• Understand the importance of STEM education.
• Practice the four Cs of learning: collaboration, communication, critical thinking, and creativity.
• Collect best practices to create good and inexpensive (many free) STEM lessons.
• Teach 21st Century skills without technology.
• Learn strategies (e.g., productive struggle) to creatively solve real-world problems.
• Assess the success of your activities.
STEM activities help students to move beyond simple test performance and focuses on developing higher-level thinking
skills by connecting classroom learning to the real-world.
The United States is ranked below many industrialized nations in Science and Mathematics. Consequently, it will become more
difficult to compete globally unless we focus on integrating STEM activities into all our coursework and workshops. (Pew Research)
STE M Demystifieda^
“STEAM Education provides the framework used for connecting the growing network of
educational disciplines, businesses and communities to create adaptable citizen-involved,
globally-responsible, reality-based programs for developing life-long FUNctional literacy for all.”
You do not need to be a scientist, technologist, engineer, artist, and/or a mathematician to do STEAM.
Four Cs of Learning:
Critical Thinking• Reason Effectively
• Use various types of reasoning (inductive, deductive, etc.) as appropriate to the situation.
• Use Systems Thinking• Analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in
• Make Judgments and Decisions• Effectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims, and beliefs.• Analyze and evaluate major alternative points of view.• Synthesize and make connections between information and arguments.• Interpret information and draw conclusions based on the best analysis.• Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes.
• Solve Problems• Solve different kinds of unfamiliar problems in both conventional and innovative ways.• Identify and ask significant questions that clarify various points of view and lead to better
• Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written, and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts.
• Listen effectively to decipher meaning, including knowledge, values, attitudes, and intentions.
• Use communication for a range of purposes (e.g. to inform, instruct, motivate, and persuade).
• Use multiple media and technologies, and know how to assess impact and their effectiveness a priori.
• Communicate effectively in diverse environments (including multilingual and multicultural).
Collaborate with Others
• Demonstrate ability to work effectively and respectfully with diverse teams.
• Exercise flexibility and willingness to be helpful in making necessary compromises to accomplish a common goal.
• Assume shared responsibility for collaborative work, and value the individual contributions made by each team member.
• Check out the GLOBE Program: https://www.globe.gov/.
• Have fun doing the Marshmallow Challenge: www.marshmallowchallenge.com.
• Think Creatively• Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (such as brainstorming).• Create new and worthwhile ideas (both incremental and radical concepts).• Elaborate, refine, analyze, and evaluate original ideas to improve and maximize
• Work Creatively with Others• Develop, implement, and communicate new ideas to others effectively.• Be open and responsive to new and diverse perspectives; incorporate group input and
feedback into the work.• Demonstrate originality and inventiveness in work and understand the real world
limits to adopting new ideas. • View failure as an opportunity to learn; understand that creativity and innovation are
part of a long-term, cyclical process of small successes and frequent mistakes
• Implement Innovation• Act on creative ideas to make a tangible and useful contribution to the field in which
the innovation will occur.
Creativity and Innovation
Learn some great ways to integrate the 4 C’s into your
“The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern
recognizers and meaning makers. These people…will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.”
~ Daniel Pink
Best practices for creating good STEM lessons
A good STEM lesson:
• Presents a real-world and interesting open-ended problem.
• Allows for several acceptable solutions for the problem.
• Integrates and applies grade-level content in science and math.
• Expects students to work/communicate in productive teams to solve the problem.
• Uses the Engineering Design Process approach for solving problems.
Engineering Design Process
EDP gives students a way to think systematically about solving problems.
1. Define problem[s],
2. Conduct research (Information Literacy/Transliteracy),
3. Discuss multiple ideas for solutions,
4. Develop and create a device or prototype, and then
5. Test, evaluate, and redesign.
Multimodal Research Projects
• Infographics• Public Service Announcement• Podcasting• 360° Video Documentary• Animation
A good STEM lesson continued:
• Includes technology that adds value and enhances learning.
• Supports a teaching process that is inquiry-based, hands-on, and student-centered.
• Requires students to design and create a model or prototype of the solution.
