STEM Culture is something that is developed over time through intentional strategies which highlight STEM careers, STEM skills, and the interconnectivity of the world around us all. Each month we are highlighting some of the strategies we see in classrooms from our DEN and STEM educators building pathways for their colleagues to implement a STEM culture.
“But Why Should I Care?”
Inspired by: Erin Leone, Mehlville School District, MO
This is a question that educators hear all the time from all levels of students. This strategy helps engage students in your unit/lesson. Students identify issues and ideas within the content of a lesson and apply them to a current, real-world situation. This helps students connect real solutions to real problems to the content of your lesson. When students can make a connection to a current event, students are much more likely to “buy in” and relate to a topic. This strategy also touches on Critical Thinking, Real World Applications, and Creativity.
Inspired by: Jessica Vasquez, Maury County Public Schools, TN
Think about the “story” of your classroom and how you want it told. When visitors come to your room, they only see a small portion of your day. They are not privy to many of the STEMtastic things you and your students do and how hard you all work together as a team. Student STEMbassadors help visitors see the “big picture” of your class, while students are building their real world communication skills! STEMbassadors welcome visitors and discuss how your classroom and students work to build the 4C’s of 21st century skills: collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.