In an effort to help the ESTM 535/644 course assignments be more meaningful and valuable we
have simplified a couple of them and sought to make the connection between the assignments more
straightforward. Most of the assignments throughout the course will be focused on helping you
complete a final e-portfolio project that will take the place of the lesson plan assignment, inquiry activity
presentation and final exam.
Course project for ESTM 535/644
Purpose: The purpose of the project is to give students the opportunity to (1) understand and be able to
use the 5E model for inquiry-based presentations and lessons, (2) identify and understand how science,
technology, engineering and mathematics are inter-related in various lab activities and (3) consider how
the processes and ideas of the various lab activities can be modified and used when applied to your
With the exception of the information data sheet, the course assignments will help students
produce an exemplary project. The two research articles on inquiry and the set of three inquiry-based
activities will be useful when focusing on Part 1 of the project. The “take home” assignment will give
you the opportunity to consider connections between and among science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics and technological literacy that might be useful in Part 2 of the project, as will the short
analytical assignments completed as part of the various STEM lab activities. Class and small group
discussions will be helpful completing Part 3 as you relate what you learned in the STEM lab activities to
your particular work site.
It is important that you pace yourselves so that a quality job is achievable by the end of the
course. The following is a list of suggested completion dates for the individual assignments to keep you
Course assignments Suggested due dates and available points
Individual Data Sheet Week 2: 10 points
“Take Home” assignment Week 3: 15 points
Responses to research article Weeks 5 and 7: 10 pts each
Collection of 3 inquiry activities Week 8: 15 points
STEM Lab activities Ongoing: 20 pts per activity
Course project Week 10: 100 points
E-portfolio submission Week 10: 5 points
Responses to research article (10 points each)
You will read and respond to 2 articles related to inquiry-based (problem-based)
learning. One article must give you some insight into how brain-research supports inquiry
learning. One article must give you some insight into how technology enhances inquiry.
After you read each article, you will write a short (1/2- to 2/3-page) summary of the
article highlighting the critical points made by the researcher(s). The summary will be
followed up with your reflection (about 2 pages) on how this article could positively impact
your ability to plan and implement inquiry-based presentation with special consideration of
the focus of the paper (brain-based research for one paper and technology for the other
Please attach a copy of the article (not just the abstract) to your paper and submit your
paper in APA format for in-text citations and the reference page. Do not include a title page
or abstract. You can find APA guidelines for in-text citations and the reference page on-line.
Collection of inquiry activities (5 points per activity)
Please make a paper copy of 3 inquiry based activities. Staple a half-page typed paper
to the front of each activity and briefly, but clearly, explain how the activity fosters an inquiry-
based way of thinking and acting. In an effort to spend more time in the STEM lab and to
reduce a bit of stress, you will NOT be presenting any of these activities in class.
Analysis guide for STEM lab activities (20 points each)
As your group completes the various STEM lab activities analyze each one in terms of:
1. (10 points) How were the 5Es reflected in the activity?
2. (10 points) How were aspects of science reflected in the activity?
How were aspects of technology reflected in the activity, including knowledge,
capabilities and ways of thinking and acting?
How were aspects of engineering reflected in the activity?
How were aspects of mathematics reflected in the activity?
Please make sure your name is at the top of the groups’ paper.
Course project: (100 points)
This project is a paper that will be completed during class the last few weeks of the
course, though students may want or need to utilize a bit of time outside class, as well. To
complete this project, you will choose one of the STEM lab activities done in class and identify
the various aspects of the activity that were consistent with the 5E inquiry model and some
aspects that were not consistent with inquiry. You will also discuss an outside activity and show
how the elements of inquiry will foster learning about a particular concept or skill. Students will
also analyze and discuss in writing the facets that reflected features of science, technology,
engineering and mathematics integration. Finally, you will explain how the knowledge,
capabilities and ways of thinking and acting fostered by working with the activity can be
transferred to your work environment. For instance, students who are teachers may want to
consider how to do a similar activity with materials that are a fraction of the cost of what was
used in the course. Students who are involved in working with skill sets in business or industry
might consider how the process embedded in the STEM lab activities could be used in
designing a training manual. Others might want to think about what sorts of industries or
businesses have some connection with technologies used in the STEM lab activities…how do
you market the business, sell products built by the business, etc?
The course project may be done by groups of students up to three people per group.
Please remember that this is a culminating course project that showcases your knowledge,
capabilities and ways of thinking/acting as they relate to STEM Education so use it as an
opportunity to show off!
A rubric for the course project will be forthcoming in a few weeks.
E-portfolio Submission: (5 points)
Simply upload your course project to your STEM e-portfolio.