Thursday, August 11, 2011

This week I have spent with fellow teachers in a summer workshop learning how to better implement rigorous thinking and meaningful work into our classrooms. My goal is to introduce a robotics course curriculum from a course that I currently teach on this website as well as the marine science work. ROVs are an integral part of student learning at our school, having participated in MATE underwater robotics competitions for the past 7 years.

Hopefully, by the end of next week I will have the course outline posted to this website.

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Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

I am learning about the complexity of the grant writing process very quickly. I have written small, mostly in-school grants for projects that needed extra funding. Today I have been charged to complete a 3 year budget for our underwater robotics program. This program is an offshoot of marine science. It was born after I attended a workshop at Nauticus in Norfolk, VA and was hooked. As ROVs are an integral part in the study of our ocean world, so it is that they are a part of our marine science program at Cape Henlopen High school.

We are trying to get more kids from our region (elementary, middle, and high school) interested in STEM programs like robotics. I am looking forward to hosting a program at the University of Delaware’s Coast Day in October designed to get teachers and students interested in underwater robotics – just like I have become. By getting more kids hooked at an early age it only stands to reason that they would be interested in our marine science and robotics programs when they get to the high school.

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Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Back at it this morning……. Went to the school and no one was able to help me. Will try in the afternoon.

At home, I am revamping the KUDs and SLMs to match what our district would like with respect to Learning Focused Strategies. I am also preparing expenses for the program for the next three years with respect to robotics. I believe that once we start to accumulate parts and materials, we should be able to build up an inventory allowing us to put on workshops, etc. for our elementary and middle schools to encourage more student involvement.

We are using materials from Parallax out of California and Digi-Key from Minnesota. I have included links to both below:

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Monday, July 25th, 2011

Today was spent at Cape Henlopen High School meeting with the principal. We are trying to locate the senior exit surveys that are taken at the end of the year. These surveys indicate where a student is going to college and what they plan on majoring in – data that is collected by the State of Delaware Department of Education. We can use this data to demonstrate the effectiveness of our program in inspiring more students to pursue careers not only in marine science, but in any STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degree.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Learning Focused Strategies is the curriculum model that the State of Delaware uses in its public school system. We have tried to make our curriculum congruent with LFS and are continuing to update and revamp based on changes that the Cape Henlopen School District mandates. This summer I have aided in the completion of our biology, chemistry, and physics curricula. It has been very busy but I feel that in the long run it will be quite an achievement.

This format has shaped our marine science course with a coherent framework that should be a great aide to all educators who are thinking about teaching a similar course in their schools.

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

To NASA: Happy 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing!

This past June our high school participated in the 10th annual MATE international underwater robotics competition in Houston, TX at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab.  This is another spin-off of our marine science program – our robotics course.  We have developed and implemented an underwater robotics course that is year long in scope.  It teaches basic programming skills and of course underwater robotics.  We use a textbook developed my the MATE center (see for more information) and had 21 students take the course last year.  It was a resounding success and we look forward to another great year in robotics and marine science in our partnership with the University of Delaware and NASA.

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Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

After spending an entire week at our high school writing curriculum, I have to revamp the work done last year with respect to LFS.  As usual in education, things have a way of changing from year to year and this is no exception.  My work this summer will focus on simplifying our KUDs and SLMs so that they resemble what we are doing district wide.  Ours, it seems, were just a little complicated.  Oh well………..

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Friday, July 15, 2011

This is the first post for the summer of 2011.  Another year has passed and Marine Science at Cape Henlopen High School is more popular than ever.  Having started in 2006 with 21 students, each year we have expanded students and sections.  The upcoming school year has 159 students registered which is more than 1/2 of the entire senior class.  Not bad considering that only 3 science credits and the course is an elective!

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Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

Today is our last official session for year 2.  We will continue to make additions during the year, but will start up again in full force next summer!

We have laid out the lesson plans for each of the student learning maps and have completed 3 of the many lessons.  Now that we have determined our path, the remaining lessons will flow quite easily (we hope).  This summer, like the previous one, we have made great strides towards our goals.  This summer we did very well in publicizing our work to influential people in our field.  We plan to continue our progress in the years to come.

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Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Bill has just returned from an advanced underwater robotics workshop sponsored by the MATE center out of Monterey, California.  Today we discussed several exciting opportunities that will expand and enhance our project as a result of this workshop.  They include setting up an ocean drifter that will transmit location, temperature, and salinity readings to a satellite on a daily basis.  Students will be asked to take this information and create their own KML files for use in Google Earth and will be an ongoing project.  Another possibility would be a 30-hour online course concerning ocean careers that the students through MATE and Monterey Penisula College – how exciting!

We discussed how to best represent NASA and other video images into our daily lessons.  After much scrutiny, our first lesson of the year is presented in our sample lessons section.  We have included direct links to the files for all movies and images listed in our lesson plans.  We recommend simply copying and pasting the links directly into your web browser for use.

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