Middle School STEM

The following projects were created by UTeach PBI students following content guidelines of either the second or fifth 6th weeks of the Austin Independent School District's scope and sequence for middle school Math &/or Science.

***Space Probe:  In this unit, meant for an eighth grade science class, students will explore topics relating to our Solar System. The students will learn about Earth's seasons, the sun, atmosphere, magnetic field, heat, the mass of planets ,ellipses, angle of incidence, and more.


*** Car Crash PhysicsOur project is designed for an 8th grade science classroom.  Our objectives are to teach the students about automobile safety and how safe cars prevent people from getting hurt in car collisions.  We want the students to learn in a hands-on way about Newton's laws, collisions, momentum, model building, presentation skills, history of science, linear mathematics, group skills, and so much more.  The students will be engaged with in-class activities for the first 3 weeks of the project and in the final 2 weeks they will be given a chance to design, build, test, and present a model "car" that will go down a ramp and slam into a wall.  Their goal is to keep an egg from cracking inside of the car by creating the inside and the outside of the car as safe as possible. 


 *** Insect House Design:  Our Insect House Design project based unit is geared for the 8th grade Math classroom.  Students will explore concepts like ratios, proportions, scale factor, transformations and dilations while designing a living space for their favorite insect.  Students will create blueprint drawings of varying scale, views and dimensions, in addition to constructing a final three dimensional model of their vision.  The project is enriched by a trip to the zoo and a guest speaker (a local architect) presentation.  Students will keep a portfolio throughout the unit which will hold all of their project artifacts.  The unit will end with student presentations discussing their final product and design process.  Finally, a unit test will be given which will assess all of the mathematical concepts learned. 


*** The "Mission Possible: Plan a Rockin' Class Party on a Budget" This 16-day project covers adding and subtracting fractions and decimals within the realistic context of planning a class party.  During the project, students will learn how to work within the constraints of a budget and scale up recipes to accommodate a specific party size.  At the end, students will submit a detailed proposal that includes an itemized budget, models of portion size, and scaled up recipes.  Once all proposals have been submitted and presented, the class (including their parents) will vote on a winning proposal that will actually be implemented at the end of the semester.  


*** Best All-Around Athlete:  This project creates a real world environment with student-produced data that will require mathematical operations containing percentages, decimal numbers and fractions.  Students will collaborate to design scored activities, calculate results based on the data collected, and analyze the problem to develop a model that provides a logical solution to determining an overall high score.