Maria wakes up and checks her phone. She sees a message from her best friend: “Wake up Lazy; Good morning,” which brings a smile to her face. She turns on the shower and when it’s hot enough she jumps in. As the warm water washes over her, she thinks about what she needs to do today. After the shower she gets dressed and heads to the kitchen for breakfast. She pours a bowl of cereal and cat food for her cat Luna. She finishes her breakfast, brushes her teeth, and grabs the keys for her car and heads out for the day.
This may sound like a typical morning for many people but a morning like this is only possible because of the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Scientific research has helped us understand how electricity works, how food grows, and how to harness energy. This has led to the development of technologies such as cell phones, fertilizer, and the internal combustible engine. Engineers put technologies to work and design communication systems, plumbing systems, and transportation systems. Math supports our scientific research and allows us to the most efficient paths for pipes and cars.
STEM underpins our modern society and STEM activities help students develop the skills necessary to navigate modern life. Students learn problem and critical analysis through inquiry based STEM activities. They are encouraged to be creative in pursuit of solutions and learn to collaborate and communicate as part of a team. Most importantly, they learn to be curious and ask questions. Regardless of what career students pursue, these skills prepare them for future jobs.
Despite the need for STEM education, it is often difficult to incorporate STEM in the classroom and at home. Many teachers and parents lack the confidence to incorporate STEM activities and this coupled with a lack of equipment and time means that many kids don’t get to do STEM activities. This is unfortunate because kids love STEM activities.
The goal of this blog is to make it easy for teachers, homeschoolers, and parents to provide STEM opportunities for kids. To do this, I’ll post activities that I’ve used over my teaching career. The posts will include a summary of the activity, background information, step by step instructions, tips, resources, and a materials list.The activities are intended to be exploratory and easy to implement.
I’ll post a new STEM activity the second and fourth Monday of every month. The activities will cover a variety of STEM topics including animation, construction, and coding among others. Most of the activities are geared toward students 3rd grade through middle school but would certainly be suitable for high school kids and precocious younger children.
I hope you’ll find these posts useful and I would love your feedback.