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Teach STEM Outside!
From today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
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One of the biggest benefits of outdoor STEM education that this article briefly touches on is the ability of outdoor education to benefit students who don't learn well in traditional classroom settings. Especially for students who tend to be distracted/restless/listless in a traditional classroom environment (such as I was in elementary school), outdoor education provides an opportunity for movement, kinesthetic learning, and more focused investment of energy!
One of the biggest difficulties with outdoor education, however, is accessibility. How can we get our students (especially inner-city students) to experience outdoor education in lesser-funded districts? A one-week trip is great, but this is something that ideally could be incorporated on a regular basis.
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Do you have any outdoor space at all? If so you could try container gardening, set up a weather station, and conduct some shadow experiments. I do agree being outside is beneficial to students.
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Celebrate STEM Outside by observing the solar eclipse on August 21 (total solar eclipse in some parts of the country). See the collection below with information and ideas for activities.
Solar Eclipse of 2017 Collection:
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Starting a garden and observing the solar eclipse are some great ways to get students engaged in science outdoors. I sympathize with teachers and students whose schools have a limited amount of outdoor space. This calls for extra creativity on our part to diversify students' experience with science. Here is a link with many ideas for outdoor STEM activities... https://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/outdoor-stem-activities-science-kids/
Some ideas include making sun prints, building a solar oven or heater, or creating your own balance with objects from nature. Ideas for designing and building pulleys, catapults, sundials, and waters clocks are included, as well as simple experiments with rocks and bugs. STEM is so broad and encompasses many topics that can be explored in real life, outdoor experiences!
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