s strengths were identified as science content knowledge. Both requested to see Lauren model how students can use text-based inquiry in a STEM classroom.
Part III: Unit Description: This unit includes 9 lessons that culminate in the students using the engineering design process to address a solution to a specific clean water issue in North Carolina.
Using inquiry-based reading, students will explore an anchor text and then develop their own essential and supporting questions to guide theirresearch.
Over the course of the unit, students will explore a variety of texts and grow in their knowledge of clean water issues across North Carolina, and in their ability to use informational text to support their inquiry and research.
Part IV: Standards
- NGSS & North Carolina STEM Standards:
- HS-LS4-6: Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
- NC Bio.2.2 Understand the impact of human activities on the environment (one generation affects the next).
- NC Bio.2.2.1 Infer how human activities (including population growth, pollution, global warming, burning of fossil fuels, habitat destruction and introduction of nonnative species) may impact the environment.
- NC Bio.2.2.2 Explain how the use, protection and conservation of natural resources by humans impact the environment from one generation to the next
- NGSS Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect
- CCSS Science Literacy Standards
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.5: Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.8: Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
Part V: Unit Essential Question
How do humans impact water quality in North Carolina?
Part VI: Goals for Using Inquiry: The goal for using inquiry in this unit is to have students develop their own supporting research questions around clean water issues in North Carolina, examine provided text, select their own additional resources to use, and determine their own solution to the research question.The biology teacher, engineering teacher and the media library specialist have selected an anchor text about water contamination at Camp Lejeune, and provided support for students in a set of texts that guide research around clean water legislation, and how clean water relates to engineering challenges in the 21st Century.
The goal for using inquiry in this unit is to have students examine the anchor text as an open invitation to inquire about the human impact on clean water. Using the anchor text “Public Health Assessment for Camp LeJeune Drinking Water” as the base and the supportive texts “Engineering Ethics: The Aberdeen Three”, “Engineering Grand Challenges: Provide Access to Clean Water” and “Understanding the Safe Water Act” about the human impact on clean water, students will develop their own set of inquiry questions (ex: “I wonder…”) for a culminating activity about how the engineering design process can address a particular clean water issue. Students will narrow down their inquiry questions to one specific, targeted question that they seek to answer through the culminating activity.
Part VII: Summative Assessment Description and Rubric
Students will use research to create a scientific poster that uses the engineering design process to solve the problem posed by their text-based “I Wonder” question. Each group will present its poster conference-style during a 90 minute class period, presenting their research and design process to a roving audience.
0 = No attempt
1 = Insufficient
2 = Sufficient
3 = Exemplary
a. Provides a clear overview of the entire study 0 1 2 3
a. Clearly stated questions or hypotheses being addressed 0 1 2 3
b. Well-explained rationale/justification for the study 0 1 2 3
c. Relevant previous work discussed 0 1 2 3
d. Succinct – not too wordy, flows well 0 1 2 3
e. References cited 0 1 2 3
a. Clear description of how the engineering design process 0 1 2 3
was applied to the problem
b. Methods are appropriate to address the question/problem 0 1 2 3
a. Figures/Tables used appropriately and clearly represent the data 0 1 2 3
b. Findings are presented clearly and accurately 0 1 2 3
a. Conclusions are sufficiently supported by the results 0 1 2 3
b. Importance of findings is addressed 0 1 2 3
c. Future studies are identified 0 1 2 3
a. Minimum of 4 references are cited 0 1 2 3
b. Formatted correctly 0 1 2 3
7. Presentation Overall
a. Effective overall aesthetic/organization of poster 0 1 2 3
b. Flow of information is logical 0 1 2 3
c. Presenter summarized the study clearly 0 1 2 3
d. Presenter answered questions well 0 1 2 3
e. Presenter appearance is professional 0 1 2 3
Part VIII: Prior Knowledge Needed
Prior to completing this unit, students have practiced text-based inquiry in their Engineering class by developing sets of “I wonder…” inquiry questions based upon various informational texts. In Biology class, all students have previously learned about the human impact on the environment, specifically water pollution and water quality, prior to the beginning of this inquiry unit. 90% of the students crossover between Ms. Tennant’s Biology class and Ms. Ward’s Engineering class; the remaining students have taken Biology in previous semesters. All Engineering students will have gone on a field trip to a Charlotte Water sanitation facility two weeks prior to the implementation of the unit in order to develop prior knowledge of the process of sanitizing water.
