Mr. Barboza California Association of Gifted Conference
Mr. Barboza’s session was delightful as well as inspiring. The session wasn’t just a sit and get, it engaged the audience. The session went beyond being informative; it was in fact was a proposal. This proposal was a call to teach differently to implement the Common Core and Next Generation Science standards in a meaningful way. To do this he called on teachers to partner with him to make students into authors, composers, artist, programmers, reporters, mathematicians, and scientists.
The approach to do this was multifaceted. Having students write “STEM stories” relating to the theme of “Occupy Mars” was promoted. A STEM story is any science or science fiction like narrative that is accompanied by a sound track and sound effects. The goal is to engage students in writing by having them enhance their writing with sound. This was demonstrated during the session by humanoid robot and a laser activated musical instrument that a member of the audience played.
If students are writing STEM stories, then they will need an authentic audience to give them purpose. Mr. Barboza proposed three ways for students to do this. These were Kid Talk Radio, the Occupy Mars Band and characters, and a humanoid robot. Kid Talk Radio is a website that hosts student’s stories and reports in an audio format. The Occupy Mars Band and character will perform student STEM stories, using their teacher narrating the story in character. Students might also program the humanoid robot to tell their story including music, sound effects, and gestures.
Mr. Barboza also wants to get students involved in projects. The theme for these projects this year is “NASA and NOAA needs your help.” Students will take on the role of junior astronauts in solving these problems. Students will be involved with an augmented reality show during this endeavor. Designing experiments for cube satellites, assembling robots from 3d printed parts, and Mars habitats will be designed using dodecahedron geometry as well as other mathematics.
The session ended with Mr. Barboza offering the possibility of partnering with him. Partnership would be based on proposals submitted by teachers. Proposals that include taking advantage of the ideas mentioned above would be highly valued. Proposals that went beyond the ideas above and involved learners in solid project-based-learning might even receive grant money. More importantly, Mr. Barboza has 38 specialists in various STEM fields ready to help teachers succeed at the projects in their proposals.
Middle School Science Teacher.