Student develops curriculum inspired by the hottest colors
- Aurelia Spaulding
- Tuesday, March 19th, 2019
So, what is “The Hottest Color for the Fastest Ride?” Students in elementary and middle school will soon answer the question thanks to the work of Madison Wells, a WKU senior from Morgantown. Wells majors in Middle School Science Education in the SKyTeach Program, and she wants to help make curriculum available that utilizes technology to solve real-world problems in a way that engages to students.
“What better way to involve students in solving real-world problems than to have them solve a problem that they are all familiar with using something as exciting as brightly colored corvettes,” Wells said.
Her project titled, “The Hottest Color for the Fastest Ride: A Problem-based Unit of Instruction for the Elementary and Middle School Science Classroom,” provides the opportunity for Wells to work with fourth and fifth grade students challenging them to build paper corvettes that meet specific requirements.
According to Wells, students learn through participation in lab experiments, outdoor activities, and hands-on exercises that will teach them about absorption, reflection, engineering, collecting and interpreting data, and supporting a scientific claim with evidence and reasoning.
“I worked closely with two SKyTeach master teachers, Mr. Rico Tyler and Mrs. Catherine Poteet, to design this three-day unit of instruction in a way that would challenge and promote critical thinking in students while engaging them with an interesting real-world spin.”
SKyTeach is a collaboration between the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and Ogden College of Science and Engineering that prepares students for careers in math and science education.
Wells study will be featured as a poster during WKU’s REACH Week Conference on Thursday (March 21).
“I will share this self-designed unit of instruction with educators in south central Kentucky in hopes of contributing to the body knowledge relating to problem-based science instruction that promotes student engagement,” Wells said. She will also present it to area elementary school teachers at a training this summer.
Wells is also a student in the Mahurin Honors College and will be graduating from WKU this May finishing her degree in three years.
“I chose to pursue a degree in middle school science education because of my passion for students, science, and learning,” Wells said. “From a young age, I valued learning. Education is the key to success in that it allows students to overcome the hardships they are facing in order to have a brighter future.”