STEM Guitar- Project Based Learning
Check out KTAR's News Story Aired on May 12, 2015
This year, I spent my Spring Break getting innovative technical training to help implement project based STEAM curriculum for my CTE (Career Technical Education) Engineering classes. CTE Teachers aim to attract, educate, and prepare students for success in college, career and life.
During the week of March 16, 2015 the National Science Foundation hosted a local Faculty Training Institute on the STEM Guitar Project. Teachers are exposed to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) hands-on, applied learning techniques to help engage students and spark excitement for learning STEM subject matter. (http://www.guitarbuilding.org/)
This training is well designed to emphasize STEAM concepts in a project that is challenging, fun, educational and relevant. I witnessed an infectious passion for learning and building in my fellow classmates (also educators).
For the STEM guitar project, electrical guitar kits build instructions are coupled with STEAM lesson elements:
Science - wood for guitars, decibel scale, string tension
Technology - CAD headstock design
Engineering - Wiring and assembly electronics
Arts - sanding, staining, and playing the guitar
Math - Fret spacing calculations, scale length and frequency
The STEM guitar project is is a game changer! I had the opportunity during training to interview area high school students who have built guitars. Their learning experience has helped them make better connections with the content in all of their classes. Students exposed to guitar building report a dramatic improvement in grades.