The area of STEM has grown over the last number of years with so many new resources available too. Here is my plan to develop STEM in my class.
STEM includes Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
Having completed many years of the Discover Primary Science and Maths (DPSM) awards I love engaging in Science lessons with my class. However, having recently trained as a facilitator with DPSM and Science Foundation Ireland I now want to change my focus to inquiry based learning with the children engaging more in the process and leading their own learning.
I am lucky to have devices to use in my classroom and I am introducing my class to new aspects all the time, this will develop their own skills. Having set up Office365 for the class, I am developing their typing skills along with presentation skills. The class regularly get the opportunity to create presentations using Sway and present them to the class. I also hope to introduce them to Adobe Pages and Adobe Spark as presentation tools. I have also started using hourofcode.com with my class. It has a variety of coding activities that they can complete independently or with a partner. It is a great way to guide them through initial steps of coding.
Design and make activities are key elements for engineering in the Primary School Curriculum. Last year I also signed up to I’m an Engineer with my class. It gave them an opportunity to explore the many types of engineers such as chemical engineers. We were part of the Health Zone and the children got to chat with engineers who were creating prosthetic limbs. They really enjoyed in.
While covering the Maths curriculum can be a challenge in itself. I also try to develop their mathematical skills through a variety of activities. I purchased I See Reasoning from Gareth Metcalfe and it has been a great success to get the children thinking about problems rather than focusing on recall strategies. I am also going to purchase I See Problem Solving which has just been released to use after the mid term break.
My aim this year was to try a STEM challenge each month. it was difficult to organise in September as we settling back into our routine, but I hope to run a STEM challenge with my class tomorrow.
I recently got the new STEM cards from Prim-Ed and they are ideal for planning STEM challenges. They cover the different strands of the curriculum. There are lots of ideas to explore with your class which are outside of the topics covered in general text books. These cards are available from Infants to 6th class. i will add a more detailed blog post to my page soon.
Here are some examples of the cards
I am covering Energy at the moment and my STEM challenge tomorrow will be a variety of activities. They will make an electric quiz (Primary Science) a card with LED lights (Scien-tastic) and Draw Bots (Prim Ed Stem Cards). I had hoped to make brush bots too but haven’t been successful in my own attempts yet 🙂 I’ll update our progress on Instagram tomorrow.