The first thing to wrap your head around as a STEM teacher is this: “What will I be teaching?” When you hear the word STEM, what answer comes to mind? Simply put, STEM is not a subject or a content area. And STEM is not comprised of four independent subjects.
Strategies and Activities for Grades 4-8
Why is everyone talking about the importance of STEM for today’s students? In this excerpt from STEM by Design, author Anne Jolly offers seven compelling reasons for STEM studies, as we think about what it means to live and prosper in the 21st century.
Good science, math and technology programs can have many different “looks,” but if we’re going to call a program “STEM” then eight STEM criteria should be at the center. First and foremost, authentic STEM programs incorporate the engineering design process.
Anne Jolly’s book STEM by Design includes 28 design tools. These resources will help STEM teachers and program leaders create curriculum, write lessons, build student teams, and engage colleagues and communities. You’ll find free downloads at this page!
Problem-solving is fundamental to STEM. But coming up with real-world engineering challenges for students to solve can be tricky. Anne Jolly shares some ideas and resources STEM educators can use to help students select realistic problems they can address.
Read about teen inventors who exhibited “STEM skills” as they identified problems or needs in the world and used the engineering design process to search for solutions. Might some of these of these stories inspire your students to “dig deeper” into STEM studies?
You’ve located a possible STEM lesson, but how can you be sure it’s of good quality? First and foremost the lessons need to be shaped by STEM principles and criteria. Check out Anne Jolly’s specifications and see how she analyzes potential teaching material.
Written by STEM teaching expert Anne Jolly as a free supplement to her book STEM By Design (2016), the Student Teaming Tips Handbook is a starter set of ideas teachers may find useful for priming kids to work creatively and productively in STEM teams. Download the PDF!
Here’s a small collection of STEM-related videos that might provide some inspiration for students and lesson-writing ideas for teachers. There’s a good three-minute intro to STEM, clips from the Teaching Channel, Kahn Academy, and more. Suggest your favorites!
Getting ready to involve students in real STEM learning experiences this fall? Then you’ll soon begin to examine, revise, and beef up your STEM education knowledge and skills. Anne Jolly brings together ideas and information to answer five key questions.