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Flood Rescue: A Gender-Inclusive Integrated STEM Curriculum Unit

Abstract

"As national reform documents and movements in the United States, such as Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013), push K-12 educators to begin to include engineering and integration of the STEM disciplines, there is a need to create curricula that meet a multitude of different standards. Additionally, there is a need to engage a more diverse population of students to pursue STEM careers. The 6th grade curriculum presented here focuses on an example of a teacher-created integrated STEM curriculum that combines girl-friendly instructional strategies (Haussler et al., 1998; Newbill & Cennamo, 2008) with an integrated STEM framework (Moore et al., 2014). An engineering design challenge that asks students to create a prototype of a watercraft used by the National Guard to rescue people during floods engages students in learning various physics concepts (forces, buoyancy, volume, and maximum capacity). In this article, we describe the lessons of the unit with respect to the frameworks, as well as key areas that particularly impacted 6th grade girls and boys."

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