I am contacted you to find out whether you can help us (or we can help you) in developing a curriculum for science and engineering for grades 1-6. My wife (Lilianne Mujica-Parodi) and I (Helmut Strey) have noticed that especially elementary to middle school science and engineering education is not very satisfactory. This often is related to the fact that the elementary and middle school teachers do not have much experience in science and engineering and are often afraid of it. For example, the school offers "technology" classes that teach the kids how to click and drag a mouse. My wife and I are both professors in biomedical engineering at Stony Brook University and we told the school principal of our kids (ages 6 and 10) that we think that "technology" should teach how to build things and not how to passively consume things.
We are sending our kids to a Jewish day school (The Jewish Academy of Suffolk County http://www.thejewishacademy.com
) in East Northport, NY. The great thing about private schools is that they are more flexible than public schools and after we complained to the principal he invited us to change and develop the curriculum for his school. This is exactly what we did. We just started the program. We developed lesson plans for grades 1-6 including projects on mechanical engineering (apollo-drop, build bridges), electronics and robotics, self-propelled vehicles, programming and micro controllers... We hired 14 graduate students from our program in biomedical engineering to visit the school on a bi-weekly schedule to teach classes on these topics using Arduinos, snap circuits, python programming,...
Here is what I would like from you. We are happy to share our curriculum with anyone in a similar situation and needs help. I would also appreciate to hear from anyone who has done something similar. We are about 4 weeks into the project and the kids are very excited and enthusiastic. I would also like to invite Adafruit and in particular Limor Fried to get involved because I think that this is exactly what you have in mind with your educational outreach. I want to invite you to come out here to Eastern Long Island to change how our kids are educated.
You can find our contact information on our Biomedical Engineering Department website (http://www.bme.stonybrook.edu
). See also http://www.streylab.com
Hope to hear from you