Real-World STEM Problems

Are you trying to figure out how to incorporate STEM problems into your teaching?  This article by Anne Jolly explains what makes a good STEM lesson.  She emphasizes that problem solving and real-world problems create the best lessons although the real-world problems are often difficult to create.  To help she lists several websites and topics to find real-world problems.  These ideas are targeted for middle grades but could also be used in high school.

Six Characteristics of a Great STEM Lesson

What makes a successful STEM lesson?  This article by Anne Jolly from Education Week outlines six key characteristics of a great STEM lesson.  They are focused on real-world problems, use the engineering design process as a guide, use hands-on inquiry and open-ended questions, use teamwork, apply math and science content being learned, and have more than one right answer and use failure as part of the learning process.  A brief description of each step is included.  This article is helpful to any teacher trying to incorporate STEM lessons.

Design and Build a Rube Goldberg

This activity from Teach Engineering STEM Curriculum for K-12 provides directions to help students build a Rube Goldberg machine which is a machine that accomplishes a simple task through chain reactions.  The site provides the corresponding standards, lesson plan, and worksheets that can be used to guide students in their designing and creating.  The lesson is aimed at grades 7-9.

10 Genius Science and STEM Activities With Craft Sticks

Do your students like to build with their hands?  This article from STEAM Powered Family provides ten STEM activities to do with craft sticks.  The activities are briefly explained with a picture, and there is a link to the activity’s details.  This site has STEM activities for grades K-12.

Rube Goldberg Video

This video demonstrates the Rube Goldberg Monster Trap created by a boy named Audri.  He explains the process and predicts how many times it will take him to be successful.  Although the boy is only seven, this video could be used for any age group to demonstrate what a Rube Goldberg machine is.

Construct and Test Roofs for Different Climates

This video demonstrates a project where houses are designed with different roofs depending on the climate.  The roofs are tested to see if they can withstand the climate they are build for.  This video can be used to demonstrate real-world problem solving for grades K-12.

First Grade STEM Activities

This post from the STEM Laboratory offers some simple STEM activities geared toward first graders.  There are also math, engineering, and science activities that can be used to help your students prepare for STEM lessons.  First grade