STEM is an abbreviation that stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In general, it is estimated that science and mathematics scores across the American students on average is lower as compared to the performance in other developed and developing countries. As a result, there have been deliberate efforts made by the government and school management to help improve the performance of STEM across the country since they are a critical part of the modern society.
As the government puts emphasis on the need to put efforts to improve the performance of STEM, many teachers are finding it difficult to help their students love and appreciate its role in their societies. Research has shown that many students do not appreciate STEM and instead they are interested more in pure and performing arts, which is a worry for a country that is in need of technical experts to drive the economy forward. Here are some of the tips that you can use as a teacher to introduce STEM materials into your classroom:
Promote the participation of students in mini-STEM challenges.
If you want your students to appreciate the need for STEM and its role in the society, there is the need for you to encourage their participation in every classroom activity. You should not adopt the teaching model where you lecture while the students listen and take notes since this does not challenge their mental capacity or help them come up with solutions to real life problems. By encouraging your students to participate in mini-STEM activities, they will learn to be problem solvers and naturally accept the STEM concept into their lives by becoming better thinkers.
Allow students to work in groups.
If you want to get the best out of your students, you should encourage them to work in pairs and small groups. Once you have taught your students on a given topic, you should encourage them to work in small groups to solve mini-STEM activities that you formulate to help them share their ideas. When students work in pairs, they will be able to share the information they learned in class and come up with ideas that help them solve mini-STEM activities.
Ensure that you have the relevant technology to teach STEM.
When introducing STEM products into your classroom, it is important to ensure that you have all the necessary technology for your STEM classes. Some of the technical materials that you may need in your class including ensuring there is access to a high-speed internet with a reasonable firewall. Access to the internet allows your students to access the online resources that are designed to complement STEM learning.
Focus on collaboration in the teaching of STEM classes.
The STEM is a composition of many subjects and without collaboration; you are likely to get it all wrong. As a teacher, you should work with others who teach the STEM subjects to ensure that you share ideas on what is working and what is not working. Collaboration can be physical with fellow teachers in your school or online through online learning channels such as Pinterest.
Modify the questioning system.
A simple way through which you can incorporate STEM products into your classroom is by changing the questioning process. When questioning your students, you should use words such as model, design, experiment, and illustrate since this could lead to a STEM learning exercise. The modification of the questioning process will allow students to think outside the box and come up with real-life solutions to challenges that they are faced with.
As the government acknowledges the need to introduce STEM products into the classroom, there is a need to ensure that the required human and financial resources are available to schools and teachers.