Teaching STEM - A Guide to Effectively Teaching STEM Subjects to Kids
The STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—are important for today's youth to master. However, as parents and teachers, we are well aware of the difficulty of piquing their interest in such topics. For our kids to have a solid chance at mastering STEM subjects in the future, they need to start learning about them as early as possible. And the onus for that lies on us! Providing children with opportunities to explore the world around them via play and experimentation is an excellent method for achieving this goal.
The level of interest students have in science has been shown to be significantly influenced by the methods used to teach it. When information is dull, pupils tune out. But using children's innate interest and inventiveness for STEM education has shown to be quite effective thus far. We need to give kids meaningful opportunities to learn scientific concepts through hands-on, even playful, discovery is a fantastic way of doing so.
When teaching students about STEM, there are three main ways to do it. Since each way has something to offer, it might be a good idea to mix up the courses and use different methods to keep students interested.
Project-Based Learning (PBL)
This way of learning helps students gain knowledge and skills by giving them fun things to do. With this method, the teacher acts more as a guide than as a source of knowledge and information. The teacher may suggest the projects, but the students are the ones who come up with the plans and do the work. STEM project-based learning can look like making an app or a model of a bridge, among other things.
When working with young people who are learning STEM, this method works well. It keeps them interested by improving their sensory, cognitive, and critical thinking skills, encouraging them to work together, and making them more interested in STEM fields.
For this method to work, you have to be able to think very deeply. Here, students look at a problem, try to solve it, and judge how well they did. Most of the time, these problems can't be solved and are left open-ended, but students can come up with possible answers and question the ideas or stories that have already been told. This strategy encourages people to be leaders, work together, and be creative. STEM problem-based learning can be done in many ways, such as when students come up with business ideas to meet a need in society.
Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL)
This method is based on asking questions, using critical thinking, and solving problems. Students are encouraged to ask as many questions as they want about a topic because the main goal of inquiry-based learning is to show the role of the student in the learning process. Problem-based learning questions are often open-ended and don't always have a set answer. IBL questions, on the other hand, have clear answers and solutions.
By using IBL to teach STEM, students learn the many ideas they need to know to solve the problems they are given. This makes sure they fully understand it and can use it where it makes sense. IBL for STEM doesn't have students memorize ideas or stay in groups, like some other teaching methods do. Instead, it encourages them to think and personalize their learning.
In this situation, the teacher acts as a "bridge" for the students, helping and supporting them as they try to figure out how to solve the problems.
Teaching STEM at Home
“It all starts at home.” We have heard this statement in so many different contexts. And it is absolutely true when we talk about learning STEM!
Home-based teaching is a great way to get children interested in STEM. If they already know about STEM fields, let them learn as much as they can about them. Getting students involved in STEM education at home as young as possible will help them learn more in the future and make better career choices.
Toys are one of the best ways to teach STEM at home. Your child can sort things by color, shape, size, weight, texture, and so on. Even 2- or 3-year-olds can learn science and math at home with these kinds of activities.
DIY Projects and Basic Engineering
Give fun DIY projects to the next generation of engineers so they can learn about science and math while making simple machines. They can do a lot of different projects with common household and office items. These easy engineering projects are a great way for students to learn STEM at home and will open their eyes to the world of science and technology. It will also help them understand a lot more about physics, chemistry, and math, which will help them do better in school.
The key to a healthier brain, better skills, a steady job, and a lot of fun. Everyone needs to know at least the basics of programming most of the time. But it's especially important for young people, who will have to work hard to reach their goals in a world where coding is used for a lot of things. So, you should teach your students how to code at home as part of their STEM education.
You can check out Pretty Geeky's varies, comprehensive kit for students and beginners to explore and understand practically the principles of STEM to successfully carry out these approaches at home in a well-guided manner. You can find many entertaining and exciting projects right here that will aid in teaching your students STEM at home.
Teaching STEM at School
A multidisciplinary approach to STEM education combines methods and concepts from various disciplines or conventional fields of study. It links and blends a variety of viewpoints to improve STEM comprehension for both teachers and students.
STEM education in the classroom needs to mirror what's going on in the sector outside the classroom in order to boost student engagement and achievement. Teachers need to think beyond the box if they want to get the most out of their pupils. That's because there's so much room for development and change in the industries' professions. It's not enough to hand out facts and correct students' misconceptions when instructing them. Rather, the ideal STEM classroom would foster curiosity and independent thought. Learning from one's mistakes is essential in these subjects, since it enables students to think critically and creatively about how to approach and overcome challenges. Thomas Edison famously stated, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” It is an apt description of both teaching and learning STEM subjects.
Role of Teachers
The way in which educators present lessons has a major impact on their students' learning, especially in the STEM professions. How many of us stopped caring about our STEM studies because our teachers made them boring? Many of today's scientific lectures in India put more emphasis on the lecturer than the topic being covered. If we want to help students succeed in STEM, we need to change how we teach them now. In spite of your natural inclination, you should push your students toward independent exploration of STEM fields.
Here are some abilities children will likely acquire when STEM is taught correctly.
- Digital literacy;
- Critical thinking;
- Independent thinking;
It is important to carefully consider the best approaches to teach STEM in schools and at home because regardless of how STEM is taught in Indian schools, students will still be expected to compete on an equal playing field with other students who have had better learning opportunities and methodologies.
We have some great ideas for you to use, whether you are a STEM teacher who wants to learn more effective ways to teach in the classroom or a parent who wants to show their students how fun STEM can be. This article will talk about how to teach STEM, how to plan lessons, how to measure students' progress in STEM, and how to get students involved.
For teachers, it may seem daunting to design a comprehensive curriculum for a STEM course, but the process may actually be rather enjoyable. This is because encouraging curiosity in learning by focusing on STEM subjects can benefit both you and your students. Having a classroom environment that fosters students' imaginations is more valuable than being an expert on the subject matter being taught.
There are a few things to keep in mind while planning your lectures to provide your students with the most beneficial learning environment possible. It's important for a good STEM lesson to:
- Students are more interested in what they are learning and less likely to get bored or distracted when they can try things out for themselves. It's also rewarding for them to have a finished product to show the judge and look at.
- One of the best things about STEM education is that it helps students learn skills that they can use right away in the real world. This is one of its most important benefits.
- Make projects that combine science and math in a natural way. Your students' math and science homework should be related to what they are working on now, be based on real-life situations, and have a purpose. For example, maybe knowing physics will help them figure out how to build anything, or maybe math equations will help them make sure their design works well.
- As a teacher, you can also use the Engineering Design Process, which is a set of steps that students can do as part of a project to solve problems. This project-based learning method should encourage flexible ideas, creativity, and solutions that work.
The STEM method puts an emphasis on learning by doing, and it doesn't always need to be done in a classroom. As we've shown in the tips above, you can use some of Pretty Geeky's thorough and well-made activities to learn STEM at home or at school.
If you do these fun things with your students, they will be more likely to keep learning about STEM and work toward a great future.
The Pretty Geeky is a creative STEM-based publishing company that is changing the way students learn STEM by making games that are fun and interactive. Visit Pretty Geeky today to learn more about how you can help your child do well in life.