Teacher Experience: “Artificial Island Real Estate Agent” Task for Middle School Students
A Defined STEM Learning Experience From:
Technology Education Teacher
Huntingdon Middle School (PA)
Artificial Island Real Estate Agent
Here’s What We Did:
Using a rotational teaching model, students completed this project over a nine-week period. Every three days, students rotated teachers and classrooms to cover aspects of science, math, technology, and library media and complete the multifaceted, cross-curricular project.
Students were asked to create their own artificial island using STEM and ELA skills, and were shown an example video featuring the Palm Islands in Dubai. Students created a 3D model of their island along with a comprehensive, calculated plan. Teachers pushed students to think critically and use cross-curricular knowledge to make choices including the volume of material needed to make an island, marketing and advertising strategies for selling properties on the island, and the environmental impact of putting an artificial island in the middle of the ocean. Rather than taking a test, students created models, brochures, drawings, and videos to guide a group presentation that they gave to an audience of 100 students.
Why Defined STEM Was the Perfect Fit:
Dividing long-term projects into attainable tasks helps students grasp concepts at a rate they can keep up, and also challenges them in a variety of subject areas. Splitting up content also plays to each teacher’s strengths in a specific area of study, allowing lessons to be specialized and focused, as opposed to broad and possibly overwhelming for students. The multifaceted projects and the rotational model create an environment where students can relate their knowledge and skills to the real world, which makes the STEM course not only educational but fun.