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Learning Science through Engineering Design: An Effective Approach to STEM Integration at the Elementary School Level

Presenters: Brenda Capobianco and Chell Nyquist
The vision of the Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED) Partnership is to increase student learning of science in grades 3–6 by developing Indiana’s first integrated engineering design-based approach to elementary/intermediate school science education. In this interactive session, participants learn about the SLED model for engineering design by engaging in a standards-based task, explore how STEM faculty construct a SLED task, and hear how teachers implement design-based pedagogies and what students learn from them.


ABOUT THE PRESENTERS:
Brenda Capobianco, Associate Professor of Science Education and Engineering Education, Purdue University
Brenda Capobianco is an associate professor of science education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Engineering Education and an affiliated appointment in Women's Studies at Purdue University. She serves as the co-director of the Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED) Partnership, a Mathematics and Science Partnership focused on improving science achievement among students in grades 3–6 in four partnering Indiana school districts. Her research interests include girls’ participation in science and engineering, teachers’ engagement in action research, and science teachers’ integration of the engineering design process to improve science learning. Most recently, Capobianco successfully designed and implemented an integrated STEM methods course for prospective elementary school science teachers by incorporating the tenets of the SLED Partnership with the practice of partnering inservice teachers. In 2011, Capobianco was awarded Purdue University’s Faculty Scholar for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and later served as the interim director of Purdue University’s Hall of Discovery Learning Research Center. She holds a BS in Biology from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; an MS in General Science from Connecticut Central State University; and an EdD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Prior to earning her doctorate degree, Capobianco taught middle school science in Farmington, Conn., for more than 10 years and was awarded Connecticut Science Teachers Association’s Excellence in Science Teaching at the Middle Level Award, Connecticut Education Association’s Susan B. Anthony Award for Creative Leadership in Women's Rights, and Connecticut State Department of Education’s Celebration of Excellence Award.

Chell Nyquist, Project Manager, Science Learning through Engineering Design Partnership, Purdue University
Chell Nyquist is the project manager for the Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED) Partnership, a targeted Mathematics and Science Partnership that focuses on improving science achievement among students in grades 3–6 in four partnering Indiana school corporations. Prior to joining the project, he was the instructional laboratory coordinator for the First-Year Engineering Program at Purdue University. He was responsible for the coordination and administration of two introductory engineering courses involving 1,800 students. Nyquist earned his MS in Engineering from Purdue University and received BS degrees in Physiology and Bioengineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.