Welcome to  Spotlight on Strategies Challenge!  Our S.O.S series provides help, tips, and tricks for integrating DE media into your curriculum.


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Trying to come to a decision isn’t always easy, especially when there is no clear answer. PMI is an effective brainstorming strategy that can be used to weigh the pros and cons of a decision. According to Mind Tools, “PMI stands for “Plus/Minus/Interesting,” and it’s a useful improvement to the “weighing the pros and cons” technique that people have used for centuries.” As students are exploring options of a complex decision, using this strategy with digital media can help them organize their thoughts.



  • Explain to students that they will be exploring a variety of STEM careers.
  • Have students take out a blank piece of paper and draw two lines down the paper, dividing the page into three columns.
  • At the top of each column, have them write “Plus,” “Minus,” and “Interesting.”
  • Explain to students that they will need to take notes as they watch videos about various STEM careers. Anything they like about the career should go in the “Plus” column, anything they don’t like about it should go in the “Minus” column, and anything new they learned should go in the “Interesting” column.
  • Have the students move around the room and view two to three of the videos from the series STEM Careers for Students: Volume 01.
  • While watching the Geneticist video, students might find answers such as:
    • Plus: I get to help save lives. I like science.
    • Minus: I don’t like the sight of blood. I don’t like the lab coats.
    • Interesting: Geneticists also study corn genes; I thought they only studied human genes.
  • Facilitate a whole group discussion about each of the careers. Ask students what they put in each column and why. Based on their PMI charts, ask students which career they feel would be a good fit for them and why.



  •   Select a topic that matches your curriculum.
  •   Find a video segment, image, or reading passage on Discovery Education about your topic or concept.
  •   Have students create a PMI chart.
  •   As students explore the resources, have them complete the PMI chart.
  •   Discuss their findings and ask students to make a decision based on their results.

You can take the challenge by:

  • Implementing this strategy and letting us know how it went by posting a comment below.
  • Using this strategies in your grade level planning discussions and/or professional development and reporting your events. (Remember we consider an event anytime 3 or more educators gather together… doesn’t have to be in a computer lab… could be sitting around the lunch table)
  • Photocopying the flier and distributing it in your colleague’s boxes and/or posting it to your own BulleDEN board.

To see other strategies in this series click here.  For a link to all the PDFs in this series click here.


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  1. Pamela Baker said:

    This was very good. I used to use something very similar when we would evaluate how we did on a monitoring visit for school compliance. It worked very well.

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