Part 1: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Driving and Investigative Questions

inquiry1

Welcome to this first post in a series that promotes student inquiry in the classroom. This post is dedicated to writing that Driving or Investigative Question which is so important in STEM and PBL. You will discover multiple resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success in student owned inquiry.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 1: Facilitating Inquiry in the Classroom… Driving and Investigative Questions

I really like Diving and Investigative Questions. In fact, I like them so much more than Essential Questions. You might ask why? I think it just might be my affection for the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. You may remember that in the revision the different levels were changed into action. In fact, I strongly believe that learning is a verb and is based on action. Take away the word “Question” and both Driving and Investigating are wonderful verbs loaded with action. The word “Essential” standing alone is only a word devoted to describing… a colorful but inactive adjective.

Another reason I am fond of “Driving and Investigative Questions” is that they allow students to work together in the amazing process of divergent thinking. As students bring this process around to identify answers and ideas that finally converge, they are suddenly back on the path to even higher order divergent thinking. It is amazing to watch students become aware that answers can bring on even more questions. Seems to me that it is a lot as if they are moving up Bloom’s Taxonomy.

I believe that both DQ and IQ allow students to take part in real inquiry and research. If the question is Google-able then it probably is not deep inquiry. Now, using advanced Google skills to find answers that create more questions fits the bill for common core skills. Literacy that is built to comprehend, analyze, compare, contrast, and make meaning of nonfiction across the disciplines is essential. Take a look at portions of standards educators must facilitate with students. These really do sound like some great inquiry action that can be found on the super highway of Driving Questions.

Last,  I like “Driving and Investigative Questions  because there are  so simple, that they can be difficult to construct. Let me explain. The Driving Question or Investigative Question in Project Based learning and STEM can be often the hardest concept to get across to teachers. Even after a workshop devoted to PBL… questions will come across my email asking for help in constructing and refining the Driving  or InvestigativeQuestion.

Writing TheDQ and IQ’s For Student-centered Learning In PBL, STEM, and Inquiry

Why are driving and investigative questions so difficult? Perhaps it is the powerful and simple concept they ride upon in a world where teachers have been taught to use so much of their “educationese language” Educators must work at being aware of the important standards in their content area without blurting them out. It is at this point that educators come across that often talked about the idea of uncovering, not covering, the standards.  Educators are so often told to practice this methodology but are seldom told how to do it.

This is the power of the Driving and Investigative question and its importance in PBL and STEM. It must be simply stated so that students can uncover the content standards themselves. It should not give away the contents standards which students may not really care about. It should engage the students and create wonderment through relevance to their world. It should drive them to “uncover the standards” Through carefully planned PBL and STEM the teacher then facilitates this learning experience. The added bonus of building import21st-centurytury skills is a natural outcome. In order for students to “uncover the standards” they will need to communicate, collaborate, think critically, and provide creative thought.

Examples comparing an Essential Question to a Driving or Investigative Question:

  • EQ: Can you describe a typical food chain for the herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores in the deciduous forest biome.
  • DQ/IQ:How can we as authors write a restaurant storybook menu for animals that live in the forest ?

 

  • EQ: How are measurement skills and our knowledge of math and geometry related to building a dream park with a given set of dimensions and budget?
  • DQ/IQ: In what way can we design, plan, and pitch a needed park for our community ?

 

  • EQ: What are the characteristics of the planets in our solar system in regards to atmosphere, surface, and composition?
  • DQ/IQ: How can we, as NASA scientists, write a proposal that recommends which planet should be explored by the next space probe?

 

  • DQ/IQ: How can robots provide automation and use computer programs and code to deliver a given task?
  • DQ/IQ: Can we program a robot to …. ?

 

  • EQ: Can we name the various reasons that the American Colonies declared independence from England?
  • DQ/IQ: How might we write and produce a play that could be used today, or in our countries early history, to show why the colonies should declare independence?

Keep in mind that the Driving or Investigative Question may take on many names. The important point is that it drives an investigation based on student owned inquiry. It really is the very first step in providing students that opportunity to not just answer the question, but come up with their own.

Next Post … Facilitating Student Questions

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

 

 

 

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Part 5: STEM, STEAM, Makers: 35 Resources For A Makerspace

maker5

Welcome to this fifth post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 5: STEM, STEAM, Makers: 35 Resources For A Makerspace

Take a moment to contemplate what it would be like if every school had a Maker Culture and it was part of the school curriculum. You may wish to dream of the possibilities for essential 21st-century skill development and significant content skill alignment. Think about the aura of engagement, flow, grit, perseverance, problem solving, revision, reflection, and satisfaction in that amazing space. Contemplate parents asking the question, “What did you make in school today?” Now sit back and imagine the answer, and further conversations it would bring!

As you are probably already aware, there is a growing Maker Movement across the nation. In fact, you can see Maker Spaces finding room to serve the surging Maker population in both small and large towns alike. The idea behind the Makers Movement includes allowing students to imagine, envision, create, innovate, play, formatively learn, experiment, collaborate, share, and most of all dream of possibilities.

Keep in mind that Maker’s is a way of thinking and not just a “space”. With this in mind, the Maker concept can occur anywhere and anytime. It can be in a dedicated space, or room, or in the library. It can be in the classroom, or possibly be a set of materials that can be brought out to students anytime.  The real idea is to promote a Maker thought process that facilitates innovation, creative thinking, and self-learning throughout the school day.

