Workbench is an innovative one-stop shop for teachers to find and share projects that support STEAM curricula. Forge real-world connections by constructing cranes that withstand hurricane-force winds, bring the maker movement to life by creating earthquake-proof Lego buildings, and encourage students to share their genius by uploading pictures and videos of their creations to the community platform. Flip your classroom by assigning videos and content, and then have students perform the experiments in class.
Struggling with differentiation? Assign projects by area of interest or level of complexity, adding in scaffolding and supports as needed via videos, guiding questions, and progress monitoring. Build higher-order thinking skills by asking open-ended questions, tracking student progress, and viewing responses in real time. Create classes and assignments on Workbench, in Google Classroom, or by using Clever to sync with your school's learning management system (LMS).Continue reading Show less
Workbench is a project-based learning platform where students can complete STEAM tasks in class or individually, using everything from basic art supplies and recyclable materials to innovative technologies such as Sphero, Makey Makey, Raspberry Pi, and more. The site houses lessons that can be adapted to a variety of grade levels and curricular goals and is free to use.
Teachers can create projects from scratch or choose from one of many lessons that come complete with standards (CCSS or NGSS), videos, questions, and images. Lesson creation is fairly simple: Teachers simply choose the Create option under Projects, and Workbench walks them through the steps of titling, adding standards, adding content, and listing steps. From there, teachers can assign lessons to a whole class or individual students. Students can see their progress as they complete the steps, which may include watching videos, viewing images, answering questions, and creating and uploading content. Teachers can monitor student progress in real time, allowing for formative assessment and reteaching of concepts if needed.
There's no doubt that Workbench is a dynamic tool that supports 21st-century learning skills. Standards alignment allows teachers to differentiate and personalize instruction by choosing or creating the best lessons for their students. Students' ability to upload videos and images makes for an engaging and interactive learning experience that promotes creativity and critical thinking, and even if users don't have access to all of the different types of technology, plenty of lessons can be modified to fit almost any classroom situation. Teachers can quickly assess students' understanding of concepts by seeing the responses in real time, and Workbench's integration with any internet-connected device allows for ease of use in one-to-one computing and bring-your-own-device environments.
While Workbench provides a powerful platform for creative ideas and lesson management, it would be more useful if teachers could give feedback both during and after assignment completion. Teachers can give feedback in their LMS upon completion, but the ability to ask students to further explain their answers or ask them challenge questions inside the lesson in real time would make for a more effective learning experience.
Key Standards Supported
Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Represent three-dimensional figures using nets made up of rectangles and triangles, and use the nets to find the surface area of these figures. Apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Solve real-world and mathematical problems involving area, volume and surface area of two- and three-dimensional objects composed of triangles, quadrilaterals, polygons, cubes, and right prisms.
Interpreting Categorical And Quantitative Data
Interpret differences in shape, center, and spread in the context of the data sets, accounting for possible effects of extreme data points (outliers).
Interpret the slope (rate of change) and the intercept (constant term) of a linear model in the context of the data.
Compute (using technology) and interpret the correlation coefficient of a linear fit.
Distinguish between correlation and causation.
Ratios And Proportional Relationships
Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g., 30% of a quantity means 30/100 times the quantity); solve problems involving finding the whole, given a part and the percent.
Use ratio reasoning to convert measurement units; manipulate and transform units appropriately when multiplying or dividing quantities.
Use proportional relationships to solve multistep ratio and percent problems. Examples: simple interest, tax, markups and markdowns, gratuities and commissions, fees, percent increase and decrease, percent error.
Key Standards Supported
Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
Construct an explanation based on evidence that describes how genetic variations of traits in a population increase some individuals’ probability of surviving and reproducing in a specific environment.
Use mathematical representations to support explanations of how natural selection may lead to increases and decreases of specific traits in populations over time.
Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in: (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.
Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
Earth and Human Activity
Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
Ask questions to obtain information about the purpose of weather forecasting to prepare for, and respond to, severe weather.
Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment.
Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.
Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting at a distance changes, different amounts of potential energy are stored in the system.
Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
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