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Growing STEM

posted Sep 28, 2015, 12:00 PM by Jenna Cooper   [ updated Sep 28, 2015, 12:14 PM ]
This post is brought to you by Martha Andersen, Instructional Coach at Pleasant Grove Elementary School.  

The 4th grade teachers at PGES have begun a year long integration of STEM. The project started with the introduction of the engineering design process, team member roles and responsibilities, an introduction of how to use Google Classroom, and the opportunity to practice using STEM with an activity called Saving Fred.    

As units are taught throughout the Science block this year, STEM activities will be integrated after the unit with the design challenge relating to what has been learned.  We are also pulling in other subject areas as they relate.  At the end of October, the students will have learned about erosion so the STEM challenge will be to build a structure that helps alleviate erosion of different natural materials.  We will relate this to natural materials found in Indiana and their geographic location... i.e. sand dunes of northern Indiana, clay of southern Indiana, etc.  

Google Classroom is an integral aspect of our STEM integration as the teacher will send out a design brief with the challenge, constraints, and information.  Students will complete a presentation using Google Slides to share with the class. Students will also individually
complete a reflection of the STEM process and their role on the team.  

We are looking forward to a year of hands-on, higher level thinking and problem solving!

Here are some resources you can use if you'd like to try this with your students: