STEM Research.

Explore some of the most current ideas and developments in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) education and research.

Creating an Effective and Engaging STEM Lesson

Great STEM lessons usually have several key characteristics in common. First, a successful STEM lesson should be designed to solve a relevant, real-world problem by using the engineering design process and/or the scientific method. This involves defining the problem, conducting background research, developing multiple possible solutions, creating and testing a prototype or process, evaluating the results, and redesigning if necessary. Students should work in teams or groups, each with a specific role and responsibilities. The lesson should be inquiry-based and allow for some open exploration of specific math, science, and possibly art topics from class. A successful STEM (or STEAM) lesson will provide for multiple correct solutions with constant evaluation and redesign as part of the process. Mistakes and failures should be spun as further opportunities for growth and learning. Some great examples of this can be found on the following sites: NMT Lesson Plans, NASA STEM Lesson Plans, National Geographic Education, and STEMWorks.


Society of Women Engineers K-12 Outreach

SWENext is a great way for students up to 18 years of age to become part of the Society of Women Engineers. SWENext provides resources for educators and families that can help effectively promote a career in engineering to female engineering students and daughters. This website also presents up-to-date information about outreach events (camps, competitions, etc.) hosted by SWE and its partners. A catalog of available scholarships for engineering school offered by SWE and partner organizations is also available at SWENext. An additional valuable resource for STEM educators and parents is EngineerGirl. This website contains great information for exploring and pursuing a career in engineering. Students can meet real engineers, find scholarships, participate in contests and become part of SWE. Research shows that girls with a strong support system of other female role models and peers feel more confident and successful as they pursue STEM fields.

STEM Design Challenges Give Meaning to Math

True mathematical ability involves learning content knowledge as well as developing strong habits of mind. Engineering, which applies scientific knowledge practically, presents an ideal opportunity for the application of mathematics skills. Integrated engineering units of study allow for the application of mathematics skills in real-world contexts, removing engagement barriers and enhancing the development of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Process Standards and Common Core’s Standards for Mathematical Practice. When students understand the applications for learning, they are motivated to reason about complex problems, analyze multiple solutions, and communicate ideas and results successfully. This way, students develop strong habits of mind along with necessary mathematics skills.

Douglas L. Jamerson Jr. Elementary School is one school that has successfully implemented this type of curriculum. Check out their website to learn more about their engineering design process.

Creating STEM Research Projects for the Classroom

Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo has an amazing program called the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program (STAR). This program is designed to attract science, mathematics, and engineering college students to STEM teaching positions by providing them with professional experience as scientific researchers as well as STEM educators. One way to incorporate this research experience into a classroom is to create STEM Research Projects that students complete over the course of the school year. STAR educators can show their students relevant examples by referencing their own projects like this one: Analysis of San Francisco Bay Environmental Conditions as they relate to Organismal Abundance.

Clean Energy K-12 Lesson Plans & Activities

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) education activities are designed to engage students in the search for clean and renewable energy sources and technologies. On their website, math and science teachers can find creative lesson plans, hands on labs, relevant research projects, and other interesting activities on energy-related topics by viewing the Energy Education & Workforce Development page. Integrate this STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) curriculum into the classroom and help students plan for a greener tomorrow! Students can search by each green technology to gage their interest in further pursuing clean energy and STEM careers

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