STEM education is sweeping the nation. From robotics competitions to coding games, school districts are scrambling to provide STEM programs while teachers sift through thousands of Pinterest pins in search of quality activities. As a STEM Director, I am always looking for new curriculum ideas, but my biggest frustration is the wide-range of activities that are labeled "STEM." Building a tower from spaghetti and tape is categorized the same as programming a Lego Mindstorm to navigate a maze. One project takes 10 minutes while the other requires weeks of critical thinking and learning a programming language. We need further clarification to distinguish these levels in STEM education. To help guide educators and administrators in the implementation of curriculum and development of programs, we propose the following 3 stages of STEM Education.
It’s almost Valentine’s Day and my kids are already plotting how to deliver those special messages to the ones they love! As a STEM educator, a valentine delivery must be more than dropping heart shaped paper into handmade mailboxes. So, we made a Valentine’s Day candy delivery STEM challenge using frogs - origami frogs that is!
All my middle school students came back to school this year bragging about their newest Christmas gift - a Sphero robot! Since we have spent the last couple months programming SPRK+ robots in our afterschool Space Club program, I will take this as a positive sign of success! Students love how quickly they can learn to program, never get bored with the endless games and challenges, and have fun showing off their dancing, flashing, spinning robot. Read on for more tips and tricks on teaching with Sphero robots in your classroom or program.
Be a rockstar (or maybe a rocket scientist!) this holiday season and in the new year with this list of the best STEM gift ideas currently on the market! Why give a STEM gift? They are engaging and educational-- teaching kids new skills, how to be critical thinkers, and helping them gain confidence, all while having fun!
Oh, how thankful I am for STEM! Long before "STEM" became a buzzword, the ancients began calculating and discovering, and building and uncovering, to make their world-- our world -- a better place. What are you most thankful for? How has STEM been a part of what you are thankful for?
Halloween is almost here, and we have just the thing to celebrate with your kids and classroom! ...an engineering challenge is my favorite way to immerse kids in a hands-on STEM learning environment throughout the fall season
"Build it. Move it. ZOOB it." No, this isn't a Zumba class, but the catch phrase of the ZOOB Builderz kit! I still have no idea what "ZOOB it" means, but I have been pretty impressed with my purchase of the ZOOB kit. I was on the hunt for a building kit to enhance my STEM program, and this kit was intriguing because of the STEM Challenge Cards. Read on for my review of the ZOOB Builderz STEM Challenge Kit.
Back-to-school signs now greet me at every store, but I am still in denial that the lazy day of summers have come to an end! Soon, students will fill the hallways with laughter and shiny new backpacks, and teachers will clutch their coffee mugs and brace for another year! To help ease you into the new school year, Vivify invites you to start the year with some hands-on STEM challenges!
In honor of all that you do to balance your life and pouring love and learning into the lives of those you teach, head over to Teachers Pay Teachers today and tomorrow only to save up to 28% site wide! Our recommendation would be to take advantage of this sale to stock up on all things STEM! We have created a 3 months full of STEM activities that will continue to inspire and enrich your students' learning all summer long!
Need a fun and hands-on Earth Day activity? Challenge your students to an oil spill clean-up! Read on for a STEM challenge that teaches environmental consciousness, problem solving, and team work along with extension math problems that use measurement, percentages, and volume calculations. Our students loved this activity, and we think yours will too!