• iSTEM

    Course Syllabus


    General Course Objectives


    The iSTEM course at Columbia Middle School introduces students to the processes of Design Thinking and the Design and Problem-solving loop. The iSTEM system is a hands-on-minds-on class that is student-centered and project-based learning. Students are given design challenges and apply the processes learned in a systematic approach to discovery and problem-solving.

    The areas of informational, physical, and mechanical technologies are explored through design/problem-solving activities, which engage students in first-hand experiences associated with applying technology. This course acquaints the students with the impact of technology on the individual, society, environment, and related careers.

    The iSTEM course aims to prepare students for life in the 21st century by learning and to apply these processes to real-life situations. The course is divided into modules to illustrate essential areas of technology. The modules cover various fields of study. After the basic information is protected, the student must apply the information to solve problems illustrating the concepts. Each module provides a knowledge, application, and analysis component. The student monitors the results and produces data that is analyzed for accuracy. Revisions are made as needed.


    General Course Outline

    Unit 1 – Design Thinking and the Design and Problem-Solving Loop

    Unit 2 – Technological factors are affecting society and the individual.            

    Unit 3 – Communication through sketches and technical drawings

    Unit 4 – Structures:  Students learn about structures through various structural building activities. Students will design and build a Paper Tower, a straw Tower, and a Balsa wood Bridge to be tested for efficiency. The bridge must weigh under 8 ounces and can carry as much weight as possible.

    Unit 5 – Principles of Flight:  Design and construct a balsa wood Glider—flight simulator.

    Unit 6 - Space and Rocketry: Construct and test a solid fuel model rocket


     Grading & Homework

    No homework will be given. Rubrics will be used to assess student projects. Google Classroom is used to distribute students' work during a teacher's absence.

    Students will be given a weekly grade for their classroom work on projects and participation in activities.

    Student grades will be based on a point system of 10 points per week.