STEM Learning

How to Create STEM Lessons for Elementary Classrooms

Explore three ways to add STEM learning into your elementary classroom.

Are you looking to add new STEM learning tools and ideas to your classroom in 2018? Has your school been discussing ways to encourage STEM learning from a young age, but you’re wondering how to build more STEM time into your lessons? Read our suggestions below to find helpful ideas for implementing new STEM learning into your classroom in 2018.

Explore low-cost STEM projects.

If you’re just starting to add STEM ideas into your classroom or are looking for quick one-time lessons, try experimenting with low-cost ideas. Blogger Little Bins for Little Hands created a guide for putting together a dollar store engineering kit and a winter tinkering kit with supplies you might have around your house. The California Tinkering Afterschool Network offers a collection of low cost projects like a balloon car, baking soda and vinegar rocket, and more that you can sort by STEM content, grade level, time and more. For more lists of free STEM resources, you check out this list compiled by Afterschool Alliance.

Encourage problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Often, the word STEM brings to mind computer science or lessons in technology. While those are important, STEM and STEM learning can and should expand beyond much more than just that. A key part of STEM learning for young children is the formation of problem solving, critical thinking, and spatial awareness abilities.

As Vince Bertram, President and CEO of Project Lead The Way, Inc. says, “STEM is about using math and science to solve real-world challenges and problems.“

You can add problem solving, critical thinking, and spatial awareness lessons to your classroom by doing something as simple as giving children activities and free time where they have the ability to solve issues and encouraging them to ask questions (Scholastic).

Invest in STEM learning tools that are backed by science.

Make 2018 the year you decide to invest in long-lasting, scientifically-backed STEM tools that can be used for individual free time or as part of a maker station. For instance, Blocks Rock! has been studied by Indiana University and is proven to increase spatial awareness abilities in children. While other tools might not have been directly researched, you can still vet potential apps and toys that you’re interested in to see if they would logically improve STEM skills. For instance, you can assume that NASA’s Visualization Explorer encourages STEM learning as it provides a “hub of astronomy science knowledge” and encourages curiosity in kids.

What will you do to enhance STEM learning in your classroom in 2018?

We want to know how you’ll be building your students STEM skills this year. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and share what your plans are!

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