Welcome to another wonderful installment of the bright ideas hop!
This week, I’m going to chat a bit about how I integrate STEM style lessons into my classroom!
Our school became a STEM school last year, and I really didn’t know what that meant! LOL!
The thing to remember with any STEM style activity, is that the project must have all of the components to be considered a STEM activity. In my classroom, I like to use a read aloud text, or a student friendly text to introduce the science concept.
How will the students test their hypothesis?
It has to be something that they will be able to measure. With firsties, I like to do things that can be measured with non-standard units. Depending on the class, you cna go into standard units.
This part is usually the toughest for me. They need to use some form of inquiry to do the engineering component of STEM. It can be a simple idea, but…it should relate to the project strongly, and be soemthing that the students have an opportunity to to investigate through inquiry and dialogue.
Make sure that your students are working collaboratively on these projects. This will help the students with less scientific understanding to get support from students who are stronger with inquiry skills.
This year, we’ve done quite a few STEM style projects.
After reading a story on building bridges, the students and I explored what makes a structure strong. We counted out marshmallows and toothpicks to build a structure. The kids graphed how many pennies their structure could hold using excel.
In another project, we read a book called How People Learned to Fly and built paper airplanes after we read about lift and drag. We recorded how many meters our planes flew after three trials. My mom was here that week, so she helped me record the data for the kids! 🙂
Another fun project we did after reading about the craters of the moon was to create our own craters!
The students dropped different objects into the sand to observe the difference in the size of the craters. They discovered that the mass of the crater was also important in making the size of the crater…not just how far the object fell. We graphed our results for that as a class with a demo that I did for all of the kids.
The students built lunar rovers from legos and described how their rovers would best navigate the craters.
We even did a science fair board on it! 🙂
You don’t have to be a STEM school to do ‘STEM’ style science in your classroom.
It’s just a great practice to work on inquiry skills and scientific thinking!
Each year our school does a STEM night for the parents and ear, my grade level hosted two stations. One on sorting and the other on magnets!
If you’re interested in checking out the hilarious promotional video I did for our event, check out my Wordless Wednesday post by clicking HERE.
Each student started by sorting their insects three different ways. To increase their understanding of similarities and differences, we moved to having them use Venn Diagrams if it was appropriate. I was surprised at how the students discussed their understanding.
I hope that some of these ideas might be things that you can implement with your own learners as you embrace STEM style science in your primary classroom! 🙂
There are other great ideas being shared through this hop! 🙂
Definitely check out a few of the topics below! 🙂