Supporting Instructors to Embed Design Thinking in Digital Fabrication Courses
Makers By Design (MBD) will strengthen the engineering technology pathways by providing professional learning for K-12 teachers, running digital fabrication summer camps, and hosting design challenges. The project is aligned with NSF and aims to broaden participation in STEM through community outreach and engagement. Makers By Design seeks to create a community of practice among engineering educators involved in community-based makerspaces at public libraries, private organizations, public school systems, colleges, and universities.
Each Year, the MBD grant provides 5 days of professional learning focused on Design Thinking for 12 educators, digital fabrication summer camps for 96 middle and high school students, bi-annual design challenges for secondary and post-secondary students, and a digital lesson plan repository focused on design thinking and digital fabrication.
Design Thinking Fellowship:
NOVA will be recruiting for their second cohort of Design Thinking Fellows later this year. This NSF-sponsored program is open to college faculty, middle and high school teachers, and informal STEM learning professionals.
Complex problems require innovative and creative solutions. Design Thinking is the key to challenging assumptions and approaching problem solving in a collaborative, interdisciplinary, and non-linear way.
During this 9-month fellowship, participants will learn how to integrate design thinking into their pedagogy through a professional learning institute, teach during a 1-week summer camp, and lead their classes through a design challenge. Fellows will receive a stipend of $2,200 for participation.
Applications will be available in late Fall 2023. Contact email@example.com with any additional questions.
You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter, The IET Interface, at http://newsletter.novastem.us to keep up with application information and other fellowship opportunities at NOVA.
Makers By Design Grant Abstract:
Supporting Instructors to Embed Design Thinking in Digital Fabrication Courses Award Abstract #2055324
Manufacturing and engineering industries face a looming gap in skilled workers, with an estimated 2.4M positions projected to go unfilled by 2025. This project aims to help fill this gap by improving the preparation of the needed technical workforce. To do so, it will establish a Professional Learning program in design thinking pedagogy for secondary and postsecondary educators. The curriculum will focus on design thinking projects that involve digital fabrication techniques, including 3D printing, laser engraving, and Computer Numerical Control milling. The Professional Learning program is expected to improve the educator’ teaching practices and enable them to update existing curricula and lesson plans to better align with industry-relevant skills and techniques. The project also intends to create a community of practice around design thinking in digital fabrication that will build a beneficial network among secondary teachers, community college faculty, makerspace educators, and regional employers. It is expected that the project will support 36 secondary and post-secondary educators who will teach more than 3,000 K-12 and undergraduate students in the northern Virginia region. These students will have a greater interest in and be better prepared for technical careers in manufacturing and engineering.
The overarching goal of the project is to use Professional Learning to move digital fabrication instruction beyond the reproduction of simple objects. Instead, the project will train educators to use pedagogy and cognitive strategies to embed design thinking into their digital fabrication lessons and courses. As a result, students will learn to use design thinking to build complex, useful objects. The project’s specific aims include: (1) create a professional learning institute; (2) host digital fabrication summer camps at NOVA and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington; (3) host a semiannual design and digital fabrication challenge; and (4) establish an online resource library of projects and lesson plans created and refined by educators in the community of practice. The project is expected to advance: understanding of the pedagogies that help to develop student interest in manufacturing and engineering; the capacity for Professional Learning to facilitate the integration of design thinking into classrooms and makerspaces; and the extent to which a capstone design challenge may foster sustainable change in instructional practices. This project is funded by the Advanced Technological Education program that focuses on the education of technicians for the advanced-technology fields that drive the nation’s economy.