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STEM project based learning activities

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Lisa Otto Lisa Otto 3445 Points

I am a new teacher interviewing at a STEM high school tomorrow! I am frantically searching for some long term project ideas that could be done by students. Thanks for any suggestions.

Mrs Hawk Catherine Hawkins 2400 Points

I use this website for good ideas on problem based learning - there are a lot a good resources and I am sure you can find some creative ideas for long term problem based issues. Good luck!

Cynthia Fong Cynthia Fong 3255 Points eGFI Engineering, great site and ideas.

Jennifer McDonald Jennifer McDonald 11930 Points

This is a neat site to introduce to students when talking about careers in the sciences. This site covers aerospace engineering to agricultural engineering. The information given is short and concise - perfect for browsing for ideas. I also like that they give real bios of people in these fields. Good find!

Lisa Otto Lisa Otto 3445 Points

Thank you so much.

Mars Brownsen Mars Brownsen 575 Points

I love the high pressure paper rockets check out the NASA site

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25645 Points

Here is a list of STEM projects for K-12 from NSF

Mrs Hawk Catherine Hawkins 2400 Points

Thank you for the link for the STEM projects for K-12. That is a wonderful link.

G Nathan Carnes, Ph.D. G Nathan Carnes 3412 Points

Unfortunately, there are several broken links at this site. So, there is not much to see, unfortunately.

Alayna Maldonado Alayna Maldonado 1750 Points

I definitely see the value of using project-based learning in the classroom. Thank you for sharing the websites and resources. I like how the b.i.e. website has free worksheets you can print and checklists you can follow to determine if your idea is truly project-based learning. There were plenty of sample projects, but they seemed like they were mostly for older students. I teach third grade and would like to know if anyone on the forum has ever done project-based learning with this age group and, if so, has some examples to share. I would like to hear how it has been used in action before I try to implement it myself. Basically, some simple ideas for a project-based "beginner" would be great.

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

NSTA’s availability of the professional books for single chapter downloading is such a great “perk” in becoming a member. I recently used a lesson available from the series Activities Linking Science with Math 5-8, by John Eichinger. This lesson is an engaging, inquiry based activity that I am sure many of you have used in your middle school science classes; Heat Exchange in Air, Water and Soil. The activity contains identified content standards from NSES and NCTM – so it is a great support or reinforcement in measurement skills, data gathering and analysis, and showing students a connection between science and math disciplines. The lesson itself has been featured in many science textbooks and NASA resources. What is unique are the additional options provided for educators that many other lesson sources do not provide! Critical information includes: NSES and NCTM standards and correlations, student data and analysis templates, sample rubrics with assessment suggestions, constructive extensions and discussion questions that stretch our students’ thinking into including math and science when approaching a problem are new strategies that some educators find difficult to teach. STEM Lessons and Careers are consistently a topic at hand in current workshops and administrative announcements – here we actually “see” the two disciplines come together for realistic student centered activities!

Enjoy your week! Alyce

Kelly Amendola Kelly Amendola 10320 Points

I'm thinking of having my students do a project based learning activity in the next couple of days. Thank you for all the resources, I'm looking through them know and they all look really awesome.

Ronaldo Relador Ronaldo Relador 45315 Points

Hi. I have actually shared this ideas to the other group under STEM, and I thought they could help: "I am currently part of our school's STEM team of educators employing both project-based and team teaching in directing students learning. We are fortunate to have our county participate in state-wide project in bring the level of awareness of students in STEM and eventually create a culture of STEM thinkers. The team try to create quarterly projects where to center the curricular dynamics and get the students taught in a classroom in a subject by various educators from disciplines like Biology, Algebra, Technology and Engineering, etc. We invite scientists from NASA from time to time in order to provide more experts' involvement in the conduct of the project based learning process. One of the lesson modules that we are currently developing in a Biology class is the application of Tidal Wave Energy as an alternative energy. Water is being investigated. Energy is being touched. We compute using mathematical models the energy produced by kinetic flow of water. We device electrical circuits and other small scale replications of actual gadgets in the field. And finally we develop our own working system that integrate all the lessons we have learned for the previous meetings. Of course the main thing is to develop the STEM thinking among the students, that everything is connected, and that this is how it will be in the future if we have to lead with STEM knowledge." From "STEM Education" topic.

Ronaldo Relador Ronaldo Relador 45315 Points

Thank you Adah for sharing! Your resources will be really useful for me.

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

I love the Engineering For All article you included in your collection above, Adah. Third grade students design and test their own windmill blades. Very cool!
In addition to Adah's 2 collections, I came across these articles today as I was doing a search for sTEM activities that have to do with the environment and math:
Make Your Own Digital Thermometer!
Potato Problem Solving
The first one is geared toward high school students. The second - for third or fourth graders.

Nancy Iaukea Nancy Iaukea 2710 Points

Alayna, I know this is a little later than you posted, but we are just coming into the spring and a project on composting can be done on any grade level. It fits in perfectly with Life Science standards and allows the students a hands on approach to learning. Even the youngest of students can participate by "contributing" their food scraps and watching what happens as the decomposition process takes place. You can modify the questions and concepts taught to be grade appropriate. Hope this helps.......

Lisa Otto Lisa Otto 3445 Points

Thank you for the idea.

Rochelle Tamiya Rochelle Tamiya 4095 Points

Hi there! I have recently been a participant of STEM project based efforts via grant for local schools. I was blessed to become a part of this endeavor about 1.5 years ago (so I am not sure if funding is still available), however, the website that I use is and I believe that it is a website for public use? I know that there are tons of ideas and projects that are currently being implemented in Hawaii's local schools that are shared on this website. Couldn't hurt to check it out...

