For most teachers, tackling STEM in the classroom can be a daunting endeavor. What is STEM? Where do I begin? How do I find lessons, activities, and experiments? How long will it take?
- Problem Solving or Challenge Based Learning
- Real World Applications
- Integration of Multiple Disciplines
The goal of STEM activities is to put students in the driver’s seat and encourage them to think critically to solve real world problems using ideas and concepts from many different subject areas while reflecting on their successes and their challenges.
It turns out incorporating STEM in the classroom can happen in all kinds of ways, not just in the form of complex experiments. November 8th is National STEM Day and we’ve dedicated this month’s post to helping you get started with STEM using 5 easy to implement ideas.
1. Start with a Book or an Article
- Unsure of where to begin? Find a short book or an article that touches on a problem or STEM career you wish to highlight. Reading this story aloud with students can be a wonderful starting point to get students in the problem-solving mindset.
- For Elementary Students- Consider books like Rosie Revere Engineer, by Angela Beaty, or The Dot, by Peter H. Reynolds.
- For Secondary Students- Consider starting with this PBS article about a 15-year-old student who invented a new test for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.
- Set aside an area in your classroom for students to build and create. STEM Bins are an easy way to organize materials for students to build with.
- Create your own STEM Bins from many everyday items found in your house. Popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, straws, plates, magnets, etc. Click here for a step by step to create your own!
- Feeling more ambitious? Consider a STEM subscription kit like this one! You’ll get new age appropriate STEM activities in the mail each month for students of any grade level!
3. Promote Challenge Based Learning & Activities
- Ask students to take part in solving a real-world problem. Encourage healthy competition, collaboration, and risk taking. Click here for real-world problem-solving project ideas.
- Would you like to try out an awesome resource for elementary science activities aligned to NGSS for FREE for the rest of the year? Click here to check out MysteryScience! They are offering a free subscription to teachers through June of 2020.
- No budget for field trips? Try Skype in the Classroom! You can take your class on a digital field trip to museums, national parks, laboratories,and even to the ocean floor!
- Do you have hands on learners? The National Park Service offers “Traveling Trunks” that are filled with artifacts and hands on materials to learn about over 100 different topics and locations!
5. Expand on Careers & Real-World Workplaces
- Have you heard of EVERFI? Step Up for Students is excited to share our continued partnership to bring EVERFI’s digital learning platform to your school at no cost. These Lessons are student-paced, grade themselves and come with supplemental lesson plans.
- The courses address topics such as Character Education, Financial Literacy, Bullying Prevention, STEM education and many more.
- Your school is already set up and has full access. 1) Visit EVERFI.com/register 2) select Florida 3) type in the first part of your school name to get started. EVERFI also provides training and support to your teachers cost-free. Contact Liam Obrien at firstname.lastname@example.org or 241-886-0690 with questions or to schedule a training for your staff.