Once the course is over it is time to see how to propose innovative projects for the next year. In this article we want to give you the keys and tricks of how to implement these transversal projects successfully in your classroom.
What are STEM?
The STEM education system, in particular is meaning of the acronym of the terms in English Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, refers to an integrated scientific approach according to which the four fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics form a whole where the elements interact and affect each other.
The STEM approach to education requires the use of innovative and alternative methods of teaching and learning, such as projects, laboratory practices and technological tools. At the same time, educational robotics is becoming the next step in education because of its innovative nature and the practical experience it offers to students making them more receptive to learning stimuli.
What are the benefits of STEM projects?
- Students work as a team and learn to make joint decisions because they carry out research, collaborate and design hypotheses.
- They increase their ability to solve problems creatively.
- They improve individual critical thinking.
- They boost their communication skills.
- They learn by experimenting in the first person, thereby improving the long-term retention of the concepts learned.
- They use emerging technologies, minimizing the "intimidating" feeling that sometimes produce.
- They shoot their imagination and their desire to create new things with what they learn.
Keys to introduce STEM in the classroom?
1. It does not point towards perfection
First, teachers should not aim for perfection when building a STEM learning space. Remember, STEM learning is about making your students think creatively. If the learning space is 'perfect', this overrides the whole goal of STEM learning. With this in mind, be sure to create environments that provoke critical thinking and problem solving skills. Furthermore, ensure that spaces promote communication and collaboration.
2. Create a manual learning space
Because STEM learning is aimed at providing students with hands-on activities, they must have a space or a corner in the classroom that is fully dedicated to hands-on activities. Whether for the construction of robots or for carrying out scientific experiments, this space should give children the feeling that "it is OK to get dirty here".
3. Electronic devices are required
He can not effectively teach STEM concepts without the use of technology, so a large percentage of his lessons must incorporate the use of computers, laptops and tablets.
4. Being organized
Project-based learning can be noisy and sometimes chaotic, and each team addresses problems in their own way. To make this a productive and effective environment, the classroom must be organized.
First, organize your materials. Each team can receive a kit of materials or there can simply be a central material table. It all depends on the amount of preparation time available and how much time and effort you want to invest in the project.
Second, organize your time. Make it clear to the students how much time they have to work during the day, show the instructions of the activity clearly in a place where all students can see it and have a clear signal.
Third, organize the storage of your project. When it comes to STEM projects, especially engineering, students will often have partially completed projects that they must store until their next work schedule. The designated storage bins and shelves are ideas on how to protect student work without clogging up classes.
STEM classes are considered "flipped classroom", where students learn through hands-on activities and working in teams. In this context, the teacher is the project guide, who presents the problem to be solved, answers the questions and facilitates the discussion that makes the students think more deeply about what they are doing and why they are doing it. In STEM classrooms, teachers inspire innovation through collaboration with the attitude that there is always more than one solution to a problem.