Virtual 6-9 Grade STEM Competition - August 2023


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STEM in an Elementary Classroom

Author Post
Matthew Thomas Matthew Thomas 190 Points

How could an elementary school teacher encourage STEM in the classroom? With so little time dedicated to science (at least in my state), are there any specific lesson ideas or resources that I should be sure to implement? 

Pamela Dupre Pamela Dupre 92364 Points

EiE Engineering is elementary has free lessons. Just sign up to get access to free downloads, teachers' edition and student workbook. You can purchase their kits online or look at the supply kit and ask parents to send some items like tape, string, straws, index cards, etc. We use the after school program 3rd - 5th grade. However, some teachers use the lessons during the school day occasionally. I also recommend using the for lessons that align with the standards and many of them have rubrics, handouts, material lists. Also, the idea I embrace the most is when there is an actual issue at school, like a flooded playground area, or something else that needs to be resolved, you can get the kids to use the engineering design process to come up with a solution. The solution can then be presented to the administration.

Shirin Nayani Shirin Nayani 405 Points

STEM is the incorporation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In an elementary classroom it can be difficult to integrate all four of these things. These concepts are based on real-world applications. I know what has worked in my class is that my student’s love doing interactive science activities that involve technology such as I show my students videos on BrainPop Jr and they love to take the quizzes afterwards, and I show them youtube videos about the topic also.

Nina Stiell Nina Stiell 3780 Points

Mystery science is amazing.  STEMscopes is a great textbook for STEM related activities.  You can pull some reading material on a concept with ed helper and teach the reading standards.  Then create a science project integrating that concept where the students are designing something to fix a problem.  Once their designs are finish, let them present their designs and graph some data from all the designs.  Also, picture perfect books has some awesome STEM activities.  I hope this was helpful. Nina Stiell

Gabe Kraljevic Gabe Kraljevic 4564 Points

Hello Matthew,
STEM can be very simple things and not time-consuming. The idea is to integrate some science, math, tech and engineering. There also doesn't need to be equal amounts of all 4! Math can be simply be measuring and/or buying materials and keeping track of a budget. STEM can also be virtual designs that incorporate the different facets. Reflecting on their projects and looking for improvements gets their brains working!

For some easy ideas I have a public collection of resources that include links: Gabe's Stem Resources
Hope this helps!
Gabe Kraljevic

Melina Gaggero Melina Gaggero 270 Points

STEM is the integration of S(Science), T(Technology), E (Engineering), and M(Math) into the classroom. Like you said, math is really easy to integrate because it can simply be about buying materials or tracking a budget. technology can be implemented through the use of ipads, recording findings, making video projects, create virtual designs, etc. I agree with your statement that this will help students grow, because it is simply an integration of tools that foster inquiry-based learning. I think using STEM also requires a teacher to be creative, and making a switch in his/her mind to constantly pull these concepts in together into real-world applications. Engineering can be implemented through giving students a random set of objects, and then they can create themselves a way of engineering a functionality for a given purpose. This will lead them to think as innovators, and to put into practice laws of science that make items work and function in accordance to how our universe works. I think this is really cool because the teacher guides the learning, doesn't just lecture. I also think STEM is a great approach to teaching science because it will help students retain information way better than simple memorization ever could. They will also have fun while being in this environment of discovery, and this will lessen their opportunities for distraction and being off-task. Thank you for providing a clear definitions and for setting up a platform for me to think of my own examples of implementing STEM as I read your post!

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