Welcome to STEM by Design


I’m truly glad you’re here!

If you enjoy being at the cutting edge of education, then you’re going to love being a part of STEM. I’m passionate about STEM and about education, but I’ve found that passion alone isn’t enough. Teaching STEM takes knowledge, energy, and persistence.

I wrote STEM by Design, Lessons and activities for Grades 4–8, to give you a jumpstart in creating a dynamic STEM classroom. But I also intend it to give you the momentum to refine and sustain your efforts, and to help you create lessons and accept that it’s okay if your lesson initially flops. I want you to learn to build and rebuild those STEM lessons to create learning experiences that cultivate kids who can successfully tackle STEM challenges.

Wrapping our minds around great STEM learning

STEM-girls-feature-optionIf you’re a teacher, or an educator who supports teachers in their efforts to implement genuine STEM in classrooms (including afterschool and Career and Technical Education) then I am passionate about your success as well. You’ll find help in my book. You’ll also find ideas throughout this website, including my personal blog.

You’re going to be glad you’re here! Check out my STEM blog at MiddleWeb as well for the latest commentary on the “state of STEM.” It’s all geared toward helping you be a better STEM teacher and STEM leader, and helping you wrap your mind around what that means.

Most of all, let’s collaborate. As you read entries and resources, take a moment to share ideas, questions or favorite resources in the Comments. You can count on me to join your conversations.

This is also the page to ask questions about things you’ve read in my book.

STEM education will be a great thing for 21st century kids, if we all work together to make it so!

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Image: CERDEC Math & Science Camp
Image: NASA Goodard

Anne Jolly

Anne Jolly began her career as a lab scientist, caught the science teaching bug, and was recognized as an Alabama Teacher of the Year during her years as a middle grades science teacher. From 2007-2014 Anne was part of an NSF-funded team that developed middle grades STEM curriculum modules and teacher PD materials for the Mobile Area Education Foundation's Engaging Youth through Engineering initiative. In 2020-2021 Anne teamed to develop a middle school STEM workforce curriculum for Flight Works Alabama. Her book STEM By Design: Strategies & Activities for Grades 4-8 is published by Routledge/MiddleWeb.

14 Responses

  1. Caroline Goode says:

    Congratulations, Anne! Your book will be a hit with any teacher looking for a STEM guide, as well as, any teachers who already have immersed their students in STEM.

  2. Vicki A. Foster, Ph.D. says:

    Hi, Anne! I am a graduate adjunct instructor at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. I am in the process of writing a STEM Capstone course for teachers wishing to receive their endorsement in STEM teaching (either K-8 or 5-8). I just happened upon your website and am so impressed by your teaching tools. I would like permission to use some of them in my course (specifically Design Tools 5.1, 6.1, 8.2, and 9.1). Would you please let me know what I need to do to obtain permission? I very much appreciate your consideration of this request.

    • Anne Jolly says:

      Hi, Vicki,

      You certainly have permission to use teaching tools from my website in your course. Please feel free to do so.

      Anne Jolly

  3. John Sharp says:

    HI Anne,

    My name is John Sharp (ASU Preparatory Academies), and I am creating some professional development for the teachers in my district relating to STEM. I would like to use some of the resources from your site. In addition, I would like to use your article, “Six Characteristics of a Great STEM Lesson,” published in Education Week. Obviously, I would provide the appropriate citations and give you credit for your amazing work! I appreciate your consideration of this request.

  4. Anne says:

    Hi John. Sent you an affirmative email reply, And I want to thank you for using my materials. The biggest reward a writer/professional developer can receive is to know that the materials and ideas are useful.

  5. Frank says:

    Hi Anne, congratulations on a fantastic resource.

  6. NIDHI BEHL says:

    Hi Anne,
    I read something in your book about incorporating history in STEM. I have been looking for that page, but cannot seem to find it now. Can you please help!


  7. Anne Jolly says:

    Nidhi, try page 28. I briefly mention history under a heading titled, “The outlook of ‘STEM-only’ proponents.” I suggest that history could be used to set the stage for the problems kids address in the STEM challenge. In other words, ground the problem in a historical context.

  8. nathanael martin says:

    Hi Anne, Please help.

    My 3rd grade son will be transferring to a new school soon, one of the two options for him is a STEM school. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and mild Dyslexia. He will spend part of his time in the general classroom and part in the resource room (not specifically STEM). The STEM school seems like the obvious and preferred choice to us, for holding his attention in the general class setting and increasing the time he would spend there vs the resource room. We are looking for studies or other information that can support what our intuition is telling us. We have input on what school he attends, but not the final say. Any material to help bluster our argument for placement at the STEM school or even to the contrary would be very helpful to us.

  9. Anne Jolly says:

    There’s a brief comment on page 28 of the book. For a more detailed explanation of integrating history and STEM see this blog post. https://www.middleweb.com/33039/how-do-we-integrate-stem-across-subjects/

    Best of luck!

  10. Karen Brown says:

    Hi Anne – I am a high school CTE teacher where we are in the beginning phases of developing a STEAM Academy. I am the chair of our STEAM team, and I am so excited about the possibilities that lie ahead of us. I just finished reading, “Stem By Design” and I am thrilled with the information and resources I have gathered thus far. I was wondering if you had some good high school resources that you would recommend. It seems these resources are much harder to come about and I want to make sure if I purchase something it is worth the money. Thanks again for all of your insight and resources – I truly believe it has helped me get a better understanding of where we are and where we need to go.

    • Anne Jolly says:

      Hi, Karen – I hope you received my reply via email. I am so glad that CTE teachers and STEM are coming together! It’s such a good fit. High school resources are generally built around “engineering” coursework, and that can be a mixture of math, science, and technology. You’ll like this website: http://teachers.egfi-k12.org/ It has options for K-12 curriculum that I think you’ll find useful.

      Thanks for your comments about the book and resources. Feel free to use them and share!

  11. Christine Andoy says:

    Good day Ms. Anne,

    I am currently having my thesis on Kindergarten Teachers’ Awareness and Beliefs in Integrating STEM in the Classroom. May I ask permission to use your survey questionnaire on Student’s Awareness in Engineering as a reference for my research instrument? I am about to download it however I cannot view the full version.

    Hoping for your kind consideration.

    Thank you so much and have a blessed day.

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