Sunday, July 6, 2014

Conference Day 2: Integrating STEM

Continuing my reflection from the sessions I attended at the Maryland College and Career Readiness Conference, I am beginning to look back on day two. The first session I attended was about integrating STEM standards into middle school. I was very interested in this session because a major goal of mine is to provide STEM experiences for all students instead if te select few who get those opportunities through the STEM academy. 

The main emphasis of STEM centric teaching is to connect to careers, incorporate STEM standards, connect to the real world, and have the work be a natural fit in the disciplines. Projects and problems shouldn't feel out of place or disconnected, and there should be a connection to at least two of the STEM fields as often as possible. 

The process of designing a STEM centric lesson starts with the content and STEM practices. What is the content being taught? 

From there the task shifts to finding a real world connection to the content. What is a problem or projects that professionals in the field are tackling that connects to the content?

Once the project idea is put together, a connect to at least two of the Science Technology Engineering and Math standards. What science connects, technology uses, engineering opportunities, and mathematical thinking will students be doing? 

An abbreviation to which I was unfamiliar was the "5Es"; engagement, evaluation, exploration, entension, and explanation. The idea is for all five to be incorporated, so that students are working through all five skills throughout the process of the project. 

The connections and the resources presented in the session were very informative, and I left very excited to start preparing lessons through a STEM lenses on a continuous basis for all of my classes. This leads me to the main goals after attendng this session. I want to develop STEM lessons and projects for my 8th grade math class specifically, I want to incorporate hands on projects for students to work on often in all of my classes, and I want to promote the ideal that every student should have the STEM opportunities on a regular basis at the county level. 

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