Giving Compass’ Take:
• Getting Smart features teacher Kyle Wagner as he unpacks 5 ways to successfully introduce STEM into your schools. According to him, STEM should be fun, short, collaborative, manageable and visible.
• Can these steps be applied to other “daunting” courses in schools?
Does STEM scare you?
It scared me for a long time. I was that guy who put IKEA furniture together… backwards. When the oil light came on in the old Pontiac 6000 I used to drive, I thought it meant the car needed more gas.
Together, we have slowly introduced STEM to elementary students within our brand new MakerSpace. And while it’s been slow going and we have made TONS of mistakes along the way, I believe we are starting to gain traction.
If you are new to STEM or are trying to figure out how to maximize the use of your new MakerSpace, here are five things to consider:
- Make it Fun
Like most educators, we started our STEM projects with way too many guidelines. Our first project had rubrics, journal prompts, criteria(s) for success, timelines and multiple feedback sessions.
- Make it Short
A good STEM project is like a short roller coaster ride at your favorite amusement park. It throws you around a few turns, has one to two unexpected surprises and provides a finale just as you are hoping there is more.
- Make it Collaborative
Get students involved early and often. Our second project-building, a habitat for a younger years’ class pet, provided students total freedom in their design for their furry friends.
- Make it Manageable
Although it’s ambitious to ask students to solve the global waste problem, it’s much more manageable to ask them to address the plastic problem in their local bay.
- Make it Visible
There’s a famous TED video that shows a random guy dancing in the park. After about five minutes of uninhibited dancing, another sun bather joins him.
Read the full article about how to introduce your school to STEM by Kyle Wagner at Getting Smart.
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