6 ways to add STEM every day
Some steps all educators can take to incorporate STEM into everyday instruction:
- Consider putting a makerspace in every classroom. Many schools have separate makerspaces. Other educators create moveable carts filled with recyclables and design supplies. Easier access to materials means teachers can incorporate more STEM every day.
- Encourage teachers to take on a facilitator mindset. Instead of assignments that force kids to follow an adult’s step-by-step directions, shift to projects that allow kids to collaborate and create their own designs.
- Go a step further with a “breakerspace”— a place where kids can dismantle defunct lamps, toasters and other objects. And, really, who doesn’t want to see the insides of everyday objects? Annie Corley-Hand, principal of Mary Kay McMillin Early Childhood Center in New Jersey, warns educators to cut off the cords first!
- Challenge every teacher to integrate STEM. There’s no subject that can’t integrate STEM. Literature blends easily: Kids can write how-to books or create art based on STEM concepts. Social-emotional learning lessons can integrate technology to create digital presentations, PE can address the physics of jumping, and, you get the idea.
- Start a community recyclables drive. Cardboard, containers and other packaging are creative treasures. Once staff and families start donating, your whole community gets interested in STEM.
- Go after STEM funding. Grants exist for elementary school STEM programs. State departments of education, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement, and the National Education Association are just a few potential funders.
Main story: STEM education myths in early grades