2021 Facilitator’s Choice Award Winner
Science Projects Integrating Computing and Engineering, or SPICE, is an NSF-funded STEM+C Design and Development project that develops NGSS aligned curricular materials integrating computational modeling with science and engineering for students in grades 5 and 6. Computational modeling allows students to move between understanding a system via science inquiry and engineering a problem solution related to the system, especially for systems that cannot be easily investigated using physical materials.
A collaboration among SRI International, Digital Promise, Vanderbilt University, and University of Virginia, SPICE offers upper elementary students the unique opportunity to engage in the authentic STEM practices that scientists and engineers use as part of their work. The project team developed the Water Runoff Challenge (WRC) – a multi-week curriculum unit for upper elementary students that integrates Earth science, engineering, and CT. In the WRC, students address the problem of flooding of a schoolyard during heavy rainfall and are challenged to resurface the schoolyard in a way that minimizes surface water runoff during a storm (while also meeting constraints on cost, accessibility of schoolyard, and uses of different surface materials).
About SRI Education
SRI Education, a division of SRI International, is helping federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients tackle some of the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. Our mission is to reduce barriers, optimize outcomes, and ensure educational equity for all children, youth, and families. We do this by conducting high-quality research, supporting use of data and evidence, helping to strengthen state and local systems, and developing tools that improve teaching and accelerate and deepen learning. Our work covers a range of topics: early learning and development, disability and inclusion, supporting multilingual learners, student behavior and well-being, teaching quality, digital learning, STEM and computer science, and literacy and language arts, and college and career pathways. We believe diversity in our organization and project teams leads to better and more equitable research and technical assistance, resulting in improved outcomes for all.
SRI International is a nonprofit research institute whose innovations have created new industries, extraordinary marketplace value, and lasting benefits to society.