STEM Learning from a Distance
By: Lisa H.
Distance Learning has presented educators with a number of challenges during the closure of schools. It is a new means of delivering content for many, and we all want to ensure that our students get to engage in all of the learning experiences that they would in the classroom.
STEM based learning helps students more than just science and math concepts. It helps educators to promote hands-on learning with real world applications. This helps students to develop a wide range of skills, bringing this type of learning online will promote digital literacy skills while also helping them to prepare for future success. Although distance learning is not the ideal scenario for STEM learning that requires hands-on interactions, it can be done and it can be successful!
The first step you can take is to promote the foundational skills for example, communication, problem solving and critical thinking. These skills are central to the engineering process. Using icebreakers that encourage group collaboration and communication will help to further develop these skills. There is a great selection of suitable content available online to help with this.
Remote Learning STEM Activities
Garden Ecosystem - This activity is suitable for everyone, no matter where you live in the world! Every person lives in a unique environment with its own ecosystem awaiting exploration. Why not try to challenge your students to create their own ecosystem in a bottle or create an exciting scavenger hunt with fun challenges along the way? Bayer.com has great ideas and resources to help you with this project.
At home design challenges - Our students have wonderful, curious minds! Bring out their inner engineering skills with at home design challenges. Tasks such as drop challenges are a great way to explore the force of gravity. vivifystem.com has a number of instructional videos that include science demos along with a number of design challenges for your budding engineers to tackle at home! Daily challenges are also a popular trend at the moment, the NSTA are providing daily sense-making tasks for students to complete from the comfort of their homes.
Introduction to Coding - Our students are now spending much more of their time online. Help to make this time more productive and help them to learn a new skill along the way. It’s never too early to learn how to code. This is a task that will suit students of all ages all the way through their time in school. Coding is such an important skill for the future and is a basic skill to have in the digital literacy world. Coding helps children with communication, creativity, math, writing, and also helps to build confidence. There are a variety of sites available to guide students through the coding process such as, Khan Academy, Scratch, Code Monster, Blockly, Tynker and Code.org to mention a few.