STEM challenges are not recipes to follow,
step-by-step instructions that guide students
in creating identical projects, or processes
that lead them to the same outcome. STEM
is about allowing students to apply their
content knowledge, creativity, critical thinking,
and other skills as they work to solve a
problem and create a solution.
STEM challenges will take time, so plan
accordingly. Squeezing it in or treating STEM
practices as “extra” may communicate that
the skills and practices are not valuable. Our
attitudes and beliefs are important as teachers;
who we are informs who our students become.
According to Hoffer, “If we model optimism,
confidence, and courage about STEM in our
classroom each day, students will absorb those”
(2016, p. 3).
It is our hope that the STEM challenges included
in this book will help you teach 21st century skills
and STEM thinking, that these practices become
a natural part of your classroom, and that STEM
becomes a way of thinking and planning for you.
© 2019 Region 4 Education Service CenterSTEMulating Design Challenges in Science, Grades K–2
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