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Food, Energy and Water Learning Modules (FEWLM) Workbooks

Author(s): Porche L. Spence1, Tonya Maria Gerald-Goins2, Greg Goins3

1. North Carolina A&T State University; North Carolina Central University 2. North Carolina Central University 3. North Carolina A&T State University

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FEWLM is a low-cost inquiry-based interdisciplinary STEM prototypical curriculum built on Next Generation Science Standards, systems thinking and informed engineering design pedagogy.


Food, Energy and Water Learning Modules (FEWLM) is a combination of pre-existing science activities modified to be self-driven and team-building workbooks emphasizing the application of scientific inquiry, quantitative literacy, conceptual understanding, and data analysis and interpretation. Through FEWLM, elementary and middle age youth are encouraged to act like a scientist by observing, recording, graphing, analyzing and interpreting data in order to test a hypothesis and formulate a conclusion. After completing the activity, the youth can self-reflect about what they learned from participating in the activity. These workbooks are designed for 3rd – 8th grade levels. Instructors have the liberty of assembling basic versions for elementary school age youth and advanced versions for middle school age youth by including the worksheets appropriate for a specific grade level.

FEWLM is designed to be taught sequentially to provide a scaffold curriculum for the elementary and middle school age youth to learn, practice, and apply their mathematical, analytical and graphing skills. However, instructors have the option to select workbooks that target specific topics or skills. The learning objectives align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) for elementary and middle school aged youth, which are provided on the instructor’s page of each workbook. Depending on the activity, the time required to complete each workbook varies from 2 hours to 19 days. Instructions for teachers to effectively use these modules are provided with each individual activity. 

FEWLM workbooks consist of:

  • Scientific inquiry with decimals and fractions though the colorful world of m&m’s® workbook
  • Exploring scientific inquiry & mathematical thinking with skittles workbook
  • My sprouting bean seed workbook
  • Let’s Journey through osmosis with a naked egg workbook
  • The health benefits of Fruits and vegetables workbook
  • Exploring the link between terrestrial ecosystems and water quality using a mini-garden model workbook

These workbooks are intended to be used in the classroom, outreach programs, summer camps, home schools, etc. to teach scientific inquiry. We hope that these workbooks provide an enjoyable learning experience for your inspiring scientist. We appreciate teachers, STEM outreach instructors, parents and grandparents for selecting FEWLM to teach scientific inquiry.  We encourage researchers to use the FEWLM curriculum to conduct STEM education research.

The development of FEWLM was supported by the National Science Foundation Award Numbers 1649255 and 1649263.

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