As you contemplate the integration of STEM, PBL and technology remember that Makers does not have to be a separate time, but instead can be integrated into the curriculum. While an after school program is wonderful, why not bring it into the classroom by carefully connecting the idea of Making with the STEM curricular material? Keep in mind that the final product should demonstrate learning. With this in mind, promote significant content and standards. A Maker culture must provide students with important learning targets that are connected to the content being learned. Allowing students to make, while also emphasizing important standards can be powerful and effective. The act of making allows students to do and sets the foundation for understanding. In fact, a collaborative effort with groups of students can allow for discussions that lead to deeper understanding and retention both in and outside of the STEM areas.

The idea of making is really not a new concept. In fact,the art of making is at the root and mixed into to the very fabric of our culture. I believe that the amazing innovation we have seen in this country is due to a Maker mentality. We have long been a culture set on dreaming up possibilities, and then taking the action to make it happen. The initial growth of technology has somewhat taken some of our creativity and produced  consumption based thinking. We are now past the initial way of thinking, and the Makers movement allows people to finally use the technology and STEM content to create and make in a wonderful PBL environment.

35 Resources For Makerspace

  • Makezine – This might be a great place to start. I recommend checking out the projects area just to begin to get some ideas. While many of the projects are prescribed, you may wish to find some ways to open up ideas for thinking outside the box and providing for innovation. Explore the different areas including science, electronics, art, and design. How might something you discover allow your students to Make something that will connect to learning?
  • Instructables – Here you will find ideas to make so many things that could Make a great connection to learning. When first opening the program give the Search Engine a try. Put in keywords of some possible learning ideas. It might be planets, insects, civil war, or nutrition. You can even filter the results using multiple categories.  Give it a try… you will be amazed at what you find and what your students might Make!
  • The Exploratorium Tinkering Studio – Tinkering is at the very heart of formative learning, allowing for iterations that encourage revision and reflection.  Kids develop an understanding of how to learn from failure and setbacks in order to experience eventual success. The Tinkering Studio is primarily an R&D laboratory on the floor of the Exploratorium, but whenever possible they try to share their projects, activities and developing ideas following an “open source” model. Learn how you too can enjoy their activities in your classroom while allowing your kids to Tinker and Make!
  • The Exploratorium Tinkerer Collection – Speaking of Tinkering, you may wish to introduce your students to some amazing Tinkerers and the occupations that surround them. Perhaps this could be part of a Makers’ Unit of Study that focuses on College and Career Readiness and 21st Century Skills. It might be fun to see what your students can Make of it!
  • DIY – Do It Yourself is a platform for students to discover skills and share what they make and do with each other and the global community. You can explore skill-based learning and introduce collaboration into your classroom – during homeroom, Genius Hour, after school, and even regular classes. Discover ways to blend the DIY Skills platform into the core curriculum, or let students explore new subjects while practicing skills and Making.
  • How To Smile – This is an amazing collecting of some of the best educational materials, learning activities, tools, and services. They are all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in activity-based settings. This site is sponsored by a group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. This is a great place to Make STEM happen!
  • HowToons – Take a moment and see what happens when you take a comic book artist, an inventor, and a toy designer and have them work together.  It seems you end up with HowToons, a place of engaging content that teaches kids how to build things, combining instructions with storytelling.  You will discover that Howtoons has a foundation of science and engineering education, inspiring creativity through art and imagination. Take a look at the library and get set to Make!
  • Science Toy Maker – This really is a site for people who like to roll up their sleeves and make science toys and projects. As the author states, “You won’t find slick, well-designed web pages here–more like the digital equivalent of a messy workshop. If you tinker around, though, you’ll find some good stuff.” Science Toy Maker is a resource for inspired kids and their teachers to really Make something out of it!
  • Global Cardboard Challenge – This is a project from the Imagination Foundation inspired from Caine’s Arcade. It is a great way to inspire kids with mostly cardboard. It is amazing and exciting to see cardboard innovation at its finest. In fact, how might your students think outside the box and Make!
  • Maker Camp – Here is an opportunity for students to join other young inventors and artists from around the world on Google+ to make awesome projects, go on epic virtual “field trips,” and meet the world’s coolest Makers. You will find that Maker Camp inspires kids ages 13-18 to embrace their inner maker, get their hands dirty, fix some things, break some things, and have a lot of fun doing it. Everything is archived so all lessons and projects will be available at Maker Camp even after the summer so you and your students can Make all year long.
  • Makey Makey – OK… it is not free but is also pretty amazing at less than fifty dollars a kit. Take a moment to explore this  invention kit for the 21st century. Turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It’s really is a simple Invention Kit for Beginners and Experts doing art, engineering, and everything in-between. It comes ready to use out of the box with everything you see above: MaKey MaKey, Alligator Clips, USB Cable. Four students can work with one kit. Make sure you look at the project possibilities on the website. It is here that you just might see curricular connections
  • High Low Tech – This site from MIT Media Lab really does have some tech for everyone. HLT’s work integrates high and low technological materials, processes, and cultures. Their primary aim is to engage diverse audiences in designing and building their own technologies. It is their belief that the future of technology will be largely determined by end-users who will design, build, and hack their own devices. Furthermore, their goal is to inspire, shape, support, and study these communities. Take a look at these projects that explore the intersection of computation, physical materials, manufacturing processes, traditional crafts, and design
  • Squishy Circuits – What kids don’t want to Make something with play dough… now add circuits and they have an even greater Making opportunity. Squishy circuits are a project from the Playful Learning Lab at the University of St. Thomas.  The goal of the project is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough. Be sure to check out the Ted Talk, White House Maker Faire, and the Ready to Use Kits. As with any circuit activity… read any precautions.
  • Tinkercad –  Are you excited about 3D creating and printing? Explore Tinkercad, an easy-to-use tool for creating digital designs that are ready to be 3D printed into physical objects. Users are guided through the 3D design process through ‘Lessons’, which teach the basics before moving on to more complex modeling techniques. Tinkercad is a free tool from Autodesk, joining the 123D family of products in helping students, makers, and individuals from all walks of life to design and make the things they imagine. Be sure to watch videos and try the tutorials!
  • Scratch – This is a wonderful tool to support computational thinking. With Scratch, students can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations. Better yet, they can share their creations with others in the online community. Best of all,  it is free from MIT! Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively. These certainly are essential skills for life in the 21st century. As in all sites designed to share… be sure to read the Terms of Use and Privacy.
  • Picoboards – This under fifty dollar tool allows students to create interactions with various sensors. It compliments the free Scratch programming language by allowing students to easily create simple interactive programs based on the input from sensors. The PicoBoard incorporates a light sensor, sound sensor, a button and a slider, as well as 4 additional inputs that can sense electrical resistance via included cables. Click here for ordering information.
  • Thingiverse – Are you or your students into 3D printing. Then take a moment and  browse the world’s largest 3D design community for discovering, printing, and sharing 3D models. You and your students can join over 130,000 community members in downloading, sharing, and remixing 3D designs. As in all sites designed to share… be sure to read the Terms of Use and Privacy.
  • SparkFun – The Education Department at SparkFun  uses electronics as a creative medium and hands-on learning tool, with products and curriculum designed to develop foundational skills.  It allows students to explore the world of electronics while increasing the investment and ownership in education. Most of all it plants the seeds of inventorship in today’s youth.
  • LittleBits – Discover this organization that believes it is important to create the next generation of problem-solvers in the very near future. The time is now to create the pipe cleaner and the craft stick of the 21st century.  LittleBits products are designed to break down the boundaries between the things we consume and the things we make. Most important LittleBits encourages all students  to be an inventor. Be sure to look at some of the tutorials and lessons found on the site.
  • Drawdio – Take a moment and imagine that your students could draw musical instruments on normal paper with any pencil (cheap circuit thumb-tacked on) and then play them with your finger. The Drawdio circuit-craft can take everyday objects and make them into musical instruments whether they be paintbrushes, macaroni, trees, a person, even the kitchen sink. Make one… or buy the kit.
  • Adafruit – You will want to explore this site and learn about all the different electronic items that can be built. It is amazing to just see all the possibilities. There maybe one that just might work for you. As you explore you might just come upon an idea for the Making!
  • Genius Hour – Teachers across the country are finding ways to put that Google 20% in their classroom while still supporting standards and 21st-century skills. This site might just help you get started in providing students the opportunity to learn how to learn while practicing self-regulation. Best of all, it supports that important voice and choice along with spiraling inquiry!  It really encourages that important Maker’s Culture.
  • How Stuff Works – As students make they may want to learn more and even have further questions, this is a great place to get information and explanations when Making. You are bound to find some curricular connections.
  • The Kids Should See This – Be sure to visit this amazing wonder-filled resource site. You will find ideas for making along with some great learning opportunities.
  • Activity Village – Not everything in the 21st century has to be digital. How about allowing students to create games in the non-digital world, like using cardboard and markers? Think of the learning standards their games could connect to.
  • Institute of Play – Take a look at this wonderful site providing resources and ideas that will allow you to facilitate real learning and your students play. You are bound to get some awesome Maker’s ideas
  • New York Hall of Science – Have you thought about STEM, play and the support of important standards. Take some time and play around on this site!
  • Department of Education and Child Development – This website from Canada provide some rich and playful ideas that can become a part of your Maker’s culture.
  • Chibitronics. Discover an interactive kit designed to introduce students to the world of paper circuits. Inside each Kit is everything students will need to set up simple LEDs, switches, and sensors with only a bit of knowledge on how electricity works and a little ingenuity! With these kits,  no soldering or sewing is required, simply peel each LED sticker and place them in specific areas designated in the included guide sketchbook  and watch each creation glow.
  • Sphero – Not only is this robotic ball a lot of fun, be sure to check out the included SPK Lab. The SPRK Lightning Lab app is your student’s hub to create, contribute and learn with Sphero Robots. The visual block-based building interface makes learning the basic principles of programming approachable and fun. Browse through activities, keep track of your class and collaborate with users around the world.
  • Ozobot – Using these unique little robots presents an innovative way to teach subjects like programming, math, and science in classrooms, after-school clubs or at home. See kids become engaged and inspired when topics come alive with the help of Ozobot. Check out the site for awesome resources and lessons.
  • Edutopia Makers Area – Take a moment to discuss, watch,and  browse through amazing topics and possibilities. Discover how educators are harnessing the energy of the maker movement to inspire student exploration across the STEM subjects.
  • Maker Ed – Take a moment to visit this non-profit organization that supports and empowers educators and communities — particularly, those in underserved areas — to facilitate meaningful making and learning experiences with youth.
  • Silvia’s Super Awesome Maker Show – Learn about innovation and Making from the eyes of an eleven-year-old student. Discover ways that kids love to Make and learn!
  • Make It @ Your Library – The school library is becoming a popular place to set up that Maker Space. Learn more and discover special resources here.

