Texas A&M Hosts NCYC Trip For Bryan ISD Students To Demonstrate Science Projects At Fablearn
At a conference in New York of technology and education leaders from around the world, fourth-graders from Bryan ISD presented tech-infused science projects that are part of a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research effort led by Texas A&M University visualization professor Francis Quek.
The students from Neal Elementary made their presentations at Fablearn, a convention at Columbia University of educators, researchers and policymakers who believe that children learn most effectively when they build tech-infused projects and share their experiences with their peers.
Students demonstrated and explained the projects they built, which included a circuit that connects a battery to light-emitting diodes, simple motion machines, and others.
Quek’s NSF-funded research is patterned around the maker movement, an umbrella term for independent inventors, designers, tinkerers, computer hackers and traditional artisans who combine self-reliance with open-source learning, contemporary design and emerging tech such as 3-D printers.
At the Fablearn conference, whose attendees included maker movement leaders, the Bryan ISD students performed projects they had created as a part of Quek’s study, which also aims to find ways to increase the involvement of children from underrepresented populations such as Latinos and African-Americans in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields.
“We’re researching approaches through which students may think of themselves as being interested in and capable of doing science,” said Quek. “Such identity development may have a greater impact over time than learning any one piece of science in elementary school. If the children think of themselves as capable of and interested in science and technology, they may persist in learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects as they continue in school.”
The Bryan ISD students were accompanied on the trip by an entourage that included Quek, Neal Elementary principal Juanita Collins, staff from the new Texas A&M Institute of Technology-Infused Learning (TITIL), which is hosting the project, and Bryan ISD teachers.
The trip was funded by a wide range of donors including the Texas A&M College of Architecture, TITIL, the university’s Division of Research, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Bryan, and numerous individual donors associated with Texas A&M and Bryan ISD.