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STEM Essentials

STEM Essentials- Decision Making

By December 11th, 2023No Comments

In this series, we’ve been investigating how to best plan a STEM unit.  We have developed a plan, crafted different types of assessments, created a rubric, and used the Engineering Design Process in planning the remainder of the lessons.

We’ve also discussed some of the non-linear steps that will help put some structure into your STEM project  like creating and using STEM Role Cards and teaching students how to develop great ideas.

Although this is a student component and not a teacher component as we’ve been discussing, it’s an important component.  After students generate a list of possible ideas, how should they determine which one is the best one to use?  Most student groups are likely to take a vote, flip a coin, or even come to a deadlock if no one wants to budge from their own idea.  Arming students with best-practice ways to make decisions is key and will help them with the project at hand as well as with life decisions.

One strategy that students can use to help make decisions is is simple Pro/Con Chart.  Requiring students to write down pros and cons will help them to clarify their idea more fully and communicate their data through writing.

Another great strategy is a Decision Matrix.  In this model, students are asked to think through their top ideas by answering key questions that will help them to determine which idea is the best solution.

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