Thanks for following this Series on STEM, STEAM, and Makers. Join me in the next series including Designing Questions and Inquiry Education… Mike Gorman

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Part 4: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Turning STEM to STEAM… 24 Resources

stem4

Welcome to this fourth post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 4: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Turning STEM to STEAM… 24 Resources

It actually is quite obvious that the Arts should be included in STEM education. A look at the works of Leonardo da Vinci will attest to this! The very first time I heard the idea of integrating the Arts into STEM education was while watching a keynote made by Daniel Pink at the NECC  Conference in Washington DC… yes prior to ISTE Conferences!  Pink presented strong evidence that educators must include right brain lessons in addition to the inclusion of historical left brain activities. A reading of his book, A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future, is a must for any educator, especially those interested in STEM education. It is evident that inserting the A (Arts) in STEM and creating STEAM allows for true innovation, and it is innovation that will allow students to be successful in a flat world. Bringing the Arts to STEM allows students to remember the creative juices that come with the smell of a Crayola Crayon, the engagement of Tinker Toys, and the creation and remixing of that first Easy Bake Oven. It is the STEAM that allows students to not just be technology consumers, but technology creators! Proper infusion of the Arts will create a STEAM culture that engages and promotes intrinsic learning. In the space below I have included some sites that may just allow educators to integrate the Arts, allowing STEM to become STEAM! While there is a lot of talk on STEAM Education, it is difficult to find a lot of material. I hope you enjoy what I have gathered and please let me know what I should include in an update post.

  • NPR Where Science Meets Art – Some exceptional Podcasts integrating Science and Art. Many of these titles will allow for student reflection and questions as they begin to see how the Arts and Science can be integrated.
  • Arts Edge – A fantastic resource from the Kennedy Center hosting numerous lessons that integrate Art into the curriculum.You will discover a focus  on ways to support innovative teaching with the arts, and meet changing trends in education and to accommodate the ever-evolving impact of technology in our lives. This amazing collection of free digital resources—including lesson plans, audio stories, video clips, and interactive online modules—has been streamlined for easier browsing and upgraded to leverage best practices in educational media and multimedia-supported
  • STEM to STEAM -The STEM to STEAM initiative, championed by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), is supported by teachers, researchers, policy makers, students, and business people from RISD and beyond.
  • Why Scientific Innovation Needs The Arts – Explore this wonderful article from the Guardian that explains the connection between science and the arts. Great read to support STEAM thinking in any educational setting.
  • OER Commons – Take a look at these results from a search I did for  STEAM based activities. There are some powerful lessons that bring the arts into the classroom. Since it is OER (Open Education Resources) it is free.
  • Odyssey of the Mind – This  international educational program provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Team members apply their creativity to solve problems.
  • Autodesk Digital Steam Workshop – Digital STEAM projects are designed by Autodesk’s network of expert educators, designers and student alumni as exciting complements to core Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Art (STEAM) curriculum. Each project aligns with common core and national standards and delivers measurable learning while using free software.
  • National Gallery of Art  – You will find organized into thematic units, each grade-level-specific lesson plan focuses on a single work of art and can be executed within one to two class periods. These lessons meet the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Visual Arts curriculum standards
  • Exploratorium – Take a look at the entire site, but especially explore the Art related material. You will find lessons that allow you to connect with other subject areas including the STEM disciplines. You will get a new definition of exploring through the Exploratorium,
  • The Art Institute of Chicago – Explore these wonderful lessons that cover Science and the Arts. It just might have you and your students look at Art in a whole different way. Best of all you will discover some STEAM possibilities.
  • Lesson Plans and resources for Art Integration – This Edutopia Article has a rich assortment of lessons and resources to integrate Art into curricular areas including Math, Science, and Design. A great read that will lead to some wonderful opportunities.
  • CIESE Online – CIESE  (Center for Innovation and Science Education) sponsors and designs interdisciplinary projects that teachers throughout the world can use to enhance their curriculum through compelling use of the Internet.  Each project has a brief description and links to the National Science Standards and NCTM math standards it supports
  • Masterpieces to Math – A wonderful article that focuses on how to incorporate art in math. Learn how to use Art to teach fractions, decimals, and percent equivalents. You will look at Math in a whole new STEAMie way.
  • Space School Musical – Your students will enjoy joining teenager Hannah on a trip through the solar system in this ultra-cool edu-tainment “hip-hopera” that uses song and dance to introduce the planets, moons, asteroids and more. Educators can download the lyrics for students to learn and perform the routines for themselves or just play the videos in class. There are also links provided for more in-depth activities.
  • Cardboard Challenge – Not everything needs high tech and expensive resources. A lot can be done with a cardboard box and a lot of imagination. Check out this amazing challenge from the Imagine Foundation. Take a moment to watch the video. You and your students will want to be involved with this amazing low tech, high engagement possibility.
  • KinderArt – Discover Fine Art lessons as they apply to all different subject areas. Lessons are searchable by grade and subject. Some great ideas to integrate with.
  • ArtSTEM – Claims to be a site where the Arts and Humanities meet the STEM Disciplines. This is a wonderful collection of blog posts that contain both writing and multimedia to display the Art in Science.
  • Scratch –  With Scratch, kids can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively . All of this is possible while essential skills for life in the 21st century are facilitated. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.
  • Teacher Vision Art and Math –Students will enjoy participating in math class with our art activities for teachers of any grade level, from elementary to high school.  You will find opportunities to mix numbers with creativity and art activities that your students will love. There are lessons for creating counting books, crafts that encourage measuring, geometry printables to color, sculpting activities, and much more!  Introduce new concepts or reinforce topics your students have already learned.
  • STEAM Not STEM – A visit to this STEAM advocate site will open your eyes to some great research and resources to bring the Arts into STEM education.
  • What is STEAM ? – This is an amazing resource site from the Education Closet. here you will find some great lessons that are aligned to the standards of STEM and Art curriculum. Be sure to read the blogs, links, news, and research. Be sure to check out all the possibilities on this site by clicking the menu. You will even find a STEAM-based magazine.
  • The Stanford Design School – Get ready for some innovative lessons that include the design process. You will find an abundance of material and resources to bring innovation to your STEAM program.
  • National Association For Music Education – Take some time at this site. Explore the curriculum along with awesome teacher resources. This is a great site that might tune up some of that important STEAM education.
  • STEAM Art Lessons – Take a look at these wonderful STEAM based art lessons from an amazing elementary Art teacher. There are some wonderful ideas for bringing the curriculum together.

