Design Squad: Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Engineers

This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with WGBH, took place on November 4, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. In this program, Natalie Hebshie, and Margot Sigur talked about Design Squad - a reality competition series on PBS where teenagers tackle engineering challenges from real word clients. Ms. Hebshie and Ms. Sigur discussed how the series gives kids a working understanding of physical science concepts while increasing their enthusiasm for engineering. The presenters highlighted a number of free educational resources, particularly Design Squad's latest resource, the Design Squad Teacher's Guide, which helps educators unleash middle school kids' ingenuity and get them thinking like engineers. Ms. Hebshie and Ms. Sigur explained that the activities are linked to national science and technology standards and use low cost, readily available materials.

Ninety-five (95) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenters and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Alabama Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. In addition, four people joined the presentation from countries outside the U.S. from Columbia, Mexico, and Romania.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “I have a STEM class that I am incorporating engineering and design activities into their science curriculum.”

  • “I teach an introductory engineering course in MS and am always looking for new and exciting activities. These are wonderful.”

  • “I challenge my students during their tutorial time to work on projects. Sometimes I give them a challenge and sometimes they pick something in which they are interested. This gives me a plethora of wonderful activities for new challenges.”

  • “I plan to implement this into my 8th grade technology curriculum starting in January.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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Underwritten by: WGBH