Teacher Experience: “Research Analyst: Data Gathering and Analysis” Task for 10th-12th Grade Drama Students
A Defined STEM Learning Experience From:
10 th –12 th -grade Intermediate Drama Teacher
Radford High School (HI)
Research Analyst: Data Gathering and Analysis
Here’s What We Did:
For this task, I printed copies of all the materials and articles on the Defined STEM performance task and formed packets for each student, which included the hypothetical scenario and provided rubrics up front. Students were part of a drama department invited by a university to help collect data on how to get teens and high-school- age students to attend the theater to ensure sustainability for years to come. As a class, we watched the videos included with the performance task about data analysis, then discussed all of the considerations when developing a data collection tool (such as a survey).
Students wrote a letter proposing their hypothesis about what factors are preventing high school students from attending the shows, and explaining their plan to use a survey to collect data supporting their conclusion and potential solution. They brainstormed the type of information they would need to collect in order to prove their original hypothesis and shared out example questions that they had drafted to the whole class. The class collaboratively revised the survey while discussing the many different question styles and each one’s pros and cons. We also discussed the pros and cons of physical surveys versus a digital collection process.
Students had two weeks to collect 25–50 actual peer responses from their friends and peers. Using a Google Slides template for a presentation, students had to explain the background scenario in their own words, state their original hypothesis, share sample survey questions, and present all their data with an explanation of their “most significant findings.” Finally, they presented their own reflection on what they had proven and how the findings might lead to a proposed solution to the problem of increasing high school attendance at this fictional theater. This was a quarter long project that was the sole curriculum for
that time period.
Why Defined STEM Was the Perfect Fit:
Using a cross-curricular approach, students learned about how to use technology to collect and present data, while supporting our state mission to conserve resources by taking a “paperless” approach to advertising. They also learned that sustainability (in regard to the resources spent on the theater renovation) results from commitment from all stakeholders in the fictional community.
This Defined STEM task worked because I was able to adapt the lesson to fit my needs while clearly communicating expectations and incorporating opportunities for student choice and creativity. They seemed to be moderately motivated overall, with an increase towards the end, when they were able to share their successes.