STEM Looks a lot different in the Jr. High Setting
- No 3D printing STEM Classes
- No Minecraft STEM Classes
- No individualized STEM clubs during the periods
Will our students gain a deep understanding of the content areas?
The STEM curriculum you choose should strongly connect the disciplines and eliminate forever the student question
“Why do I need to learn this?"
Do our students work to solve real-world problems?
Science & Engineering Fair, Genius Hour, etc.
Throughout their Jr. High school years, students should learn how to
ask and investigate
questions about the world they experience through daily living.
Is technology used appropriately in addressing our STEM challenges?
Technology should be presented as more than computers; technology includes all tools used to make life easier and better.
The curriculum will likely acknowledge that students actually create technologies as they create products to address real-world problems.
Are our students taught communication skills?
STEM coursework should help them learn and value productive communication at personal, team and public levels
Does our curriculum include authentic assessment?
students need to be tested in practical ways
Look for curriculum that suggests ways to assess changes in creativity, student attitudes, student participation, the classroom environment, teamwork skills, communication skills, and so on.
A great STEM curriculum, taught by teachers who know how to engage kids and “guide on the side,” will not only produce more young scientists in the future, it will serve as a true antidote for the most dreaded middle school malady:
The truth is that STEM encompasses the most engaging, hands-on subjects in our schools. Strong STEM skills lead to more beautiful art, more engrossing performances, and more polished productions.
STEM classes develop those soft skills that so many careers need, and so many students lack – skills like communication, problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, and data analysis.