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Everything You Need to Know About Teaching STEM

June 2, 2021 by Suzanne Kelley




As a teacher of little people, my co-workers and I panicked when someone mentioned teaching science or technology.  We did not have any amazing STEM ideas or lesson plans…have you felt this, too? But, all of us wished we could magically pick a few resources and plan out our school year. Initially, this struggle was real! Thankfully as a Fearless Firstie member, I have since come across some amazing STEM ideas. I have found some blogs, websites, activities, apps, and resources. And now, I can share ALL THINGS STEM with you! You will have resources at your fingertips so that you can plan STEM for your entire school year too! AND, make sure to grab the 3 freebies included!

ALL THINGS STEM – BLOGS

  • TheThinkfun blog–“ThinkFun’s addictively fun learning games are helping to ignite 21st-century thinking skills in children around the world. And they can help in your classroom, too.” Perfect for teachers and parents!
  • Vivify STEM blog–from instructional videos to free resources and ideas; there really is so much to use from this blog!
  • Carly and Adam–this is an exceptional blog for elementary teachers on STEM! They have linked challenges to read alouds for holidays, seasons, and monthly.
  • STEM in the Digital World: Teaching Trailblazers VLOG

ALL THINGS STEM – WEBSITES

  • Science Buddies A huge plus to this site is that it is perfect for teachers with lesson plans, worksheets, assessments, and STEM activities. And, students will find information on STEM careers and receive the steps needed to reach each career destination!

  • The James Dyson Foundation Check out this site for all young engineers. It has 44 free challenge cards that encourage kids to get intuitive, excited, and creative about engineering. Examples are kids attempting to skewer a balloon without popping it or working with potatoes to create power. These challenges expand their thinking and are fun for the whole family!
  • NASA STEM Engagement NASA may have one of the coolest sites ever for space with science, technology, math, and engineering activities.
  • Here are 12 more STEM Websites where you can find sites for ecology, science, technology, etc., already checked by experienced teachers!

ALL THINGS STEM – ACTIVITIES

  • Marble Maze

    Students can plan and brainstorm how to create their maze using various objects.  Legos or toilet paper rolls work great with this task!  In the end, they could share their creation with another group and see if they could solve the maze using marbles to go through it.

  • Cereal Box Ramps

First, cut the bottom off a cereal box to use as the ramp or connect several pieces of cardboard with masking tape. Have your students find items around the classroom to prop up the ramp. Then, place cars or balls at the top and watch them go!

For this activity, give the students a spoon, rubber bands, and a paper towel tube. Then, have the students design and build a catapult and then practice launching different projectiles.

ALL THINGS STEM – READ-ALOUDS

  • Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed:  This beautiful story of Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, will warm hearts and light fires for boys and girls who aspire to walk among the stars one day.
  • Have You Thanked an Inventor Today by Patrice McLaurin:  This book is a clever reminder of so many African- American inventors whose contributions to society have had a profound impact on our everyday life.

  • How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk and Sara Palacios:  Coding teaches children how to think differently and think logically. With the help of Pearl and her robot friend Pascal, children will be intrigued by how to build a sandcastle using code.
  • If you are interested in more titles, check out this great blog that includes 20 of the BEST STEM Read Alouds.

ALL THINGS STEM – RESOURCES

What each of the 10 STEM Story Challenges Will Have:
–3 Illustrated Stories of Varying Difficulty for Differentiation
–Teacher Guide
–Vocabulary Cards
–Rubric
–Journal
(Challenge Question, Vocabulary Words, Materials Listed, Planning Tools, Writing Activity, Math Problem, and an Extension Activity)

Once Upon a Stem: Stem Story Challenges

Story Challenges Included in Volume 2:
–Shadow Drawing
–Building a Solar Oven
–Making a Bucket Tower
–Ferris Wheel
–Making a Guitar
–Making a Windpipe
–Balloon Rocket Car
–Build a Tent
–Making a Windmill
–Build a Playground

This “STEM and Story” resource includes 25 STEM challenges with storybook suggestions that you can use in whole group, small group, or center activities. Also included are classroom posters, teacher guides, and student resources to keep students engaged and actively participating in each STEM challenge.

  • Low PrepPrint, grab your materials, and go.
  • Uses Popular LiteraturePair science challenges with book favorites, such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, The Dot, and The Runaway Pumpkin.
  • Connect STEM to Literacy: The perfect opportunity to use literature to inspire STEM. Connects literature to math and science activities.
  • Use for the Entire School Year: 25 challenges are included, and this resource establishes a consistent process for each of them.

“STEM Bins® and STEAM Bins are an ideal hands-on solution for early finishers, morning work, centers, fine motor practice, indoor recess, teambuilding, calm down centers, Makerspaces, or positive reinforcement of behavior. They are also a creative and developmentally appropriate form of engineering for elementary students.”

 

ALL THINGS STEM – FREE RESOURCES!

Design Posters

Paper Airplane Freebie

This Stem Story Challenge contains everything you need for the challenge “Paper Airplane.”

Volume 2 Freebie Building a Tent

ALL THINGS STEM – APPS

  • Goldieblox: Adventures in Coding:  Children learn to code while helping Goldieblox deliver cupcakes.
  • Math vs. Zombies:  Your students will use their math skills to save and treat zombies.
  • Smart Tales–STEM learning:  This offers a story-based structure with interactive elements.
  • Hopscotch:  Your kiddos can make their own art and games. They can even publish their game to the app and start playing it right away!
  • The Cat in the Hat Builds That:  Perfect for your pre-schoolers! Kids can build bridges, slides, and more!

PHEW! So much great information is out there for STEM. From blogs, resources, websites, and apps, the STEM field is HUGE! I hope we did some of the work to guide you into creating STEM activities for your entire school year! We sure had fun finding all of these great resources and cannot wait to implement more of them into our own classrooms.

Written by – Suzanne Kelley

At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.

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