STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Teaching STEM lessons means you create plans that involve all 4 curricular areas. There's a big focus on children having the chance to work with ideas or materials to engineer their own designs. There's also a focus on giving them the time to experiment with their designs, learn from their mistakes, and make modifications to enhance it.
It's really quite amazing to watch. The best part is the teacher basically sets the task and let's the kiddos take the reigns. We move throughout the room encouraging their thought processes and asking questions that help them further their own thinking. We are constantly amazed at what our 5 and 6 year olds come up with!
To make sure we keep our school focused on STEM, we have our annual STEM Science day! We usually work with our grade level teachers as well as some non-homeroom teachers to create, plan, and execute science rotations. This year our K team set up 3 classrooms with 3 different lessons in each. The principal and counselor worked with us this year to guide the lessons.
We basically made sure materials were ready, packs were printed and ready to go, and groups of 3 had been predetermined based on focus, writing ability, and cohesiveness!
We used Fairy Tale themed lessons that we purchased from the awesome Regina Davis on TPT!
Lesson 1: Rub-a-Dub 3 Men in a Tub! Kiddos had to design, test, and record the outcome of building a boat from aluminum foil.
Lesson 2: Run, Run, Run as Fast as You Can! Groups worked to construct a bridge for the gingerbread man out of toothpicks and marshmallows.
Lesson 3: I'll Huff and I'll Puff! This last lesson had kiddos building a structure that would keep the pigs safe and withstand the wolf's huffs and puffs.
We always take time after the lessons to talk with the kids and reflect on how things went. What modifications did they make that worked/didn't work, how well they worked with their groups, basically anything that gets them thinking.
The science and engineering are pretty evident. The math comes in when they measure the height of structures or count and record the number of bears their boat held. They count, measure, tally...the sky is the limit. The technology comes in in a variety of ways. We let the kids use the IPad to take pictures and videos of their work. We've used them in the past to put them into a PowerPoint. We show that on the Activboard and the kids make notes right onto the photos.
So... If you haven't tried STEM yet...what are you waiting for? Grab a lesson from TPT or create your own...and go wild!!!
Here are 2 lessons we've created, tested, and added to our store. We loved them both and so did our kiddos.