Part IX: Student Learning Objectives
- The student will be able to identify how humans impact the environment by reading and annotating articles about water pollution.
- The student will be able to analyze the impact of water pollution on human health by extrapolating information from the articles about water pollution.
- The student will be able to evaluate possible solutions collaboratively to prevent water pollutions by using evidence from research.
- The student will be able to use design thinking collaboratively to address a water pollution issue by using textual evidence, research, data and precise details from the articles to create a scientific poster.
Part X: Text Set Description (used to analyze the purpose and goal of each text they provide to the students)
|ANCHOR TEXT:“Public Health Assessment for Camp LeJeune Drinking Water”https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-XHGePgH8UZclVmaGRXaUNjc00/view?usp=sharing||This Anchor Text is designed to provide information about a man-made water contamination and its impact on a specific population in North Carolina while provoking thought and engagement surrounding the human impact on water pollution.The ATOS level of the text is an 8.3, which is appropriate for middle of 7th grade year.Linked here is the Qualitative Analysis of the Complexity. This text is appropriate for 9th grade students because of the combination of the quantitative level and the qualitative analysis, which rates this text as Very Complex.|
|Supporting Text #1: “Engineering Ethics: The Aberdeen Three”https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-XHGePgH8UZSjA5b2JyX2FGSHM/view?usp=sharing||This supporting text is designed to provide context for engineering students as to why water contamination is an engineering issue.The ATOS level of the text is an 11.7, which is appropriate for middle of the 11th grade year. Linked here is the Qualitative Analysis of Complexity.||1) What could the three engineers have done differently? 2) What, if anything, could their subordinates have done differently? 3) What, if anything, could their superiors (i.e., the Army command) have done differently? 4) Should the Justice department have done anything differently? 5) Do you think the judge's sentencing of the "Aberdeen Three" was too lenient or too harsh? Why? 6) What do you see as your future engineering professional responsibilities in relation to preserving or protecting the environment?|
|Supporting Text #2: “Understanding the Safe Drinking Water Act”https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-04/documents/epa816f04030.pdf||This supporting text is designed to provide additional information about the Safe Drinking Water Act, which is referenced in the anchor text.The ATOS level of the text is an 11.6, which is appropriate for the middle of the 11th grade year. Linked here is the Qualitative Analysis of Complexity.|
|Supporting Text #3:“Provide Access to Clean Water”http://www.engineeringchallenges.org/9142.aspx||This supporting text is designed to connect the science content about the human impact on clean water to the engineering curriculum. The ATOS level of the text is a 10.5, which is appropriate for the beginning of the 10th grade year. Linked here is the Qualitative Analysis of Complexity.|
Part XI: Suggested Lesson Breakdown/Pacing
|Day 1:(90 minute block)||Students will be able to create norms for their group by coming to a consensus on the roles and responsibilities of each group member.Students will be able to discuss a case study of water contamination based upon reading and questioning a government report on a specific incident.Students will be able to formulate inquiry questions for research by annotating a case study.||1. Students will establish norms for group behavior using guiding strategies provided by the teacher.(15 minutes)2. Students will watch the trailer for the documentary Semper Fi: Always Faithful as an introduction to the unit.(5 Minutes)3. Students will read the anchor text using annotation strategies provided by the LMS & teacher.(20 minutes)4. Students will answer the TDQs based upon the anchor text, and review the answers with the LMS & teacher for comprehension. (20 minutes)5. Students will complete a second reading of the text, creating at least one inquiry “I Wonder” question per paragraph.(15 minutes)6. Students will discuss their “I Wonders” with group members, and chart the top 5 questions, as determined by each group.(15 minutes)||1, The teacher will review the list of norms that groups have established.2. The teacher & LMS will monitor students as they read independently to observe the number of annotations made.3. The LMS & teacher will review the TDQs with the class, clarifying when needed.4. The LMS will collect the annotated anchor text and TDQs to review and provide feedback for students.5. The teacher & LMS will post the “I Wonder” charts and provide students with feedback on post-its.||1. Prior to reading the text, students will pre-chunk the text.2. Students will annotate text by summarizing the central idea of each paragraph.3. Students will complete multiple reads of the text.|
