In education, the acronym STEM stands for the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM education, then, is the learning of these STEM subjects through an integrated approach; one that offers hands-on and relevant learning experiences
STEM stands for science technology engineering and mathematics.
“S” is for Science.
The basis for scientific discoveries is being a good observer. We can be helped by building strong observation skills by playing games that include examination. Talking about how observation helps us think critically and solve problems.
“T” is for Technology.
Show how to safely search the internet (with student safe software turned on) to find the answer to problems they are trying to solve.
“E” is for Engineering.
To student team :
This image of the engineering design process can show you a way engineers think through how to solve a problem and create a new technology. You will be using the same process they use.
You do NOT have to follow these steps in this particular order. You might skip one step and come back to it. You might circle back to one or two steps several times.
You do not need to memorize this process and the definitions. Just be able to recognize what stage you are in as you work through your engineering challenge.
Define the problem :
This is the problem or engineering challenge that your team members will work on together.
You will gather information about the problem that may be useful in helping you understand it or solve it.
You will use what you learn in your research to brainstorm many possible solutions for this problem. Be creative.
You will choose a solution and plan how you will design and construct your prototype.
Your team members will design the prototype you chose. Everyone should have a part in designing this device or system.
Test and evaluate :
Your team will test your prototype to see if it successfully meets the criteria and accomplishes what it should. You will evaluate your prototype based on how well it meets the criteria and solves the problem.
You will decide how to improve your prototype and redesign the device. You do not have to start at any particular place in the design process. You might go back to “Plan” or to “Create.”
Your team members will share with one another and with other teams during the lesson. When you complete your successful prototype, decide how to communicate this to people beyond your classroom.
“M” is for Math.
Patterns are displayed in nature or are made by people that repeat themselves. Students look for patterns in the world such as repeating numbers on a license plate or rings of wood on a cut tree trunk.
Knowing mathematics well is an important component of a comprehensive STEM program.
There is more to mathematics, however, than being part of STEM. The mathematics that students learn in school includes content and thinking that can be used as tools for tackling integrative STEM problems.
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