What would make you most interested in becoming a National Park ranger? Reading about forests, attending a lecture on what a park ranger does, watching a video called ‘A Day in the Life of a Park Ranger’ or frequently hiking through national forests? The experience of actually hiking and the pleasant memories associated with the experience, more than any of the other choices listed, would probably spark your interest in that career path. This is the theory behind STEM education. By exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts, they will develop a passion for it and, hopefully, pursue a job in a STEM field.
So what is STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. These four symbols represent the different areas of STEM education.
STEM education integrates concepts that are usually taught as separate subjects in different classes and emphasise the application of knowledge to real-life situations. We aim to hold a unit as a whole school every year, which will be based around finding a solution to a real-world problem and will emphasise project-based learning. A variation of STEM is STEAM, which includes an ‘A’ for art and design. Artistic design is becoming an important part of STEM education since creativity is an essential part of innovation. Many STEM lessons involve building models and simulating situations. A good STEM lesson ensures that students understand the connection to the real world.
A sample STEM lesson would start with showing pictures of large barges carrying crates. Then students would experiment with different materials and computer-aided designs in an attempt to build a model boat capable of holding large amounts of pennies. Math would be incorporated by demanding specific measurements for the design and requiring the students to keep within a certain budget for their materials. This experiment models how real-world engineers and scientists try to improve the efficiency of the current shipping designs.
WOW! We all had such a fantastic time during the 3 weeks of our STEM projects. The
children throughout the school have shown such imagination, dedication and perseverance in the
design, make and evaluate process of D&T. They have been using our knowledge of science,
technology, engineering and Maths to help us solve problems. The children have become true
engineers coming up with solutions to problems and inventing products to help out.
Please click on the buttons below to see what your child has been up to in their STEM project this year:
Click on the images below to see some excellent STEM activities: