What is STEM?

Everyone likes to say STEM when discussing teaching methods.  Questions I often encounter from parents are; how does it help my child learn?  Does it really work?

STEM is a way to teach in the classroom that allows students to be enthusiastic about research and development rather than the same ole daily routine.  Students should be able to ask questions, develop and use models, plan and carry out investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematics and computational thinking, construct explanations, as well as many other practices.

The classroom is a new world than when I was going to school.  Science was one of my favorite subjects throughout Middle School and High School.  I enjoyed the hands on activities the most, but those type of activities were rare.  Sometimes, I would struggle to understand concepts taught because I needed other methods than just the standard textbook to grasp key concepts.  I was usually afraid to ask questions for fear of ridicule from the teacher or my fellow peers.  However, that is not the case here at Lewisburg Middle School.  Students are encouraged to ask questions, and create through imagination and planning.  Students seem to enjoy working together to collaborate on ideas and create something as well as explain the reasoning behind their collaboration.  Students become the teacher, the presenter, the analyst as well as the engineer.

STEM is an engineering Design Process with 6 steps.

  • Step One: Ask!…Find out more about the problem.
  • Step Two: Imagine…Think Big!  Consider the possibilities.
  • Step Three: Plan…Think ahead about the steps.
  • Step Four: Create…Follow your plan. Make a model.
  • Step Five: Improve…Look at the model.  Make it better.
  • Step Six: Communicate….Get feedback.  Talk to others.

The Four C’s of STEM.

  • Critical Thinking- Thinking about problems in new ways
  • Communication- Sharing thoughts and ideas
  • Collaboration- Working together
  • Creativity- Using new approaches to get things done.

This is my second year to teach here at Lewisburg Middle School, and I must say, I have enjoyed every minute of it. I taught seventh grade science last year and sixth grade science this year.  We are trying to implement more and more STEM activities into our lessons. I enjoy nothing more than to see students light up when they are enjoying what and how they are learning.  It definitely makes my job so much more enjoyable.  STEM has definitely helped with the teaching process in my classroom this year.

Misty Ferrell

6th grade Science Teacher

Lewisburg Middle School

“Teaching isn’t rocket Science, it’s harder”

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