STEM Tools to Add to Your Curriculum

By Stacy Maxton

As you know, STEM is an important element of all levels of education. In our ever-growing technological world, it seems there are few career paths that don’t in some way utilize skills acquired through STEM classes.

STEM can be an intimidating curriculum for some students, but luckily, there are a lot of great tools for making STEM accessible and fun for everyone.

I know how difficult it can be to find these types of tools, so I’ve compiled a list of resources for lesson plans so parents and educators can skip all the tedious research and get right to the fun parts of teaching and learning! I hope they’re helpful!

Computer Programming Basics Lesson Plan: Tynker Games – In this computer programming basics lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students use BrainPOP resources (including online coding games) to learn about programming.

The Educator’s Guide to Real Estate Lesson Plans: Math & Science – Students often have trouble seeing their school lessons as relevant to real life. By incorporating real estate-based lessons into your curriculum, you can help students gain valuable skills in practical math application, presentation giving, forming a persuasive argument, earth science, and so much more!

The Educator’s Guide to Applying Real-World Math: 15 Resources with over 100 Lesson Plans – Believe it or not, strong fundamentals in mathematics are necessary for just about every career choice and are used every day. Yet math is commonly thought of as dry, boring, and unnecessary. A great way to engage students with math is through design and construction. These topics offer a wide range of interesting and challenging real-world applications that can show kids the true power of mathematics. For example, high school students in Canby, Oregon utilized their math skills in a cross-disciplinary approach to learning by building a tiny house on wheels that can withstand strong winds and earthquake-level shaking while traveling up to 60 mph.

Architecture Activities to Help You Address NGSS Engineering Standards – Architecture is no longer an area of study that simply covers building homes and commercial structures. The concentration also includes environmental design, landscape architecture, and urban planning. To expand upon concepts in physics, calculus, geometry, engineering, and algebra, teachers can use architecture activities to bridge the divide between traditional science and engineering concepts.

Making Science Labs Accessible to Students with Disabilities – Think of strategies that could be implemented in a science lab as a part of universal design efforts for making academic activities accessible to students with disabilities. Consider the accommodations that might benefit students with blindness, low vision, mobility impairments, deafness or hard of hearing, health impairments, learning and attention disabilities. How could you help these students learn science?

10 Innovative Ways to Bring STEM to Schools – Many classroom ideas can be adapted to homeschool co-ops. For example:

  • Find out among the parent body who works in a STEM field. Mine their knowledge and expertise to explore and develop STEM-related learning experiences.
  • Visit local businesses and industries engaged in STEM work to interview real-world practitioners and find out what students will need to enter these fields.
  • Invite guest scientists to conduct experiments with students and to talk about what it is like to work in a STEM field.
  • Through tools like Skype, have scientists take students on a virtual tour of a laboratory and walk students through the stages of experimentation.

The best part about STEM is that it is hands-on and exciting, especially when you organize field trips and STEM fairs to display and engage in projects and experiments. Have fun with STEM!

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