Next in the Series… Making in Education !

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Part 3: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 25 STEM and PBL Competitions

stem3

Welcome to this third post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 3: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 25 STEM and PBL Competitions

After the last post of over 40 STEM resources, I am sure you are ready for more engaging possibilities.resources. I do hope the past two posts have helped you build a foundation for both STEM and PBL ,and have provided some reflection. I am sure you are aware that there are some wonderful competitive opportunities to engage your students online in the STEM and PBL arena. The authenticity that a competition brings can be exciting while also providing your students with plenty of voice and choice. I decided to go through the internet and find what I feel are some of the very best and share them with you!

I often tell people you do not have to enter a competition to use the resources, although the completions are a lot of fun and can even provide some pretty cool prizes! In fact, many times a resource in a competition can be the perfect tool for a scaffolding activity. It can be used long after the competition is over. This is a perfect opportunity for some formative learning.

Remember that with the end of the school year usually wraps up the competition. This is a great time to learn about them and start putting possibilities on your calendar for next year. Also, remember many of these contain great resources that can be used anytime, not just during the competition   I really hope you enjoy the list and please let me know of something I should have included. I invite the opportunity to double the list with your help!

Challenges and Competitions

  • Kids Science Challenge – Awesome and inspiring challenges involving bio-designed scientific inventions, sports on Mars, and detective science. Be sure to check out the great podcasts listed in Pulse of the Planet.
  • Young Scientists Challenge – Great resource for students in  K-8. Lessons, multi-media, and other materials that can be incorporated into PBL units.
  • National Engineer Week: Future City – Great Project-Based Learning Activity incorporating STEAM along with Language Arts and Social Studies. Engage students with Sim City Software, model building, and a new curriculum designed to integrate disciplines.
  • Google Science Fair – The Google Science Fair challenges students aged 13-18 to carry out a scientific investigation on a real-world problem or issue that interests them. The competition asks them to carry the investigation forward through rigorous experimentation, recording, and conclusions.Students compete with peers in their age group from all over the world to win scholarships, internships, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
  • National STEM Video Game Challenge – Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.
  • CyberPatriots – Great PBL program based on code and cyber security from the US Air Force Association. Your students will enjoy the challenge brought about through learning to hack in a positive and productive manner.
  • Imagine Cup – A wonderful competition designed to push STEM and imagination. It is a global student technology program that provides opportunities for students across all disciplines to team up and use their creativity, passion, and knowledge of technology to create applications, games and integrate solutions that can change the way we live, work and play.
  • Dupont Challenge – A  STEM program promoting “What is Your Challenge?” Best of all writing will be involved for students at both the elementary and secondary level.
    Moody’s Mega Math Challenge – Program designed to go beyond the content and allow for math connections to the real world. Some wonderful opportunities can be found for those students interested in math.
  • Who Wants To Be a Mathematician – Great opportunity to explore   mathematical       knowledge. Take a moment to look at the sample questions and lessons for possibilities both in and outside of competition.
  • APP Challenge – Do your students have an idea for an APP? Then look at this competition from Verizon. When you visit the site be sure to look for past winners and future possibilities.
  • Biomimicry Design Challenge – What can living organisms contribute to STEM and engineering? Check it out for unique design challenges that can fit into your curriculum while giving students an authentic experience.
  • National Science Bowl – The National Department of Energy offers this unique experience. You will find possibilities for students in both high school and middle school.
  • Explorovision – A wonderful opportunity to have students explore what a current technology might be in 20 years. Great resources and lesson plans to use anytime.
  • Lego Contests -If you have some Legos, then look at these wonderful classroom possibilities.
  • Regeneron Science Talent Search – The Science Talent Search (STS) is the nation’s most prestigious science research competition for high school seniors. Come take a look at this amazing competition that has its roots going back to 1942.
  • United States Super STEM Competition – The first annual United States Super STEM Competition(USSSC) is a new educational competitive event happening in 2017 to challenge the creative mind of all middle school, high school, and college students. The main focus for the 2017 USSSC is to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their innovative knowledge and skills by competing towards one goal …success!
  • World of 7 Billion – Create a short video – up to 60 seconds – about human population growth that highlights one of the following global challenges. Check the challenges that are posted each year.
  • Mega Engineering – Participants create and submit a 1- to 2-minute video focused on Mega-Engineering. Mega-engineering projects typically address important needs of large populations and/or societies.
  • Future Engineers – Check out these unique design challenges that might just put that 3D printer to some wonderful capabilities.
  • Cardboard Challenge – No high tech required, all you need is cardboard and some other valuable scraps that can be found just about anywhere. The biggest need will be lots of imagination!
  • Science With Out Borders – This amazing STEAM program was created to get students and teachers interested in ocean conservation through various forms of art. This annual contest inspires students to be creative while learning about important ocean conservation issues.
  • K12 Game-a-thon – This contest challenges students to design, build and share a game that features creative and unusual solutions to mathematical problems.
  • First Robotics – This involves teams of professional and high school students to solve engineering problems. Students get a hands-on, inside look at the engineering profession by designing, assembling and testing a robot.
  • From the Bow Seat – A unique competition using poetry, art, writing, and visual media to highlight ocean awareness.
  • First Lego Leauge – Check out the amazing possibilities and design challenges that are a part of this robotic competition.

