A successful STEM classroom is engaging, challenging, and relevant to the real world. As a new school year begins, (or even as a mid-year refresher) it’s important to provide a learning environment that encourages students to ask questions and explore their curiosity.
Here are 10 tips for preparing a successful STEM classroom
1. Plan your lessons and units around real-world problems
Integrating real-world issues into lessons helps students see the relevance of STEM in their own lives and develops possible career pathways and interests.
2. Incorporate hands-on activities and experiments into your lessons.
Learning by doing makes the material more engaging and helps kids better understand and retain information. Try some of the Brown Bag STEM Challenges to help students flex their design challenge muscles.
3. Create a collaborative learning environment.
Help your students build teamwork skills. No matter what careers students are interested in pursuing, teamwork is an essential skill. Try some of the STEM Skills Challenges to help kids work better in a team!
4. Encourage your students to ask questions and explore their curiosity.
Asking good questions helps kids develops better critical thinking skills and problem solving skills.
5. Celebrate your students’ successes.
Celebrate even those small wins. After all, what you may think is a small win might be a huge one for a student!
6. Find ways to connect your students with STEM professionals.
Inviting guest speakers and mentors to your classroom helps kids consider that career. Kids only know the careers that they have been shown, so show them lots of options!
7. Create a STEM center in your classroom.
This could include a variety of materials and resources for your students to explore. Having Found Objects at the ready can help kids use their creativity to solve all kinds of problems!
8. Start a STEM club or team.
Participate in a longer term STEM project with kids like the EPIC (Electric Propulsion Innovation Challenge) that will help kids solve real-life problems, explore careers and compete with other teams.
9. Get involved in your community’s STEM events.
10. Have fun!
STEM learning should be interesting and enjoyable! Find ways to make it fun for yourself and your students.
Creating a successful STEM classroom takes time and effort, but it is worth it. By following these tips, you can help your students develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in their future STEM fields.
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Lane specializes in STEM curriculum design and professional development for K-12 stakeholders and enjoys making teachers’ lives easier through innovative, standards-based STEM lessons.