“… all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on this most complex world.” – Deborah Meier
I had an amazing time sharing with Texas teachers at the TCCA Conference! Below are the slides and resources for my first presentation, STEAM Up the Learning! Many of the missions in my new book, Hacking Digital Learning with Missions, are aimed at inspiring students to think critically, focus on questions versus answers, conduct hands-on research, and make a difference in the world with their innovations. The field of Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Math (STEM/STEAM) is at the heart of innovation, discovery and curiosity. The resources below will help you support your students by walking them through the steps of the Engineering Design Process and also helping them understand the importance of STEM and being a problem solver!
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- These are 6 characteristics of a great STEAM lesson I’ve adapted from EdWeek:
- Connect & integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, & Math
- Real world learning
- Hands-on inquiry
- Cooperative learning
- Multiple right answers
- Engineering Design Process (EDP)
- Where to find activities, projects and lessons:
- The Science Demo Guy’s website has free STEM and Engineering Design Process posters and experiments to download and print.
- NASA has amazing resources for educators, including free projects, lesson plans, videos, and interactives! Students can join the competitions for free when you set up a free Future Engineers account for them.
- Sign up for a free Mystery Science membership and receive access to tons of awesome standard aligned lesson plans and projects.
- The Exploratorium lets you search by content area for experiments with inexpensive household items and materials.
- TeachEngineering is a free K to 12 STEM curriculum.
- Kidtown is a free comic with facts about science, nature, and people.
- Find STEM resources and projects with Google templates free to edit and use from the school I teach at here.
- The Driving Question Tubric is a free hands-on project to help students create driving questions.
- My school uses the Lulzbot Mini 3D printer.
- Find web apps and tools for students to design innovations in my article, Mock It Up! 9 Tools for Learners to Design, Blueprint, and Visualize Their Innovations.
- Get students to design using different types of paper and formats (blueprints, graph paper, grids, 3D, etc.) and give them different design challenges, such as designing for an amusement park, an art history mini-golf course, a future city, or a playground.
- The Kentucky Virtual Library has an incredible interactive infographic that walks students through the research process!
- Click here to make a copy of the Research Choice Menu template I created with recommended research websites for K-12. Edit as you like and discover kid-friendly search engines in my post, Top Research Websites, Search Engines, and a Research Choice Menu for K-12 Students.
- Students can add research and ideas to a Linoit/Padlet sticky note board, a Bubbl.us cognitive map, Livebinders, or Wakelet.
- Send them on field research. In Texas, I’d take my students collecting water samples with SAWS engineers, bird watching with park rangers, and fossil hunting with a paleontologist.
- Students can create games and learn coding! Check out my Coding Activities on my blog. Some suggested tools and apps, include Kodable, Tynker, Code Monkey, and Lightbot. Upper elementary to 12th grade will enjoy Code.org and Made With Code. Click here for more coding apps and web tools!
- Tiny Tap is an iOS app for students to create learning games, interactive presentations and quizzes.
- Math Science Music has several lesson ideas and interactive resources for a variety of ages that use music to teach math concepts.
- Desmos has several cool interactive and visual lesson ideas and resources for students, like this one about angles, graphing, and basketball.
- Citizen science is defined by Oxford Dictionary as scientific work undertaken by members of the general public, often in collaboration with or under the direction of professional scientists and scientific institutions.
- Get students to learn math and science through cooking. Find science recipes here!
- Science Bob’s site – Science recipes for fake blood, slime, and potions. All perfect for Halloween!
- Take them on walks exploring the nature around them.They can create digital books classifying rocks, identifying bugs, naming plants and potential uses, or capturing the sounds of various birds. Try Buncee or Book Creator to create your digital scrapbooks.
- Get students to design infographics to visualize data with tools like Genial.ly, Canva, Piktochart, Easel.ly, Visme, Infogr.am, and Smore.
- The Be Internet Awesome curriculum by Google has different activities and lessons on how to spot fake news.
- Common Sense Education has a free K to 12 curriculum that covers information literacy and digital citizenship.
- Students can create their own augmented reality experiences to encourage peers to explore the great outdoors using Layar and Blippar.
Challenge: Use one of these resources or more and let us know how the resource helped inspire your students to be innovative!