WHS Biology teacher, Ms. Robin Marsiglia, is participating in a $3 million National Science Foundation project, partnered through Stevens Institute of Technology. The goals of this project are to study how high school Science teachers in different disciplines can learn engineering concepts, how they introduce those concepts in the classroom, and to develop a set of recommendations to guide teachers in infusing curricula with engineering concepts and activities. Teacher participation in the program requires a two-year, 4 week professional development and classroom implementation commitment.
The module will engage students in an engineering design challenge. The engineering activities are related to atmospheric carbon dioxide and will require students to apply and synthesize concepts related to photosynthesis and the cycling of carbon in living and nonliving components of the biosphere. Both are topics in the Waldwick Curriculum. The students will also gain a basic understanding of engineering concepts and related skills. Their task was to design, build and operate a scalable prototype of an algae farm that captures CO2 from a fossil fuel burning power plant. This system captures CO2 and grows a biofuel (algae) in the process.
It has been a very exciting and challenging classroom experience for both Ms Marsiglia and her two classes of Honors Biology students.
Ms. Marsiglia, who trained at Steven’s this past summer, has recently implemented the program. On December 8, two representatives from Steven’s visited and taped Ms. Marsiglia’s class for two periods. She will meet with the other 25 participating teachers in March 2015 to discuss classroom implementation. This process will be repeated next summer and the 2015-16 school year.