Next in the Series…Turning STEM into STEAM with Over 20 Resources !

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Part 2: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 40 Amazing STEM Resources

stem2

Welcome to this second post in a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 2: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Over 40 Amazing STEM Resources

Science – STEM Resources

  • Science Net Links – A premiere site for STEM resources. What a wonderful place for educators to find quality teaching tools, interactives, podcasts, and hands-on activities, and best of all… it’s free!
  • PHet – These are interactive simulations from the University of Colorado in Boulder. They include a large selection of simulations in biology, earth science, physics, chemistry, and math. On a Teacher Page, you can browse for teacher created activities that go with a simulation. Best of all, you can download simulations to a local computer if you do not wish to rely on an internet connection.
  • NSDL – The National Science Digital Library has some outstanding resources that include numerous links to some great STEM programs and organizations.
  • Understanding Science… How Science Really Works – Discover this assembly of resources to help educators increase student understanding of nature and the process of science. There is a collection of wonderful lesson plans, teaching tips, and pedagogical strategies You can also visit a Teacher’s Lounge or explore the all-level resources. It is fun to discover how science really works.
  • New York Hall of Science – Wonderful site presents 450 exhibits, demonstrations, workshops and participatory activities that explain science, technology, engineering, and math.
  • MIT and Khan Science – Khan has so much more than Math, in fact… visit this Science site that includes resources with Khan Partner MIT K-12. Here you will find great lessons involving Physics, Natural Science, Resources, and Measurement. This is an area that may just help you flip your STEM classroom
  • HHMI BioInteractive – It really is through innovative science education programs that HHMI seeks to strengthen education in biology,and related sciences from elementary school to graduate studies and beyond. Educators will find a wealth of information and resources including sources from Biology, Chemistry, Physiology, and even 3D Printing. There is something for just about any STEM classroom  that is ready to engage students.
  • Click To Science –The basic foundation of Click2Science is their 20 Skills to Make STEM Click. These are skills they claim are necessary to implement science effectively in an out-of-school time settings. Click2Science really is an indispensable resource for staff working directly with youth and for coaches and trainers working with staff. It also a resource that classroom teachers may just want to get some STEM ideas from.
  • MIT K12 – This site was built around a simple idea: K12 educators and MIT should be working together to make movies for K12 students. Educators submit ideas for experiments or demonstrations they would like to see an MIT student perform and explain in a short video. MIT students can then “check out” these assignments or they can come up with their own ideas and check them out themselves. The result is an amazing K12 STEM video online to be used in the classroom.
  • NASA Wavelength – Now is the time for you to explore NASA Wavelength, an initiative dedicated  to providing education a digital collection of Earth and space science resources for educators of all levels.  The incredible resources at Nasa Wave Length were developed through funding of the NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD). You will find that all the resources have undergone a rigorous peer-review process.

Technology STEM Resources

  • Code – Educators interested in computer programming need to visit this site dedicated to expanding participation in computer science. The vision of CODE is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer programming. STEM educators will discover ways to integrate core curriculum in education, alongside other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, such as biology, physics, chemistry and algebra.
  • Scratch –  With Scratch, kids can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community. Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively . All of this is possible while essential skills for life in the 21st century are facilitated. Scratch is a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. It is provided free of charge.
  • Computer Science Unplugged – CS Unplugged is a wonderful collection of free learning activities that teach Computer Science through engaging games and puzzles that use cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. The activities introduce students to underlying STEM concepts such as binary numbers, algorithms, and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details we usually see with computers.
  • Tynker – Along with great programming opportunities, the Hour of Code activities are designed to teach students computational thinking and the basics of computer programming. Students solve each puzzle by programming visual code blocks to achieve a goal.
  • Accelerator Nation – It is time for you to bring aerodynamics to life in your STEM Classroom. You and your students can  dive into hands-on aerodynamics experiments and dynamic STEM activities that support core science lessons in force, momentum, and speed. Along with the main link…  check out this special area for teachers
  • National STEM Video Game Challenge – You and your students will enjoy this site inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.  The National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.
  • Tech Museum of Innovation – Check out these challenges available from an amazing museum. While you are at the site check out all the other possible resources that might just work for your classroom.
  • Tech Rockets –  Students ages 10 to 18 can create a Tech Rocket account and gain access to amazing tech courses. These include Python, iOS, Java, Minecraft, 3D printing. Each course contains lessons, support materials, and interactive challenges. Students can even gain points and badges along the way.
  • NASA Kids Club –  Students take part in some amazing technology based missions as they engage in various missions. This is a place where students learn and enjoy as they possibly even blaze through space.
  • Center for Game Science – Discover this unique site that has created games focused on the importance of scientific discovery, discovering optimal learning pathways for STEM education, cognitive skill training , and unique games that explore collective over individual intelligence.
  • Smithsonian Science and Technology – Make sure you take the time to look at these lesson plans that emphasize the idea of science and technology through culture and history. You will find great ideas!

