Do you ever feel like you are not covering enough material content in the week? It can be frustrating to look back and realise you did not focus enough on certain areas of the curriculum. Fortunately, there is a solution: STEAM, the transdisciplinary approach.
By incorporating authentic inquiry teaching into your practice through Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM), you can engage your students and encourage them to think critically and creatively. With STEAM, you will be able to cover more material in a way that is exciting and impactful for your students. Keep reading to discover how you can slowly integrate STEAM into your program planning.
Integrate a few subjects at once
When it comes to STEAM, I like to start by thinking about a real-life problem or challenge and then brainstorming how we can use different subjects to solve it. Depending on your students’ ages, STEAM can take you in all sorts of directions you may not have anticipated.
For example, let’s say your school has a busy road that is not safe. You could turn this into a STEAM challenge by asking your student to produce ideas on how to make the road safer for everyone. To get started, you may have them collect data on transportation methods students use to get to school. From there, they could use that data to design changes to the road using 3D models, write persuasive letters to the council about changing the layout of the road or even conduct research and talk to experts in the community.
Starting with a real-life problem and a few ideas on how to integrate different subjects is a fantastic way to begin a STEAM project. As you go along, be sure to follow your students’ lead and let them take the project in the direction that most interest them. With STEAM, the possibilities are endless!
Start with one afternoon a week
As a teacher, you know how valuable time is. That is why I believe in not reinventing the wheel and using premade resources to save yourself time and effort. If you are new to STEAM, do not worry – there are plenty of resources available to help you get started.
One wonderful way to begin integrating STEAM into your classroom is to make it a regular part of your weekly timetable. Choose one day or afternoon a week to focus specifically on STEAM and start with a simple lesson like coding a Beebot to follow a story or building a bridge out of popsicle sticks to see whose can hold the most weight.
As your students learn to collaborate and problem-solve, you can gradually introduce more complex challenges, like building a device to protect an egg from a high fall. With each new challenge, your students will become more engaged and take more ownership of their learning, freeing you up to facilitate their progress rather than explicitly teaching concepts and skills.
So if you are looking for a way to spice up your lessons and engage your students, try integrating STEAM into your weekly timetable. With premade resources and simple challenges to start with, you will be amazed at how quickly your students will embrace the learning opportunities STEAM offers.
Check out this link for a Pinterest board with some of these resources to get started
A Resource to get you started
Looking to integrate different subjects in your classroom, but not sure where to start? The Great Marble Challenge is a fantastic resource that can help you get started! This activity encourages team building, creativity, and collaboration among your students, while also providing you with plenty of resources to support your teaching.
During this challenge, your students will work together to create a machine that transports a marble as far as possible. But the real magic lies in the integration of different subjects that this activity allows for. Here are just a few examples:
- Measurement: Students can measure the length of their machines or the distance that their marbles travel and convert these measurements from meters to centimetres.
- Statistics: Conducting a survey on the distances that each machine travels can help students understand concepts like average, mode, and range. They can also experiment with adding angles to their machines to see how this affects the results.
- Probability: Students can explore the concept of probability by predicting which machines will be most successful, and then comparing their predictions to the actual results.
- Literacy: Reading the school journal that discusses this challenge can inspire students to write their own predictions and reflections on the activity.
- Science and Engineering: Designing a machine that can transport a marble as far as possible requires a lot of scientific and engineering skills, from understanding gravity to building structures that are both sturdy and aerodynamic.
- Technology: Students can use a range of technologies to document their progress and share their findings, from digital cameras to video editing software.
As you can see, the Great Marble Challenge offers a wealth of opportunities for integration across different subjects. And the best part is that this activity is just the starting point! Once your students start exploring the possibilities, they may produce even more questions and ideas that can lead to weeks or even months of engaging STEAM activities. What are you waiting for? Start your STEAM journey today and see where it takes you
Want more support with STEAM? Check out these events below!
Looking for some support with STEAM and iPads- Join our STEAM Essentials with iPad event in March. Click here for more information!
Join our Term 2 Certified STEAM Leader Program! This is a wonderful way to learn more about STEAM and become a lead it within your class and your school! Click here for more information!
Enrich your school’s curriculum by implementing a tailored STEAM program that empowers teachers to confidently teach these subjects. Our program is designed to engage students and provide educators with the necessary skills and resources to successfully deliver STEAM lessons. Join our STEAM Essentials event in May! Click here for more information!