We all learned the scientific method in school, and you may still have a few preconceived ideas about it because of your experience. Maybe you remember it as a structured approach used for science fair projects or lab experiments. This rigid view that’s applied in science class is not applicable to everyday life. But the scientific method shouldn’t be seen as inflexible or exclusive to the science classroom. In fact, you use the scientific method every day. Think of it as a logical process for solving a problem and gaining knowledge.
Do you ever notice students discovering that everyday objects can be used in new and different ways? Maybe you’ve passed out paper towel rolls for a craft, only to see them repurposed as telescopes or megaphones before you’ve even described the activity at hand.
After ten years of research on STEM education for preschoolers and elementary students, we've got a lot to say about the importance of block play for young children as well as the importance of STEM mentors. In fact, our research shows that mentors (teachers, parents, grandparents....) aren't simply important—they're critical in helping children feel confident and capable in STEM.
If you’re like a lot of general education teachers, you've heard a lot about STEM education lately. Maybe you've been asked by your K-5 principal to be the school's STEM teacher but aren't sure exactly where to start, or you're just looking for ways to incorporate it into your classroom curriculum.