How To Teach STEM Topics In Your Classroom
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics - STEM - is a broad term used to describe these various academic disciplines. These disciplines include a variety of different subjects. For example, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science and logic. STEM is generally considered hard for both learners and teachers. If you're teaching STEM topics, there are certain strategies you can incorporate that can assist your students in their learning process. These teaching strategies are effective regardless of the level of students you're teaching. Read them below:
Make Stem Fun Again
Teach STEM topics in a way that allow students to have fun. If you successfully induce curiosity within their minds, your job will become a lot easier. Design your class activities that make the best use of all available technology tools. If you're teaching elementary students, you can use tools like Lego MindStorms. It allows students to design and build robots in a variety of different ways. They can understand how sensors, motors and control systems work at an early age.
You can also hold competitions within the classroom to get students interested. Most students don't like theory as much as they like getting their hands dirty. Having competitions that test both their theoretical and practical understanding of STEM topics is very helpful. It helps boost their interest which eventually helps with their learning. If you can make STEM fun, you'll be appreciated by your students for years to come.
Work On Interesting Projects
Working on interesting projects during class sessions is very helpful. Your role as a STEM instructor should be to facilitate their learning process as they work on projects. Take the first week of the STEM class to assign students certain projects from which they can choose to do one. For example, for a physics and technology class, you could ask students to make a model of a bridge to scale. You can even have them make an app's interface for a computer science class. At the end of the day, STEM should be taught alongside practical application of the topics taught.
Being hands-on in group assignments, projects and discussions will help students engage more. Show your expertise in the subject by aiding your students' problem solving skills. Engaging with them hands-on will also help them understand the analytical thought processes required to excel in STEM subjects.
Mix STEM With Other Subjects
For most students, STEM tends to get dry. Let's face it: not everybody is interested in the same STEM subject as the rest. Most of them are not naturally interested in STEM in the first place. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to try to get students interested by trying a variety of different ways. Mixing STEM topics with other subjects is a very effective way.
For example, you could partner with an English Language teacher and have your students design a device or a house for a character. This character can be from a book they are reading in an English class. You can even mix physical exercise with STEM subjects. You can ask students to measure breathing rates and heart rates using their phones.
Whichever level of STEM students you're teaching, following these steps will help you understand your audience better. It will also help you prepare yourself and your lessons in a more efficient way. Ask these questions before teaching a STEM subject:
Who Are You Teaching?
In order to teach STEM topics, try understanding the level of your audience. You should assess their interests individually within the STEM subject you're teaching. Try to make an impact on the class by handling each student's needs individually.
Which course objectives do you wish to achieve first?
STEM subjects have a variety of different sub-topics. Your task as an instructor is to plan out these topics in a coherent manner. Do this and it will make it easy for your students to understand.
Which topics can your students learn practically?
Identify rooms of practical application within the STEM topic. Plan out different activities which can allow the students to gain a practical understanding of the topic.
How can you reward your students?
Make several milestones when planning out your instruction plan. It's important to reveal the outline to your students so they can be rewarded when completing each milestone. It helps create a positive reinforcement loop that keeps them engaged.
In order to teach STEM subjects, it is important that your students get hooked to the topics they study. Inducing curiosity within the minds of your class will help you deliver course content more effectively. If you're managing STEM classes, you can use online tools like KeyboardingOnline to keep things fun and engaging. Students can brush up their typing skills alongside their reading skills.