Engineering STEM Resources

  • Design Squad Nation – Another great service from PBS filled with some entertaining and engaging ways to integrate STEM into any classroom. Teachers can explore and use Design Squad Nation activities, animations, video profiles, and episodes in classrooms and after-school programs, in libraries and museums, at events and at home.
  • Engineer Your Life – This engaging website is the centerpiece of a national campaign, and is meant for high school girls and the adults in their lives (parents, counselors, teachers, and other educators) who want to learn more about what life and work are like for engineers. It is a great place to explore outstanding engineering possibilities.
  • Teach Engineering – This is a comprehensive collaborative project between faculty, students, and teachers associated with five founding partner universities, with NSF National Science Foundation funding. This real world collection continues to grow and evolve with new additions submitted from more than 50 additional contributors, a cadre of volunteer teacher and engineer reviewers, and feedback from teachers who use the curricula in their classrooms.
  • Discover Engineering  – This organization coalition of volunteer engineer professionals works together to celebrate engineering and give students hands-on experiences with engineering.
  • eGFI Dream Up The Future – Be ready to discover a variety of tools to boost your students’ math and science skills, enliven the classroom with engineering projects, expand your own professional horizons and stay informed. There is also an amazing free newsletter with updated features that will arrive in your in-box every month. This is a site that is a must visit for any STEM teacher.
  • EIE – Engineering is Elementary EIE) supports educators and children with curricula and professional development that develop engineering literacy. EiE serves children and educators in grades K- 8 with research-based, teacher-tested curriculum materials for schools and out-of-school time programs. The program also helps teachers build skills and confidence in teaching engineering and technology in their professional development workshops.
  • The Lemlinson Center -Take a moment to visit this center that showcases the study of invention and innovation. It is part of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, the center documents, interprets, and disseminates information about invention and innovation; encourages inventive creativity in young people; and fosters an appreciation for the central role that invention and innovation play in the history of the United States. 
  • Cooper Hewitt Lesson Plans –  Take a look at the design possibilities covering all subject areas and grade levels. There will surely be something to promote design thinking!
  • Try Engineering – Here a place to visit for the lastest information, resources, and research. It will provide numerous ideas to bring engineering to the classroom.
  • The Engineering Place – This might be the right place to get the idea you need. There are wonderfullesson plans for K-8 students.

Math STEM Resources

  • MathSite – You will enjoy this amazing interactive journey in math. The exhibits found at MathSite are intended for people of all ages who are interested in or are curious about mathematics. No specialized mathematical knowledge or special expertise is assumed. You will find it a place to see, hear, and do mathematics.
  • Emergent Math – Looking for ideas that just might spark a PBL math idea? Emergent Math is dedicated to brainstorming interesting and dynamic math problems and projects. The facilitator of the blog is employed by the New Technology Network of Schools. The posts really do allow for real mathspiration (inspirational combined with math). As stated in the blog, “interesting math problem/project can come in the form of a picture, a video, a tweet, something your child says, etc”. This blog really does attempt to use all of the preceding ideas, plus more! The posts generate ideas on how these concepts just might fit in the classroom and/or provide some driving/guiding questions. The best place to begin your exploration is at the first page of the blog and read the index! You will enjoy your immersion in Math!
  • Exploring Space Through Math – This amazing NASA site promotes inquiry through real world applications. Students assume the role of NASA scientists, engineers and researchers who work in teams to accomplish tasks. These projects promote cooperative learning, problem-solving and the use of technology. The problems in this project follow the 5-E’s Instructional Model with a segment for each phase of instruction – Engage, Explore, Explain, Extend and Evaluate. The projects cover the scope of Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Precalculus.
  • Annenberg Learner Math Lessons – Annenberg Learner uses media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools. This mandate is carried out chiefly by the funding and broad distribution of educational video programs with coordinated Web and print materials for the professional development of K-12 teachers. The math lessons could be a footprint to a PBL unit or scaffolding for an entire PBL. While at the site… take a look at the interactives.
  • Figure This – This wonderful site is the work of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in cooperation with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Widmeyer Communications, and the Learning First Alliance.  Its mission is to challenge middle school mathematics and emphasizes the importance of high-quality math education for all students. While it was created to allow for family interaction, it is also figures into the Math PBL classroom. The site allows students to have the opportunity to face some every day real life math challenges.
  • Mathematical Moments – Authenticity is important in Math PBL. It seems that Math educators are always looking for ways they can show how math is used in the world around us. Discover a site that will help you achieve this goal of real world application. The site is cleverly titled Mathematical Moments and it is well worth the time! It contains free printable posters that are 8.5″ x 11″ PDF documents. These informational posters are available on many different topics in science, nature, technology, and human culture. As you take a closer look many of these posters note that many have a  link to some short feature podcast interviews with experts in the field. These posters and podcast could spark the idea for a PBL math unit that brings authenticity into your math teaching.
  • MIT Blossoms – All of the lessons in the MIT Blossoms library have been contributed by BLOSSOMS partners from around the world. There is a watch the Teacher’s Guide Video Segment included with each lesson to learn more about it. The final segment of each BLOSSOMS video lesson is a one-on-one conversation between the teacher and the “virtual teacher.” Best of all, these lessons can be part of a PBL unit. The provided link brings you to the Math (English Language) Section.
  • Get The Math – Get the Math is about algebra in the real world. See how professionals use math in music, fashion, video games, restaurants, basketball, and special effects. Then take on interactive challenges related to those careers.
  • Mathalicious – While this is a paid site you will find several free projects on the homepage. Perhaps you will find that the paid lessons are really well worth it!  This site does demonstrate that math is about more than just numbers and equations. Students find that math is a tool to explore the world around us. Mathalicious provides teachers with lessons that help them teach math in a way that engages their students–in a way that helps students understand how the world works. Lessons are aligned to Common Core Standards and explore real life questions.
  • TedEd – The makers of TED… these really are some wonderful flipped lessons with formative tools built in. These are definite lessons worth sharing! You can even make your own
  • How to Smile –  Discover this group of science museums dedicated to bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) out of the academic cloister and into the wider world. Find new ways to teach kids about math and science.  Discover activities that meet you where you live, whether your “classroom” is an active volcano, the shark tank at the local aquarium, or your own kitchen table. SMILE is collecting the best educational materials on the web and creating learning activities, tools, and services.

