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Design Thinking, Tools and Technology: Standards-Based Learning For 21st Century Classrooms for Upper Elementary and Middle School Practitioners

Ongoing | Ages Adult | $65/person On-campus; $75/person School-based


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The Design Thinking, Tools and Technology STEM Workshop blends science and math content with engineering practices, design thinking, and learning tools for the 21st century classroom. This full-day STEM immersion experience, supporting Colorado and Next Generation Science Standards, provides teams of teachers and learners with resources and models for connecting open-ended and technology-based learning to content standards in three 75 minute learning modules:

Hybrid Learning in Earth and Space Science
This module uses virtual learning platforms paired with engaging hands-on activities to explore relationships in the Earth system. Choosing between standards-based units, teams of learners can explore and inquire about relationships between the Earth and Sun, energy in the Earth system, weather and climate, and the distribution of resources and living things across Colorado and the world.

Key Concepts: Solar System; Orbits; Angles; Insolation; Reflection; Refraction; Transformation of Energy; Weather; Climate; Water Cycle; Ecosystems-Biomes; Communities and Natural Resources.


Body Systems and Mechanics Makerspace
Teams of learners will use design thinking strategies and the tools and resources in our portable makerspace to plan, build and test models, devices and inventions. Using a unique facilitation model, teachers will guide the inquiry process with opportunities to incorporate grade-specific learning standards in mathematics, physical and life science.

Key Concepts: Measurement; Variables; Scale; Constraints; Parameters; Mixtures; Properties of Materials; Angles; Forces; Motion; Human Body Systems; Structures and Characteristics of Living Things.


Meet Edison: Standards-Based Robotics
Using a new, inexpensive classroom robot, Microbric’s Edison, this learning module presents methods for introducing and applying STEM concepts with technology and computer programming. Teams of learners will be guided through introductory programming activities, standards-based inquires and extensions, as well as student-directed innovation activities for the 21st century classroom.

Key Concepts: Robotics; Computer Programming; Programming Languages; Logic; Variables; Measurement; Speed; Distance; Angles; Circuits; Resistance; Light, Sound and Wave Science.


  • $65/person On-campus; $75/person School-based: A full day of professional development, lesson plans and facilitation guide, digital resources and a letter and certificate documenting 7.5 hours of teacher professional development for district and CDE teacher licensing


  • Pre-register online here or by calling 303-492-8640
  • Arrive at Science Learning Laboratory, Room 101 (3400 Marine St, Boulder, 80309) at 8:45am, break for lunch between 12-12:30pm, depart at 5:00pm
  • Participants may bring their own lunch or visit one of many nearby eateries during their break

For additional information or to begin planning your CU Science Discovery program, please contact Hester Nadel via email or by calling 303.492.8640.