Once Upon a STEM, Volume 2


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Why Once Upon a STEM?

Creating a really great STEM resource doesn’t happen overnight. I learned, over the past year, that it takes what seems like endless days of hard work and determination to provide a great STEM resource for primary teachers.

As the STEM club coordinator, I always struggled with getting my kids excited about the challenges they did each week. Not only did I notice I had a hard time getting my students excited, I noticed a huge lack of resources for them.

Of course my teacher manual was HUNDREDS of pages. Inadequate resources that left me looking for more activities for my kids to do. I needed more. I needed books, extension activities, and guiding questions that didn’t seem like a scavenger hunt to find. I needed parent connection ideas and suggested websites for my students to visit at home. And so, Once Upon a STEM was born.

We are confident you are going to love this resource.

Story Challenges Included in Volume 2:
11. Making a Shadow Drawing
12. Building a Solar Oven
13. Making a Bucket Tower
14. Making a Ferris Wheel
15. Making a Guitar
16. Making a Windpipe
17. Making a Balloon Rocket Car
18. Build a Tent
19. Making a Windmill
20. Build a Playground

We want STEM instruction to be easy for you to implement, so our series includes:
*An instructional guideline for you with a daily lesson sequence recommendation.
*A teacher guide that includes materials needed, prior knowledge questions, lesson plan, and closure activity.
*Paired classroom books to build background and make connections to the STEM challenge.
*Vocabulary cards with illustrations that gear your students toward important words they can use when completing their challenge.
*Illustrated student readers on the same topic to get your students thinking about the challenge. These readers are also written on three different levels to meet the needs of all of your students.
*Design Process Posters that highlight the main steps in completing a STEM challenge.
*Every student gets a STEM Journal which restates the challenge question, lists the vocabulary words and their definitions, identifies the materials needed, and walks students through the STEM process. Students are able to plan out and execute their design, while reflecting on what worked and what needs to be changed for next time.
*As an added BONUS, a math problem, extension activity, and home connection with a project compatible website are also included in the journal.
*Lastly, a numeric rubric for you to evaluate the projects and journal responses.

Frequently Asked Questions:

• What grade level is this for?
Ideally, this is for 1st and 2nd Grade.

• How long does each lesson take?
Most teachers do take 2-3 days with 15-20 minutes to explore each lesson. This could be condensed into a 60 minute lesson taught in one day. To get more time, you could choose the suggested read-alouds to read during your reading block. You could also incorporate some of the journal writing into your writing block. It’s up to you how much time you spend on this, but I would say you could do this in 60 minutes.

• Could these challenges be used for upper grades?
If your students just learning STEM, these projects would still be a good start for them! Of course the corresponding books would be below their level, but you could read the other books that we have provided as intros.

• What materials do I need?
We have included a materials list for each of the challenges all in one spot. You can access this list here:

Take a deeper dive into this resource here!


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Thank you for your purchase! By purchasing this resource, you are agreeing that the contents are the property of Emily Garcia/Education to the Core, and licensed to you only for classroom/personal use as a single user. I retain the copyright, and reserve all rights to this product.

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1 review for Once Upon a STEM, Volume 2

  1. Marcia Bennion

    Great idea to enrich the classroom experience.

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