STEM Connect Pre-Assignment for “Using Technology to Create New Knowledge” Webinar
Goals March 8, 7 PM ET For Educators In today's world jobs, global problems, and communication are intertwined with the creation of both knowledge and content, and the ability to look at and analyze what is newly created will become a 21st Century skill. Hall Davidson will look at how understanding the creation of new knowledge is integral in preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow. You’ll walk away from the webinar with a better understanding of: 1. How students can create valid and valuable new information using tools in school 2. The process for open-ended challenge based learning 3. How students create a network to help build their action plan Pre-Assignment: The Coin Conundrum Before this webinar, we ask that you start thinking about about new technology to create new knowledge. Please prepare answers to the following challenge. We will discuss this challenge, and many others during the webinar. Challenge: According to the U.S. Mint, a penny costs a penny and a half to make and a nickel costs nine cents to make. Thus, it costs more to create a penny than the penny itself is worth! How would you create an alternative monetary system?

1. What is an alternative to these current cost-ineffective coins? (Hint: Think about all of the aspects of creating currency that affect the cost of production and its end value.) 2. What materials are used in producing our money? (Hint: Think about the materials that are currently used to produce pennies and nickels. Find out here!) 3. What materials could you use for an alternative currency? 4. How would you figure out the cost of the new material versus the cost of the old material? (Hint: Look at the cost per pound of the new material vs. the cost per pound of the old material.) 5. How could you figure out how much you would spend or save using the new material vs. the old material? Can you figure out the cost of producing a pound of pennies with the old material and compare it to the cost of producing them with your new material? 6. What would the alternative currency look like? (Hint: Would it have special artwork or be an interesting shape? Draw a picture of your proposed currency if it helps.) 7. Would there need to be new technology used to create this new currency? (e.g., production machines, new technology for harvesting the materials) 8. What are some possible problems that might arise with the new material (e.g., counterfeiting)? Is there a solution for the problem? 9. Who could make your currency real? Now that you’ve worked out the details, let’s make your currency the real deal! Extension Write a letter to Congress asking them to consider your proposed currency. Share with them your data and calculations showing them how much money would be saved in production by using the new materials.

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