|Day 2:(90 minute block)||Students will be able to identify the ethical issues related to water contamination by reading a supplemental text about ethical decisions in engineering.Students will be able to formulate inquiry questions for research by annotating a supplemental text.Students will be able to articulate the ethical issues related to water contamination by having an academic conversation.||1. Students will read Supplemental Text #1 using annotation strategies provided by the LMS & teacher.2. Students will answer the TDQs based upon the text, and think-pair-share their answers with their group members and whole class.3. Students will complete a second reading of the text, creating at least one inquiry “I Wonder” question per paragraph. 6. Students will discuss their “I Wonders” with group members, and chart the top 3 questions, as determined by each group.||1. The teacher & LMS will monitor students as they read independently to observe the number of annotations made.2. The LMS & teacher will review the TDQs with the class, clarifying when needed.2. The LMS will collect the annotated supplemental text and TDQs to review and provide feedback for students.3. The teacher & LMS will post the “I Wonder” charts and provide students with feedback on post-its.4. The teacher & LMS will facilitate a discussion about how the supplemental text connects to the anchor text, providing support where needed.||1. Prior to reading the text, students will pre-chunk the text.2. Students will annotate text by summarizing the central idea of each paragraph.3. Students will complete multiple reads of the text.|
|Day 3:(90 minute block)||Students will be able to identify how water pollution connects to engineering by reading about engineering grand challenges and the federal law that regulates drinking water.Students will be able to formulate inquiry questions for research by annotating two supplemental texts.Students will be able to articulate the connection between the ethical and legal issues surrounding water contamination and their relation to engineering by having an academic conversation.||1. Students will read Supplemental Texts #2 and #3 using annotation strategies provided by the LMS & teacher.2. Students will answer the TDQs based upon the anchor text, and review the answers with the LMS & teacher for comprehension. 3. Students will complete a second reading of the texts, creating at least one inquiry “I Wonder” question per paragraph. 6. Students will discuss their “I Wonders” with group members, and chart the top 3 questions per text, as determined by each group.5. Using their notetaker, students will Think-Pair-Share about how the supplemental texts relates to the previous texts, and document their findings on a notetaker.||1. The teacher & LMS will monitor students as they read independently to observe the number of annotations made.2. The LMS & teacher will review the TDQs with the class, clarifying when needed.2. The LMS will collect the annotated supplemental texts and TDQs to review and provide feedback for students.3. The teacher & LMS will post the “I Wonder” charts and provide students with feedback on post-its.4. The teacher & LMS will facilitate a discussion about how the supplemental texts connects to the anchor text, providing support where needed.||1. Prior to reading the text, students will pre-chunk the text.2. Students will annotate text by summarizing the central idea of each paragraph.3. Students will complete multiple reads of the text.|
|Day 4:(90 minute block)||Students will be able to design a guiding inquiry question for research by completing the QFT protocol.||1. Using their group “I Wonder” charts, students will complete the QFT protocol. The group will select to top 5 charted “I Wonders” (at least two from the anchor text and 1 from each supplemental text), and each group will present it to the whole class for review.2. The whole class will anonymously vote on what the best “I Wonder” for each group.3. The whole group will discuss the rationale for selecting the best questions. With the LMS.4. In their groups, students will work on refining the language of their questions with assistance from the LMS and teacher.5. Each group will write down and share their “I Wonder”, which has been developed into a research question.||1. The teacher & LMS will monitor students as they develop their “I Wonder” charts in groups.2. The teacher and LMS will provide each group with individualized feedback and support, both verbal and written, in the development of their final “I Wonder” question for research.||None.|
