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.
“Ideation and Prototyping“
Inspired by: Haydee Taylor-Arnold, Ladue Schools, MO
According to the Framework for 21st Century Learning, we should “emphasize deep understanding rather than shallow knowledge” and “students learn best when actively engaged in solving meaningful problems.” This strategy addresses both of these tenets as it requires students to attempt to solve the same challenge more than once and evaluate their success with each iteration. Students have a chance to modify their thinking and adjust and restructure their ideas, similar to ideation in the real world.
Inspired by: Stacy Thompson, Caddo Parish Public Schools, LA
Many of the techniques we use for observation across content areas have been used by naturalists (scientists) for ages. This strategy requires students to practice making and recording observations as they build towards proficiency. Whether forming the base of a hypothesis, making inferences using fictional text, or interpreting historical events, the art of collecting and using observations to make predictions is a critical skill for all students.