STEM

STEM in Younger Grades

Hello, I am currently a student majoring in education with a focus in STEM. I am taking my first STEM class this semester and am learning so much about how beneficial it is for students and the importance of integrating it into the classroom. However, I find that most of the activities we do in that class would be too difficult for K-2 students to execute without teacher intervention. Does anyone have any recommendations for how I could teach STEM lessons to younger grades and ensure that I am incorporating all aspects of STEM, especially technology and engineering? Thank you!

Peyton Etzel
Peyton Etzel
180 Activity Points

I am in a younger grade as well! I have found it quite confusing as well, but I think there are a lot of great resources in here, as well as on the computer/ipad. If your children have access to those different things, you could find some really awesome apps that would help your children start the process of learning STEM without overwhelming them. In my classroom I'm in now, we use some apps, and I think the children really like them and I don't really have to intervene that much to explain. 

Tobi Forren
Tobi Forren
470 Activity Points

Hello,

I currently am working alongside a second grade classroom and found a great way to incorporate technology in a useful way that will have the students eager to learn. There is an app called "math numbers" that allows the students to work independently on their ipads, and learn different strategies to calculate a sum. I also think that have a fun agriculture unit for the students can help them learn about the different science behind making corn, ect. Another great way to incorporate STEM is having the students create their own "towers", using tooth picks, and marshmellows well having a unit on the different engineering ways to build towers.

Thank you,

Anne Hargis

Wartburg College

Pre-Service Teacher 

Anne Hargis
Anne Hargis
90 Activity Points

Hello, 

I have done a lot of research about this and have taught STEM-related lessons and I think that a great tool to teach this is an IPAD/ computer because most students have access to this whether it be the technology center, or if your school is 1 to 1. I think that the online resources that incorporate STEM are great for kids to be interactive with those elements. Another good way is to incorporate STEM activities such as building things together, for example, building a jelly bean structure using toothpicks would be a good way for kids to work together incorporating STEM while needing minimal teacher intervention.

Brennen Doebel
Brennen Doebel
80 Activity Points

Hi Peyton! I am studying elementary education and I am currently in a science methods class and we are learning about early childhood STEM. From our exploring with many manipulatives we have found that all students can learn STEM at all ages. A lot of the early years are just allowing the children time to explore different things that would allow them to come up with new ideas of how things work. Teachers should be very hands off and give little to no direction. It is amazing what students are able to come up with when they have the materials and the time to explore them. I think with technology and engineering as long as you make the correct materials available to them they will be able to come up with something. You could present the students with phenomena that they should be exploring that way they are able to have an idea of what they should be getting out of the lesson. Hope this helps! 

 

Kiana Wilson
Kiana Wilson
2055 Activity Points

Hello Peyton, 

 

I am also a current student, studying elementary education. One recommendation I would make is to research inquiry based phenomenon as students can lead these activities with their observations and prior knowledge. Student lead inquiry can also help clear up and misconceptions that a student may have. Student involvement can provide a learning experience they won't forget. 

Ramps and Pathways are a progressive method of teaching engineering, science, and problem solving skills. Technology could be incorperated into k-2 classrooms in a variety of ways if that is what you are searching for. Ramps and pathways are discussed in several of my classes, and are there are even schools that are starting to impliment it. These schools are having great strides because of the hands on learning opportunities provided through this media. 

 

I hope this helps!

Bennett Thompson
Bennett Thompson
2735 Activity Points

Hi Peyton,

I found a few resources here in the Learning Center that may be helpful! The first is a guest editorial in Science and Children about integrating STEM into early childhood education: https://common.nsta.org/resource/default.aspx?id=10.2505%2f4%2fsc17_055_02_8

Then, an article about creating STEM kits for classroom use: https://common.nsta.org/resource/default.aspx?id=10.2505%2f4%2fsc17_055_01_36

Finally, you might be interested in the Picture Perfect series. Their K-2 STEM book can be found here: https://common.nsta.org/resource/?id=10.2505/9781681403281

Let me know if you end up using any of these ideas! Does anyone else have any tips?

-Megan

Megan Doty
Megan Doty
11062 Activity Points

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