Faculty Advisor

Wilkes, John M.


The effort to produce a 6th grade society-technology curriculum unit to precede a trip to Higgins Armory for Worcester students, took one step forward in this project. The precursor projects were deemed too long last year, and a team cut the unit back from 2 months to a week of social studies and science classes, but did not produce [a] final draft. In this project the unit was refined and cleaned up, further shortened and sent out for review by people in science and social studies, in Worcester and other districts, and examined in light of the Mass. state curriculum guideline for science education -- particularly strand 4, Science, Technology and Human Affairs. It was still found wanting as it must be in a different format and integrate all 4 science strands -- not just focus on the one easiest to connect with social studies. However, these critiques have suggested a strategy that might work to meet all the competing criteria and be of very high quality. Another team will have to take up that challenge, and go to the stage of field testing. This project builds upon the prior projects of Tom Russell, author of "The Tangled Web of the Bronze Age," Beverly Koch, author of "Medieval Technology" and the team of Paul Proulx and Brian Leary, who worked with the Higgins Armory to draw in this local resource and provide a brief preparation experience for 6th graders who would be visiting the Armory. At one point it was thought that all 6th graders in the city would be doing so each year as a special rate had been negotiated, but that effort was never fully funded with money reserved exclusively for that purpose. A teacher had to take the initiative and ask to be scheduled for such a trip. By mid year few teachers had so the money was released to other purposes. These changes did not seriously impede the current project, since the approvals necessary to proceed to field testing were not received. Another round of revisions will be needed before they will be received and meeting the requirements of both the science and social studies coordinators may not be possible. A closer working relationship with one of the curriculum coordinators will probably be necessary to reach this milestone next year, and go to field testing.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 1999

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Social Science and Policy Studies