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Excellent by Design

Posted by Cynthia Berger on Friday, January 30, 2015

isdde_2

The music world has the Grammys. TV has the Emmys. But have you heard of the “Eddies?” That’s what the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE) calls its annual prize for excellent curriculum design.

We’re thrilled to share that the 2014 Eddy goes to . . .  the team that developed the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum at the Museum of Science, Boston!  Museum vice president and EiE founder and director Christine Cunningham accepted the prize (which includes a $10,000 award) on behalf of the team earlier this month, at the 2014 ISDDE conference, which was held this year in Cambridge, England.

As its name indicates, ISDDE is an international organization with the stated mission of creating a professional community for designers and developers who work in the field of education—in particular, science and math education. “The ISDDE Prize recognizes . . . pioneers, the ones who are not afraid to blaze new trails that no one else has taken,” says David Heil, founding president of the Foundation for Family Science and Engineering.

If you’ve ever tried blazing a trail, you know it’s hard work! In 2003, when development of EiE first began, “some people told us we were literally crazy to think that very young children could ‘do’ engineering,” Cunningham says. But with the release of the Next Generation Science Standards in 2013, the idea that engineering belongs in elementary school classrooms is becoming mainstream.

“EiE has moved the field of educational design forward by providing proof of concept that even young children in ordinary classrooms can learn to love engineering,” says Elizabeth Stage, director of the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley and an ISDDE fellow. The design elements that the EiE team identified as critical for success in elementary classrooms--including short, flexible curriculum modules, carefully scaffolded lessons, the integration of engineering with science topics that schools routinely teach, and engineering design challenges presented in authentic settings, to draw on students’ real-world experiences—are now being adopted by curriculum designers not just in the United States, but around the world. One example is ENGINEER, a curriculum project inspired by and modelled after EiE that is now used in Israel and 9 European countries.

The EiE team will use the ISDDE award to support scholarships for deserving educators. And while this recognition is deeply gratifying, it’s not an endpoint; we intend to keep going down the trail of innovation in curriculum design. Christine and her team are working on new models for creating online professional development resources that support engineering instruction. They're also beginning to conceptualize what engineering at the preschool level might look like.

About the International Society for Design and Development in Education

ISDDE was founded to bring together outstanding designers and developers to collectively define and achieve excellence in educational products and materials, particularly for science, math, and technology; and to create a professional community that shares knowledge, research, approaches, and critiques. For more information about ISDDE and its awards, visit www.isdde.org.

Engineering is Elementary is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the http://www.mos.org/.

The music world has the Grammys. TV has the Emmys. But have you heard of the “Eddies?” That’s what the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDDE) calls its annual prize for excellent curriculum design.

We’re thrilled to share that the 2014 Eddy goes to . . .  the team that developed the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) curriculum at the Museum of Science, Boston!  Museum vice president and EiE founder and director Christine Cunningham accepted the prize (which includes a $10,000 award) on behalf of the team earlier this month, at the 2014 ISDDE conference, which was held this year in Cambridge, England.

As its name indicates, ISDDE is an international organization with the stated mission of creating a professional community for designers and developers who work in the field of education—in particular, science and math education. “The ISDDE Prize recognizes . . . pioneers, the ones who are not afraid to blaze new trails that no one else has taken,” says David Heil, founding president of the Foundation for Family Science and Engineering

If you’ve ever tried blazing a trail, you know it’s hard work! In 2003, when development of EiE first began, “some people told us we were literally crazy to think that very young children could ‘do’ engineering,” Cunningham says. But with the release of the Next Generation Science Standards in 2013, the idea that engineering belongs in elementary school classrooms is becoming mainstream.

“EiE has moved the field of educational design forward by providing proof of concept that even young children in ordinary classrooms can learn to love engineering,” says Elizabeth Stage, director of the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley and an ISDDE fellow. The design elements that the EiE team identified as critical for success in elementary classrooms--including short, flexible curriculum modules, carefully scaffolded lessons, the integration of engineering with science topics that schools routinely teach, and engineering design challenges presented in authentic settings, to draw on students’ real-world experiences—are now being adopted by curriculum designers not just in the United States, but around the world. One example is ENGINEER, a curriculum project inspired by and modelled after EiE that is now used in Israel and 9 European countries.

The EiE team will use the ISDDE award to support scholarships for deserving educators. And while this recognition is deeply gratifying, it’s not an endpoint; we intend to keep going down the trail of innovation in curriculum design. Christine and her team are working on new models for creating online professional development resources that support engineering instruction. They're also beginning to conceptualize what engineering at the preschool level might look like.

About the International Society for Design and Development in Education

ISDDE was founded to bring together outstanding designers and developers to collectively define and achieve excellence in educational products and materials, particularly for science, math, and technology; and to create a professional community that shares knowledge, research, approaches, and critiques. For more information about ISDDE and its awards, visit www.isdde.org

EiE is a project of the National Center for Technological Literacy at the Museum of Science, Boston

 

- See more at: http://eie.org/blog/eie-blog-excellent-design-0#sthash.DpNXhcO0.dpuf

Written by Cynthia Berger

Cynthia Berger is manager for communications at Engineering is Elementary, a project of the Museum of Science, Boston

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