Friday, May 20, 2016

The Navy and STEM Education

Submarine, Navy, Ohio Class, Ship, Water  If you read yesterday's entry, you found information on the Navy STEM lesson on GPS and Navigation, but what I didn't tell you is that they have a whole website on additional topics that come complete with the power point and the lesson plans.

These lessons were created in conjunction with discovery education.  There are 8 different lessons of which two are labeled math, however all the ones I investigated addressed at least one math standard.

This makes it possible to use them in the math classroom and at the same time showing how the math is not isolated from other topics.  The one on Submarines and Aircraft carriers addresses the standard on creating equations with two or more variables to represent relationships between quantities.  This puts a real world spin on something that is usually presented as a boring math problem.

Although the unit is mostly about nuclear power, it does address half lives which is a topic usually covered in Algebra II or college prep.  In the set up, students are required to use google maps to plot a course from Washington state to the Arctic, followed by how long will it take going the top speed of 20 knots per hour.  The fourth explore addresses the question of how long is radioactive waste dangerous.  This is an appropriate application of the half life formula.  After learning about radioactive decay, they have to predict the time for a radioactive decay scenario.

I'll be honest.  I'd probably use the parts of the lesson plan that focus directly on radioactive decay for use in the math classroom.  I love the lessons are set up so you know what to ask students for each slide in the power point and the activities/explores are pretty easy to do and the supplies are not difficult to find.

So this is a site I plan to bookmark and come back to when I plan next years classes.  Go explore and have fun.  Best of all, its free.