• Provides quality time to think critically, creatively, and innovatively and to test their solutions, evaluate the results, and redesign if needed.
• It is encouraged to fail and make mistakes. It is a positive step toward discovering and designing solutions.
“The trick is not in knowing the single solution. It’s having lots of different options and solutions to turn to.”
Source: Wired Magazine April ,2012, page 22
Science Fair Project Ideas
Browse more projects at https://www.education.com/science-fair
Explore the physics of rotational motion with a fidget spinner!
DIY Fidget SpinnerThingiverse designs
Want a copy of our grant? Please send an email to [email protected] and I’ll send you a copy.
• Video Game Design (3 sessions, 4 ½ hours)
• 3D Design/Printing (3 sessions, 4 ½ hours)
• Fun With Electronics/Circuitry (3 sessions, 4 ½ hours)
• Introduction to Robotics (3 sessions, 4 ½ hours)
• Virtual Reality (3 sessions, 4 ½ hours)
• Video Editing for Film (3 sessions, 4 ½ hours)
Watch at https://youtu.be/fAozLR4dry0
Images by Chris Demmons and Chad Mairn
A very cool way to teach data analytics to children!
Watch at https://youtu.be/IPTU4fOq8hU
Teach 21st Century skills without technology
- practical application of knowledge especially in a particular area (e.g., medical technology).
Read more at https://goo.gl/OBWCHW
Some of my favorites are:
Understanding Pi with String Art
Learning about ant colonies with Tape Resist Art
Exploring Cameras with Flashlight Painting
DIY Flying Whirly Copter Toy
Productive Struggle – given a task slightly
beyond a student’s ability. Learning sticks
when there is some struggle. Critical
thinking and discovery!
Limit Screen Time!
Teens playing Settlers of Catan in Portland Public Library
Get outside and explore!
Phase 1 of the Butterfly Garden at SPC’s STEM Center
What can butterflies teach us?
Beginner Butterfly Kits are available: https://goo.gl/fD8zMb
Assess the success of your activities
More info: http://atc21s.org/
Assessing Information Literacy Skills
Don’t forget surveys!
Example feedback survey for Maker Boot Camp
Student Teaming Tips: STEM by Design – learn necessary skills to collaborate successfully and be responsible and accountable for their work.
Real-World STEM Problems - STEM teachers pose problems and combine problem solving with project-based learning across disciplines.
Google Maps | Education - empower students to visualize, share, and communicate information about the world around them.
Teaching 21st Century Skills Without Technology – can you teach 21st century skills without technology?
Six Characteristics of a Great STEM Lesson – some great resources here to help jumpstart thinking about creating STEM lessons.
MIT Blossoms – some great resources to help “deepen and strengthen a curriculum.”
STEM Hands-on Activities (Pinterest) – tons of awesome ideas here!
Teachers Pay Teachers – their goal is to make the “expertise and wisdom of all the teachers in the world available to anyone, anywhere, at any time.”
eGFI - Engineering, Go For It! – some great lesson plans to create interesting engineering projects.
Chad Mairn Presentations - a variety of presentations ranging from Open Education Resources to Basic Video Game Design.
Select Resources/ideas continued:
•Arts Exposure Leads to Increased STEM Patents
Michigan State University
•Testimony on Capitol Hill
View CSPAN coverage of the US House Committee
hearing on Science, Space and Technology.
•Interview with Arne Duncan on STEM
Innovation and Technology in Education conference
•STEAM by US Region
RISD Office of Government Relations
UC San Diego
•The Steam Journal
Claremont Graduate University
Arts Education Partnership
•State of Create
•Framework for 21st Century Learning
Partnership for 21st Century Skills
•School Transformation Through Arts Integration
•Science Literacy and Assessment Data
American Association for the Advancement of Science
•Reinvesting in Arts Education
President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities
•Drawing to Learn in Science
•Cultivating Organizational Creativity
•Ready to Innovate
The Conference Board
•Grand Challenges for Engineering
National Academey of Engineering
STEAM resources and connections
Read more at: http://stemtosteam.org/resources