One of the first content pages in my Interactive STEM Notebooks is regarding the nature of science and engineering. In this mini-lesson, students work with their table or a partner to ponder what science is (and isn’t). Once they have had time to think and generate this list, they use it to create a working definition of “science”. With some classes, I’ve even modeled this one as a whole-class discussion and then let them ponder the other side (what engineering is and isn’t) with their team or partner.
Students have all kinds of conceptions of what science and engineering are. By letting them discuss these ideas with their partner and then with the class, I find that they gain a better understanding of what they will do in Science/STEM class. It also seems to prevent a lot of misconceptions as to what they will do in class throughout the year. Students keep this page in their notebooks (I like to glue or tape it inside the front cover) and as the year goes on, they are invited to modify and add to their definitions, showing both growth and mastery.
Not sure about the entire bundle just yet? Give the Science and Engineering Debrief a try!
Lane specializes in STEM education, curriculum design and professional development and makes teachers’ lives easier through innovative, standards-based STEM lessons.