To advance the design work, CEDER researchers engage in “design thinking” activities and workshops to consult with and inform different parties that may be developing educational resources, such as schools developing new learning spaces in their buildings or museums who are exploring the potential of using different kinds of technologies to support learning activities within exhibits.
Examples of some current CEDER Design Projects
InPACT is an innovative project that introduces physical activity breaks into classroom instruction across 3-6 grade rooms in 3 different schools in the region. The overall goal is to improve the fitness of both teachers and students, while also activating learning and developing more dynamic classrooms. The CEDER design coordinator is working with faculty from Kinesiology and Architecture on this project, focusing in particular on helping teachers make curricular connections to the physical activity breaks.
College of Engineering Center for Education Outreach: Water Quality Curriculum Design
The CEDER Design Coordinator collaborated with staff from the University of Michigan (UM) College of Engineering, staff from Michigan SeaGrant, and with a UM School of Education graduate student, to develop a curricular unit for high school science on the impact of climate change on the water quality of Lake Erie. In doing so, CEDER is helping the College of Engineering and Michigan SeaGrant fulfill the educational requirements that accompanied grant funding for a related research project. The completed curricular unit can be accessed at the link here: http://www.miseagrant.umich.edu/nsf/great-lakes-water-quality-unit/.
Little Stones Education Toolkit
The CEDER Design Coordinator is collaborating with Driftseed, a documentary film production team focused on “education, outreach and documentary storytelling building a better world for women and girls.” This collaboration focuses on the Driftseed production Little Stones (http://driftseed.org/littlestones/) a film about women using art to challenge gender based violence. CEDER is helping to develop a curriculum and educational toolkit to accompany this important documentary film.
Oakland Schools Civic Learning Collaboration: Equitable Futures: a civic education and social justice partnership with Oakland Schools and nine area school districts
In collaboration with Oakland Schools consultants, the CEDER Design Coordinator helped to design and implement an ongoing project-based-learning experience for high school students that will explored different facets of social inequality in Metro Detroit. As a part of this project, during the spring of 2016, over 400 students from 9 schools across Metro Detroit carried out research in their US history classes around different types of social inequality in the region. More than 50 youth representing these schools then came together in May of 2016 at a youth conference in Detroit to share their findings and suggest solutions. This project will continue this school year, and likely grow, with CEDER continuing to partner with Oakland Schools and participating districts.