STEM on OLE: Today’s Students…Tomorrow’s Innovators!
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) permeate our lives. Education experts agree that all of our students need more exposure to the thinking and practices of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.
Recent data shows troubling signs that students in the United States should be doing better in math and science. For example, American students ranked 21st out of 30 in science literacy among students from developed countries and 25th out of 30 in math literacy.
According to a directive from the National Science Board, “The Nation must act now to address the critical needs of its science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education system.” Coupled with the emphasis on STEM in the Obama administration’s Race to the Top guidelines, this directive draws attention to the need to prepare more students for advanced study and future careers in these fields so that they can continue to develop new ideas for future generations.
How Students Learn Best
Research shows that students best learn science by practicing the skills and thought processes used regularly by scientists and engineers. Developing confidence in these practices allows students to break down any new situation or problem to plan potential solutions or make predictions that are based on core content knowledge and experience.
Students have also been shown to be motivated to learn by understanding the application of skills and contextual relevance in the real world. Events like the Curiosity landing on Mars or the Higgs boson discovery are great ways to engage your students in real-life scenarios that require STEM literacy.
Every project in the new STEM program on OLE incorporates the engineering design process, which provides students with a chance to apply science and engineering to real-world problems.
Each inquiry-based, student-centered STEM topic allows students to model what real scientists and engineers do: stimulate curiosity, engage interest, and show students that science and engineering are creative endeavors that have shaped their world!
STEM on OLE
Everyone here on the OLE team is passionate about preparing students for 21st-century jobs, many of which require increased STEM literacy. As a result, we decided to create new STEM courses for grades K–2, 3–5, and 6–8, now available on OLE!
Here are some content teasers for you to explore!
Free Content Teasers
How can you measure the amount of rain that falls in your area? Build a rain gauge to find out!
Can you build a bird feeder to attract a certain type of bird? Build one and see!
Can you design a dam that will meet local needs while making as little impact on the ecosystem as possible? Give it a try!
- Hands-On Project - “It’s All Water Under the Dam”
- Untamed Science Video - “The Great Macaw Debate”
STEM Program Features
The STEM program is now available for grades K–8, both in print and digitally on the OLE platform.
The program features:
- 9 student modules (18 total topics) to engage every learner
- Teaching guides containing correlations, activities, and teaching strategies
- Material kits to activate lessons in the classroom
- Professional development training options to guide teachers with STEM implementation