STEM Engaging Hands-On Challenges Using Everyday Materials is designed to walk you through exciting STEM challenges step-by-step! This series provides age-appropriate student challenges guaranteed to stimulate students as they ask, imagine, plan. Create (build), test and improve designs they created themselves.
In each challenge, students will be making sense of phenomena and/or coming up with solutions to a problem as they build a clearer understanding of science and engineering practices.
Each exciting challenge is presented to students by the teacher and followed up with a student driven Mini Challenge.
Students then put what they have learnt to the test during the Main Challenge.
Criteria are established for each challenge - but not an expected end result.
Academic vocabulary, time frames and formative assessments specific to each challenge are provided and most materials needed are found in the classroom or the recycling bin.
The activities in this book are referred to as challenges, not lessons. They are quite different from traditional science lessons that tell students what to do and how to do it.
The goal of these challenges is for students to experience phenomena for themselves, which requires a bit of letting go on the part of the teacher.
Instead of lecturing or demonstrating, we are putting materials into the hands of the students, setting them up for success and turning them loose to discover new concepts.
Once the students understand how the challenges work, they really dive into them.
Students become fully engaged in working together on their own terms, manipulating materials, and solving a compelling problem or answering an intriguing question, with their hands and minds occupied and on the task.
These challenges are not conducive to silence - a low buzz of purposeful conversation indicated that students are actively engaged. Your biggest problem may be getting them to wrap things up!