“STEM education isn’t just one thing-it’s a range of strategies that help students apply concepts and skills from different disciplines to solve meaningful problems.” Jo Anne Vasquez
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math = STEM has become a buzz word in education. Too often this happens to many best practices due to how they are explained or rolled out to educators. Look at buzz words such as differentiation, Higher-Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) and data driven instruction; all of these like STEM are buzz words for a reason as they are best practices, yet they get lost in the shuffle of other programs or initiatives etc. This blog post is to bring back WHY STEM is important and give resources to be able to help teachers integrate it back into the classroom with purpose and meaning.
STEM education is an instructional approach to learning that allows four (I think five as literacy is also integrated) subjects be integrated into one, to encourage real-world learning experiences. How often do you get asked by a student (and sometimes parents) when you are teaching, “when am I going to use this in the real world?” STEM bridges this gap and allows students to see real world application of what they are learning. Below are great sites, TED Talks and articles all filled with lots of resources such as lesson plans, games, activities etc. I hope these help you integrate STEM into your day.
Teaching Kids to Code: EdSurge Guide – A great guide in how to incorporate coding into the classroom along with a bank of different coding apps, sites and software with information to help you pick the best one for your needs.
NASA- Educators – Has lesson plans, activities, games and much more for grades K-12.
Exploratorium – Interactive site for grades K-12 with lots of activity ideas.
eGFI: Dream Up the Future – Has lesson plans, activities, games and much more for grades K-12 geared toward engineering.
Engineer Your Life – Engineering site for 9-12 grade girls.
PBS Teachers – STEM Education Recourse Center – Lots of resources for a K-12 teacher
NC State STEM Resources – Most of these lesson plans and activities were developed or used in their K-12 Engineering Teaching Fellows Program with great success.
Hands-on science with squishy circuits by AnnMarie Thomas – NC Essential Standard Connection – 4.P
The magic of Fibonacci numbers by Arthur Benjamin – CCSS connection 5.OA
Great articles on STEM:
I would love to know other great STEM resources that you have used in your classroom too. Please share them in the comments.