To effectively engage audience members, I will balance their readiness to learn, cognitive load, and stimulating activities. Using real-world examples, I will demonstrate the power of STEM in elementary classrooms to grow all learners and provide necessary 21st-century skills. Often STEM is an enrichment offered to high-achiever but struggling learners have even more to gain from STEM including confidence and leadership. I will focus on practical application, but valuable references and data will be included to support my practices. I will begin the session with a survey to identify the needs and perceptions of participants regarding STEM integration. Based on input, I will share research-based strategies, classroom integration examples, or dispel misconceptions. I will include an interactive STEM activity using index cards and paper clips to provide a STEM lesson model and demonstrate the ease of integrating STEM with simple, classroom supplies. Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of the benefits of STEM in K-5 classrooms and feel more comfortable integrating STEM into their own classrooms.
Participants will understand the value of STEM integration beyond the four letters of the acronym, including the benefits of productive struggle of high achievers and how the grit of struggling learners are paramount in the success of STEM challenges.
Erika Neuman (University of Texas at San Antonio: No City, No State)