STEM Discussion Starters


Discussion Starters - Educational Innovations NewsletterLooking for a free STEM resource to share with your students?  Here’s our selection.  Some websites offer ready-to-go lessons… others share exciting interviews with young people involved in STEM fields.  All of them are worth a visit!

If you find a worthy site that we haven’t mentioned here, please let us know in the comments section below.

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STEM in the News


You already know that STEM learning is everywhere these days.  The term “STEM” had its origins in the 1990s at the National Science Foundation.  Since then, it has become a buzzword for all sorts of events, policies, or programs involving one (or several) of the acronym’s disciplines—namely, Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math.

STEM has been in the news ever since.  Below we’ve collected an assortment of articles looking at some of the challenges, successes, plans, and controversies related to this important skill set.

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STEM vs STEAM: Why the “A” Matters


By Tina Brown

We first heard the term “STEM” several years ago.  In May of 2013, the National Science and Technology Council introduced their five-year strategic plan.  It was a 127-page report on how to strengthen American schools’ science, technology, engineering, and math education programs.

Essentially, the goal of this plan was to produce children who would eventually be competitive in an international job market. However, within a few years of the STEM hype, educators realized there was something missing.

The Missing Element in STEM

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The Magic of Spring, Seeds, and Science!


by Priscilla Robinson

Spring in the Pacific Northwest comes with a fanfare of germinating seeds, blossoming flowers, and budding trees.  As a science educator, I like to jump on Mother Nature’s bandwagon to bring this burst of plant life into my classroom.  What your students see every day can bloom into teachable moments.  These learning ideas will help you make the most out of the magic and science of spring.

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The Power of Electricity, Magnetism… and Infomercials!


Educational Innovations BlogBy Cathy Byrne

Virtually all fourth grade students explore electricity and magnetism.  As part of this unit, students are asked to do two things:

1 –   Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents (4-PS3-2)

2 –   Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another (4-PS3-4). 

This year, the teachers at my school put a new twist on our electricity and magnetism unit… and the results were amazing!

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