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This project will develop, pilot, and evaluate a nine-week STEM-rich multimedia production course for high school students called Multimedia Immersion (MI). The MI course will engage teams of students to develop a personally and socially relevant storyline that guides their use of accessible audio and video technologies to create a five-minute animated video. To develop student STEM experience and provide technical support, the project will provide guidance and learning experiences in engineering (e.g., criteria, constraints, optimization, tradeoffs), science (e.g.
The Multimedia Immersion (MI) project will develop, pilot, and evaluate a nine-week STEM-rich multimedia production course for high school students. MI will make important contributions to the field through its efforts to design and evaluate the promises and challenges of a nine-week multimedia curriculum in multiple urban high schools. The MI course will engage teams of students to develop a personally and socially relevant storyline that guides their use of accessible audio and video technologies to create a five-minute animated video. To develop student STEM experience and provide technical support, the project will provide guidance and learning experiences in engineering (e.g., criteria, constraints, optimization, tradeoffs), science (e.g. sound, light, energy, mechanics) and multimedia technologies (e.g., computer based audio production, video editing and visualizations through animatics (i.e., shooting a succession of storyboards with a soundtrack).
Because the curriculum situates engineering and science learning in the context of multimedia production, there are natural synergies with several existing high school courses including engineering design, audio/video media production, and multimedia technology. Although these courses are typically electives in high school, developing a 5-minute animated short on a topic of interest may encourage girls and students from underrepresented groups to select this course over other electives. MI will impact 10 teachers and approximately 250 high school students per year. The project will result in the following resources: nine-week curricular unit (multimedia, science, engineering); assessments to monitor student learning of science, engineering and technology (design logs); and research on changes in student knowledge, interest). Project resources will be disseminated to teachers, researchers, and curriculum and professional development providers via conference presentations, publications, and online webinars.
The MI project builds on student familiarity and interest in music, video and technology to promote an: (1) understanding of engineering design and physics and (2) an appreciation of the fundamental role of STEM in popular culture. Project evaluation will be conducted using student surveys and an examination of work products in conjunction with implementation challenges and successes to generate evidence for the feasibility and utility of a high school multimedia course that explicitly addresses science and engineering learning. Project evaluation will use student design logs as a window into student design processes and conceptual understanding. Student design logs are an essential feature of MI curriculum design. With an appropriate structure, these design logs can inform teaching, afford an opportunity for students to reflect on their own work, and provide evidence of student thinking and learning for assessment purposes. Using student design logs as a window into students' design process and conceptual understanding is an important contribution to the engineering education community which has few options for measuring student knowledge in ways that are consistent with the hands-on, iterative nature of the design process.