Patty McGinnis Patricia McGinnis 25645 Points

The eGFI site mentioned earlier in this forum is great; they have lots of lessons and activities for all ages. I am currently creating a curriculum for gifted students and I see lots of potential for including engineering into the curriculum. I had no idea there were so many resources available.

Alyce Dalzell Alyce Dalzell 64075 Points

Hello Readers,
I've been asked to teach a high school level 'Meteorology' STEM elective in Fall 2012. I'm having a great time exploring NSTA's resources and have found several collections, free book chapters and free journal articles to be a godsend with their engaging, inquiry based activities and student readings.

I've also discovered an excellent site called 'Weatherspark'. The site is phenomenal and includes interactive weather graphs that allow you to pan and zoom through the entire history of any weather station on earth. Students can also access long range, historical and current radar readings. The weather graphs are easily understood and comparison among cities is easy to navigate.

Two activites that I'm planning to have my students complete are viewing past forecasts to see how well they match what actually happened and comparing cities' weather that have the same longitude/latitude readings.

I'm hoping some of you could help me brainstorm additional engaging strategies so that I am able to utilize the site throughout the length of the course without becoming 'stale'.

I appreciate all ideas, enjoy your week!

Colby Kagawa Colby Kagawa 490 Points

Hi Lisa, The Futures Channel has a lot of good short video clips and lesson plans to go with the videos. I have used Kelvin to buy project kits that are easy to use but may require a little bit of research and lesson planning on your part. These 2 resources combine all the aspects of stem into real world applications. You can do anything from simple mouse trap cars to electric motors.

James Franciamore James Franciamore 595 Points has great videos also.

Sherilynn Chang Sherilynn Chang 1220 Points

A great thing for you, your colleagues and best of all, your students to do is the marshmallow challenge. This totally builds collaboration, communication, and will get kids to build, experiment, test, analyze, tweak, pretty much everything you want them to do in a STEM project. This also shows that failure is not the end. If they don't succeed, they are forced to think why and how can they make it better? The marshmallow challenge

Nancy Iaukea Nancy Iaukea 2710 Points

Sherilynn, Thank you so much for posting the link to the Marshmallow Challenge. We are using this lab for our extended learning (enrichment) time for our RTTT school, but I had lost this website! I agree this is a great challenge for the kids that allows for creativity but also successful.

Clyde Darden clyde Darden 10 Points

I am in need of a project based learning project that features measurement. I teach at a K-* "STEM" academy and I am very much interested in teaching measurement for 6th & 8th grade engineering. I could us all the hlp I can get.

Betty Paulsell Betty Paulsell 48560 Points

I have created a Resource Collection that has lots of ideas from articles that might help you. I am attaching the collection to this posting. Good luck.

Mariam Ahmed Mariam Ahmed 1545 Points

All of these resources are really helpful. Even though I am not yet in my own classroom, I could definitely see myself using these websites/collections to make great project based learning lessons. Thanks to everyone who posted a resource!

Stacy Holland Stacy Holland 6865 Points

Thanks for all the resources for STEM. I am really getting into STEAM too!

Stephanie Fox Stephanie Fox 2550 Points

Cynthia, Thank you so much for referring the website eGFI. This is so resourceful for a new teacher especially. I am really excited to try some of the activities. Program a Friend looks really cool, it has to do with computer programing and software engineering concepts. I also like the Dirty Water Project. There is just so much available. Thanks again.

Carmen Cruz Carmen Cruz 2125 Points

I noticed some of you mentioned a STEM measurement idea, cheap and engaging activity ideas are hoop gliders, catapults, CD Hovercrafts, balloon cars, etc. You can even introduce speed.

Wow , very useful links . Thank you all. I am going to be a teacher (new) at STEM based middle school, and i will be teaching high school Physical science to them. Any suggestion on books with STEM activity would be a great help.

Wendy Goldfein Wendy Goldfein 2335 Points

We invite you to check out all of our STEM resources on our website. We have pages with archived blogs filled with ideas, a page with lessons to download, and a page with links to other resources to help you set up your own STEM classroom. Our Facebook page and Pinterest page are also filled with ideas that are updated daily. By following our social media outreach platforms you will receive great STEM information that we are constantly locating and sharing. Need ideas? Have a question? We love to help! You can contact us at: [email protected] Wendy and Cheryl Get Caught Engineering

George Mehler George Mehler 1575 Points

Hi Lisa, My name is Dr. George Mehler and I am a science methods professor at Temple University. I have been developing a YouTube channel called FunScienceDemos which has video demonstrations for every idea that young learners should know before they get to high school. Check it out and subscribe as we release new videos regularly and will be introducing complimentary readings, poems, math problems, and assistive worksheets in the coming year. Our goal is to incorporate more STEM into the classroom for free! Hope this helps Best, George Mehler Ed.D., Temple University

Lori Dozier Lori Dozier 960 Points

I am a future educator and wanted to know which website was the best for keeping kids engaged in science. It's my least favorite subject but I don't want the kids to know that!! Any suggestions would be appreciated!!

Arrie Winston Arrie Winston 1020 Points

Creating a grade level mini planetarium.  I did this for my class, but I believe this is an easy project for students as well.

Steve Kirsche Stephen Kirsche 9145 Points

I did a 20 minute project last year that was great. The students had to come up with a project that interested them. We then spent the last 20 minutes of each class working on the projects. I ended up with catapults, computer programs, models, and a variety of other projects. The students enjoyed it and got to investigate an area that they were most interested in.

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