|Day 5:(90 minute block)||Students will be able to articulate the deliverables and expectations for the research and development of their scientific poster by creating a Gant chart.Students will be able to locate and identify reliable sources of information by using academic research databases.Students will be able to cite their sources of information by using APA citation format in EasyBib.||1. The LMS and teachers will present the product expectations for a scientific poster.2. The teacher will lead students in developing a Gant chart of deliverables and expectations for their groups.3. The LMS will guide students in identifying and locating reliable scientific resources for research.4. The LMS will guide students through the use of EasyBib in order to cite their information.4. In their groups, students will begin the research process.||1. The teacher will collect and review the Gant chart and provide written feedback.2. The LMS will monitor students as they locate resources to provide additional support as needed.3. The LMS will monitor students as use EasyBib to develop a Works Cited page in APA format in order to provide additional support as needed.||None.|
|Day 6-8:(Three 90 minute blocks)||Students will be able to synthesize information from reliable sources of information by using academic research databases .Students will create a scientific poster by using the engineering design process to solve a water pollution issue.||As a group, students will research and develop their scientific poster.||The LMS & teacher will monitor students as they conduct research and create their product in order to observe progress and provide support as needed.||None.|
|Day 9+:(One 90 minute block)||Students will be able to articulate their learning outcomes about water contamination as it relates to engineering by presenting their scientific poster to an audience.||Students will present their scientific poster conference-style in the media center.||The LMS and teachers will use the product and presentation rubrics to formally assess students for this project.||None.|
Part XII: Attachment of Student Work Examples
Part XIII: Teacher and Librarian Reflection on the Implementation of the Unit
LMS Reflection: This was the first time I had collaborated with STEM teachers in writing and co-teaching a unit. I really enjoyed this process because I discovered how science and engineering work with literacy, while still being able to accomplish their standards. Furthermore, I was really impressed with the outcomes of this project. We challenged 9th grade students to do college-level work, and they succeeded. We are going to continue to teach this project in the future. As for future improvements, the project is really reading intensive, so students need to be prepared that they will be frontloaded with reading, but that the reading has a purpose. The first time we did this lesson, we did not let the students know the outcome until after they had finished the reading. The next time we teach this lesson, we would let students know from the beginning what the outcome of the project is so that they recognize that their is purpose to the reading. Once students realized the overall purpose to the reading, they embraced the project. Lastly, we would extend the timeline for actually creating the final product by 1-2 days. Although students were able to create a final product in 3 days, the final products would have benefitted from more time being committed to the research process. Overall, this is project I would gladly replicate and teach again, or use the model of this lesson as a basis for other collaborations with teachers.
Science Teacher Reflection: I thought our SLASL unit went really well for a first go-round. I loved being able to work together and I think we did a great job of utilizing our strengths and areas of expertise. I also think we did a good job of scaffolding inquiry for the students by building up to the anchor text, so that way it was old hat by the time we got to it and students knew what to do. I think there are some areas for improvement as well. The first would be to give the students more time, we were under a very strict time schedule and while the students were able to accomplish it, I think with an extra day or two, it would result in a much better final product. We could also be more clear on final product expectations, i.e. Poster requirements. I also think we could do a better job of explaining how a science poster session goes, so that the students felt better prepared and knew what was expected of them.
Engineering Teacher Reflection: Overall I thought the SLASL unit was good. I feel like the team of Schultz, Tennant, and Ward was a highly successful team and that we complimented each other really well. I thought that the project was just complicated enough for the students, they were able to successfully complete the tasks we asked but it stretched them and helped them grow. I feel like the timing was a little tight and difficult, I think that in the future it might be interesting to scaffold some of the outcomes we asked of the students. The poster was a large undertaking and portions of the poster could and should be broken down. I am interested to see what and how we tackle this project again in the future.
Licensed by ISKME CC-BY 2016