A TECHNOLOGY-ENHANCED INQUIRY-BASED CHEMISTRY CURRICULUM UNIT (ACIDS & BASES) DESIGNED TO INCREASE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS’ INTEREST IN STEM FIELDS AND STEM-RELATED CAREERS
Abu Eid, Sana'a
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Although a strong Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education offers a pathway to a brighter future, opening up a wide range of interesting and exciting career opportunities, more than 50% of Canadian students do not complete the Grades 11 and 12 Mathematics and Science courses that allow them access to post-secondary STEM programs, apprenticeships, or entry- level employment positions (Amgen Canada Inc. & Let’s Talk Science, 2013). Therefore, it is vital to develop interest in STEM and enhance engagement in STEM areas at high school for students to build the strong foundation that is necessary to pursue advanced studies in STEM and participate in a future STEM-based workforce (Christensen, Knezek, & Tyler-Wood, 2014). The purpose of this project was to develop a chemistry unit that demonstrates how content, pedagogy, and technology can be integrated to encourage study and careers in STEM. Using Ralph Tyler’s rationale (Tyler, 1949), backward design model (Wiggins & McTighe, 2011), constructivist views of teaching and learning (Kalpana, 2014), and the most advanced technological lab tools; the unit was developed to provide an implementable resource for teachers wanting to use inquiry-based activities in a high-tech environment. Ongoing formative assessment as students learn and for students to learn is emphasized throughout the unit using authentic lab activities that pique students’ interest in chemistry and support the development of a realistic vision of a STEM future that includes themselves.