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9.3: Experiences from All STEM Content Areas

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    Course Competency 9. Integrate STEM learning experiences into an interdisciplinary unit

    CRITERIA: 9.3. Unit plan includes experiences from the following areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

    Incorporating All STEM Content Areas


    You will want to be sure your unit plan includes activities from all the STEM content areas: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Of course, to make it a truly interdisciplinary unit you will want to incorporate your theme in other content areas such as Art, Music, Language, and Social Studies.

    You will want to integrate multiple domains and content areas into your activities because children learn better when learning is connected. Let's look at 2 examples below. One is for a theme about Spring Things and the other will be about Flowers.

    Separate, Unconnected Learning Experiences for Spring

    Separate Learning Experiences

    Theme: Spring

    Story: Spring is Here: A Bear and Mole Story by Will Hillenbrand

    Writing: Teacher writes a class chart about the children’s favorite thing to do in the Spring

    Children make a Spring Words book at the Writing Center

    Science: Plant Flowers then take them home once they start to grow

    Music: Sing Five Little Speckled Frogs

    Art: Paint Pictures of a Duck Holding an Umbrella with Raindrops

    Math: Counting Eggs in Nests

    All of these activities connect to Spring, but they don’t all connect to one another. They don’t allow the children to go deeper into a subject and explore it in many ways.

    Interdisciplinary Connected Learning Experiences

    Theme: Flowers

    Story: Fiction—Grow Flower Grow by Lisa Bruce

    Non-Fiction—I Can Grow a Flower by DK and Tools for the Garden by Mari Schuh

    Writing: Teacher and students write a KWL chart about what the children know, what to know, and learned about flowers.

    Teacher and students write/draw charts about things flowers need and their parts.

    Children can make a book about the parts of a flower at the writing center.

    Science: Plant Flowers and other plants: Observe them grow using tools like magnifying glasses and journal their observations. Plant and care for them using garden tools.

    Music: Sing songs about flowers, their parts and how they grow. Have flannel pieces or magnet pieces for the students to sing and retell the story.

    Art: Children use various art materials to create flowers.

    Math: Children can count flowers, add flowers, sort flowers by color, measure flowers and graph their favorite color of flower.

    Engineering Integration: Children will have opportunities to use loose parts and blocks as well as other materials to make flowers.

    Technology Integration: Children will use tools to plant and care for their plants. Children will play games on an Ipad about parts of a plant and needs of a plant.

    Design Challenge: At the end of the unit, the children will use what they know to design a flower with an ABAB pattern for the petals.

    They will make the flower with various materials in the classroom.

    They must show parts of a flower and what a flower needs.

    The children will videotape themselves explaining how they made their flower, what it needs and its parts.

    This project integrates all STEM disciplines and the children are learning in many domains.

    9.3: Experiences from All STEM Content Areas is shared under a CC BY 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Vicki Tanck (Northeast Wisconsin Technical College).

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