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STEM Learning

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David Wells

on 23 June 2011

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Transcript of STEM Learning

S.T.E.M. What is... Education? STEM is a multi-disciplined approach to teaching & learning that integrates Science, Technology, Engineering & Math, with the objective of strengthening problem solving skills. What are the benefits of STEM Education? Rather than approaching these disciplines as separate subjects, STEM encourages both students and teachers to think about how these disciplines work together. If used consistently, STEM provides the learner with a critical thinking skill set or “toolbox” if you will, in order to face future problems they might encounter throughout their education and careers. Do
all four components to be considered STEM? Not every STEM lesson has to include all four disciplines, but it is important that over a span of lessons you incorporate each of the STEM elements. The key to using STEM is to know which tools from your “toolbox” will work best to maximize learning potential for your kids. Is STEM always hands-on? It depends on the learner and the phase of the project. While there might be hands-on aspects of the project, it is crucial to understand that it is equally important to incorporate “minds-on” components. For example, the concepts behind designing a bridge can be just as vital to student learning as building it. I don't teach engineering.
How can I put the E in STEM? By providing your students with activities that have design elements… you are incorporating engineering. The engineering design process requires students to not only design and build their project, but also requires them to adjust their original design according to their observations. Where did STEM come from? While the term STEM is relatively new to the field of education, the idea of using Science, Technology, Engineering and Math together is as old as humans building tools to make their lives better. What does STEM look like in a
classroom? There isn’t one way to set up a STEM classroom. Educators can change the layout of the classroom according to the lesson, keeping in mind that different lessons require different setups. The classroom might seem overactive or chaotic, but closer observation will show that the students are managing themselves and working together to solve problems. I don't have a computer in my classroom... How can I
in my lessons? Technology is using scientific knowledge for practical purposes. For example, using a seesaw to explain a fulcrum is considered using technology. Technology is not just using computers and electronics. In fact, using computers and electronics without thinking about how they fit into the lesson can be counterproductive. Are there STEM standards? There are no federal standards for STEM Education, and states are constantly redefining their policies and initiatives regarding STEM. This makes it necessary to stay on top of the developments in your state. Also, urge your principal to keep the school updated on any changes that may occur. How can I learn more about STEM? The best way to learn about STEM is to get active: jump online or start conversations with fellow educators. You can start right here on Teachers TryScience by joining a group and exploring STEM lesson plans. Here are some additional resources: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/stem/ http://www.stemedcoalition.org/ Thanks to Dr. David Kanter,
Director of SciPlay: The Sara Lee Schupf Family Center
for Play, Science, and Technology Learning
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