STEM in the Digital World: Teaching Trailblazers VLOG

December 14, 2020 by

Hello ETTC Teaching Trailblazers!  I am thrilled to present another addition to our Vlog series: “Teaching Trailblazers with Chris from Education to the Core”.  The series will include interviews with a variety of professionals across multiple disciplines in our field of education.  In this episode I have a conversation with an Elementary STEM teacher who provides some insight and examples for adapting to a digital world of teaching and learning.  

Tommy Bryan, a 3rd, 4th and 5th grade STEM teacher sits down with our resident Vlogger, Chris Olson, to share some tips and tricks to teaching in a digital world. As you will observe and hear in this video, Tommy consistently takes a positive approach to adapting his lessons and expectations from a brick and mortar classroom to the online learning experience.   

4 Easy Steps

By keeping these four steps in mind, you can adapt any lesson or idea into a STEM lesson!  Take a look at your own lessons and activities you already implement in your classroom.  Tommy shared that all it takes is just taking it one step further to apply the knowledge that they gained.  For example you can take a lesson like math measurement. 

First instruct as we normally do.  Allow time for students to practice measurement and measuring various objects.  Next, take it that next step as Tommy shared, to apply the knowledge they learned. Perhaps in social studies, you are learning about maps.  Students can measure a map from one place to another and you can point out to your students the key stating how many miles your measurement is.  Following these steps of instruction, brainstorm, plan/design and problem solve results in anyone would be able to teach and include STEM!

Make sure you check out 20 STEM Challenges for Kids for some fun activities and projects to try!  Remember to take Tommy’s advice and continue to expand the challenge to other subjects.  Allow the students to brainstorm together and apply their knowledge across the curriculum.   


Are you feeling worried or anxious about moving to an online platform?

Do not worry about trying to incorporate all of these ideas into your classroom!  Many teachers in a digital platform, including Tommy, found out that their students are adapting really well and may exceed even your own expectations.  Patience and problem solving is all that it takes!  

“The trajectory that these kids are now on, technologically, in a digital world and the skills gained are something that they would never have been able to have.”   ~ Tommy Bryan


STEM Resources

If you are looking for the resources mentioned in the Vlog, look no further!  These are some great programs and materials for STEM-based learning.  Colleges and universities would be reliable resources that provide STEM-based learning resources.

Colorado University Physics Simulators

Tommy utilizes these simulations within his curriculum.  They are fun, age-appropriate video games that are purely web-based.  These virtual games allow students to manipulate materials directly on the screen.   There are a variety of fun games that align well with various subjects across the curriculum. 

Autodesk Tinkercad

Tommy always used Tinkercad for 3-D printing in a brick and mortar environment; however, he is still able to adapt it to a virtual platform.  Tinkercad is a free program that allows students to design and build things in 3-dimensional formats.

Make sure to check out some other wonderful STEM resources Education to the Core has to offer:

Hands-on STEM Story challenges for kids to read, discuss, design, build, and test their projects.
Check out our Once Upon a STEM Volume 2 challenges. Each challenge comes with a teacher guide, leveled readers, student recording journals with added activities, and vocabulary cards.

What fun STEM activities do you incorporate into your classrooms? Please comment below with descriptions, photos, or words of wisdom to incorporate STEM into a digital platform. We would love to hear from you!  Please make sure to subscribe to the ETTC YouTube channel. Make sure to like and share the video above!

Do You Inspire and Empower?

Do you feel you can inspire and empower Teaching Trailblazers of Education to the Core?  If so, you could be interviewed for our YouTube series “Teaching Trailblazers with Chris from ETTC”! Click here for your chance to share with ETTC what you are most passionate about and begin to pave the way for a better future for our teachers, for our students, and for education.  

Written by: Christopher Olson

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