Sunday, July 10, 2016

Let's do STEM Together ~ Part One: Introducing STEM to Teachers

Looking for a way to get your building involved in STEM?  You don't have to be a "STEM" school to do STEM!  STEM teaching and learning really benefits ALL students.  Through STEM based lessons, students learn skills in collaboration, cooperation, communication, and perseverance, just to name a few!

The first step is getting teachers to TRY it!  STEM can be a little scary, especially to elementary teachers who are often uncomfortable in the areas of science and technology.  An easy way to get teachers to try it, is to give each one a pool noodle.  Yes, a pool noodle!  These are easy to find and really cheap during the summer (especially in August).

Teachers simply need to cut up the pool noodle into various sizes and shapes (use a kitchen knife) and as students to build the tallest free-standing tower using all of the cut pieces.  The supplies are easy to find and QUIET when they crash (which they inevitably do at least once).  

 Here are a few examples of the towers student groups built using pool noodles.  One of the best parts of STEM challenges is that there is no "right" way to do things.  Many different ideas will work!

If you really get into using pool noodles, you may want to check out my pool noodle challenge pack. It contains five different STEM challenges using pool noodles and other, easy to find supplies.  The 

Five Challenges Included in this Pool Noodle Challenge Set:

Pool Noodle Race Track Challenge
Pool Noodle Shooter Challenge
Pool Noodle Rocket Challenge
Pool Noodle Structure Challenge
Pool Noodle Sculpture Challenge

Start out with an easy to prep and complete STEM challenge and teachers will hopefully get a little out of their own comfort zones in order to let their students try STEM!

Stay tuned for more ways to get STEM going in your school!

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