K12 News from Amundsen

This year, Amundsen has doubled their Engineering course offering, and 46 students are currently enrolled in the two classes. Additionally, the Dyson Engineering Girls Club, which started last year with a group of girls meeting in a classroom during their lunch, has become a full-fledged after-school club with several new members.
On Friday, September 15, a group of four Amundsen seniors, along with Ms. Sarhan, visited the Bit Space studio on 2541 W Lawrence Avenue. There, students toured the space and recorded their observations of the professional makerspace, including the structure of the workbenches and the layout of the equipment. The purpose of this field trip was to bring these ideas back to the makerspace at Amundsen, share what they learned and saw with their peers, and then make the necessary changes to improve the classroom.
While at Bit Space, students also talked to the engineers to get better understanding of the design and making processes. On Monday, September 17th, the four students presented their ideas from Bit Space to the classroom. Their findings kicked off the classes’ EPICS K12 project.
For the EPICS project, Maker Lab students’ stakeholders will be the students who took the Engineering class last year. They’ll be focusing on solving the problems students encountered in the lab throughout the last school year.
This year’s students were divided into teams of three or four. We took advantage of EPICS "Assigning Teams" lesson plan to organize the teams into functioning groups.
After, students were introduced to the Engineering Design Process Cycle – taken directly from one of the EPICS lesson plans. Students discovered each of the phases, created summary of each, and shared them with the class.
While this has been going well so far, one problem the class and lab faces is the lack of access to laptop computers. The cart the school used last year was borrowed from a CTE program that needed the technology back this year. Amundsen is currently in the process of getting estimates from Apple and other vendors for MacBooks.
Source: JDF Labs Project Newsletter - October 2017