Turn Up Your STEM Power This Year
A MiddleWeb Blog
With STEM by Design blogger Anne Jolly busy writing her next book, STEM by Design: Strategies and Activities for Grades 4-8, this week we are featuring several of her most popular posts on topics important to STEM educators in the new school year. Co-editor Susan Curtis shares the highlights.
► In addition to her most read post ever, Real-World STEM Problems (24,000 visits!), Anne has tackled a range of topics. In Plan Now to Assess STEM Learning This Fall she discusses how quick, ongoing classroom assessments of STEM learning can give teachers the timely information they need to keep lessons on track and to be sure students are developing the skills to solve those real-world STEM problems. And, of course, she shares lots of assessment ideas.
► As science teachers pursue Next Generation Science Standards, many wonder how STEM and NGSS match up. Can a good NGSS-aligned science lesson be a good STEM lesson too? Anne and guest educator Marsha Ratzel offer insights via the Matchstick Rocket Challenge in STEM Meets NGSS: Matchstick Rocket Engineering.
► In STEM Programs Must Not Leave Math Behind! guest expert Dr. Susan Pruet stresses the need to stretch beyond simple arithmetic to incorporate more challenging math content in STEM lessons. Pruet, a leading expert on STEM in the middle school, also cites the supports middle grades math teachers will need to spark student engagement in STEM careers.
► In response to queries from CTE leaders, Anne took a closer look at the relationship between STEM and Career and Technical Education in Where Career Tech Meets STEM Education. She’s impressed by the spread of middle school CTE programs and underscores the academic, technological and social goals and methods that STEM and CTE share.
► Lots of lessons you find on the Internet don’t meet the minimum criteria for a good STEM learning experience. In How to Energize a Weak STEM Lesson. Anne explains how to take a potential STEM lesson and boost its power. She also provides links to sources for effective lessons.
► Ready for some fun and reinforcement? Just follow along as Anne explains the difference between a STEM teacher and other teachers in You Might Just Be a STEM Teacher If…. She identifies 10 characteristics that help set STEM educators apart in a lively style worthy of fellow southerner Jeff Foxworthy.
STEM educators really are a special breed!