Paper No. 181-9
Presentation Time: 11:00 AM
ENCOUNTERING THE ROCK CYCLE IN A PROBLEM-BASED MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Explore an innovative way for students to uncover the Rock Cycle through hands-on investigations and models from the Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform (Mi-STAR) curriculum for grades 6-8. Each unit in the curriculum is anchored by a Unit Challenge that motivates students to engage with science ideas in order to solve a problem. Ideas about the rock cycle are developed over two units in the curriculum. In the first unit, students must help VolcaKNOW -- a hypothetical, struggling volcano tourism company. In the second unit, students must defend their peers against city council groups that suspect middle school students of unauthorized sand mining at Great Lakes coasts. In both units, students uncover evidence through investigations in order to build models that explain the flow of energy and the cycling of matter through Earth’s crust and on Earth’s surface. This presentation will provide a sample of the three-dimensional investigations that students experience in these units and the application of those investigations to solve a problem.