Next in the Series…Great STEM Competitions !

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Part 1: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Connecting Project Based Learning (PBL)

stempic1

Welcome to a series that brings STEM, STEAM, and Maker Space together with Project Based Learning and proper technology integration in the classroom. You will discover around one hundred resources in this series along with some great ideas for finding student success.  Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Part 1: STEM, STEAM, Makers: Connecting Project Based Learning (PBL)

““Method means that arrangement of subject matter which makes it most effective in use. Never is method something outside of the material. – John Dewey

The above quote from John Dewey is one that often reminds me of the way STEM, PBL, and technology come together in a wonderful manner. STEM (or STEAM) includes those all-important content standards from the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. While emphasizing these areas is important we must go beyond thinking of STEM content. In the first part of Dewey’s quote we explore the concept of arrangement in the idea of “…. arrangement of subject matter which makes it most effective in use …”  How often are many of the STEM related subjects taught in isolation of other subject areas? Perhaps Algebra is better taught with Physics, or Geometry is included in an Engineering course of study. Think of how genuine meaning could be facilitated as connections are made between the content areas. In fact, there are so many other subject areas that could be used to magnify learning in the STEM areas including language arts, the fine arts, and social studies.  Are our schools providing a delivery of subject matter that allows for this effective use during the course of a school day? Have schools streamlined their schedules to allow subjects to be connected allowing for increased productivity? It is important that we examine the arrangement of the STEM subjects in relationship to each other and the other important content areas. True STEM calls for educators to be intentional about this arrangement.

Let’s take a closer look at Dewey’s quote and his idea of a method. Note that he starts with the idea of a method in an arrangement, and then states, “Never is method something outside of the material.”.  The idea of method reminds us that STEM must go beyond content. In fact, it must include effective processes for learning. STEM must go outside of learning isolated content, Instead, it must focus on content standards along with proper pedagogy. This requires going beyond STEM activities and simple inquiry. When working with STEM schools I often suggest that they investigate PBL (Project Based Learning) and include it as their pedagogy or process. PBL provides an important process and pedagogy that allows for the integrated delivery of this content. PBL provides students the important need to know and inquiry, which allows for higher level learning. Technology integration provides tools to drive this process.  PBL also demands that students not just repeat, but also understand STEM concepts in depth while making relationships to real world applications. It is no longer acceptable to just find the answer to a math equation. Students must be able to apply their STEM skills to the real world.  PBL, with its emphasis on authenticity, connections, inquiry, and process, is able to provide these disciplines a necessary pedagogy.  It allows students to own their learning while promoting the inquiry of science, resourcefulness of technology, design principles found in engineering, and application of math.

As we look at the entire quote once again, ““Method means that arrangement of subject matter which makes it most effective in use. Never is method something outside of the material. , it becomes evident that the influx of technology plays an important role. Keep in mind the role effective use of technology provides in facilitating the concept Dewey suggests in the concept of  method, material, and arrangement of subject matter.  Today’s technology provides both an opportunity for students to learn and inquire, as well as to produce, publish, and connect to the real world. It is the technology integration that provides the ability to amplify the content of STEM and the process of PBL. Through this amplification our students become engaged and can enter a flow, allowing for authentic and exciting learning opportunities. While the computer is important, one must think beyond the device!  Imagine what John Dewey would do with all of the technological possibilities of today!

I do hope you can begin to see why we must go beyond the STEM content and understand how it relates to all subject areas. It must be integrated in a way that makes sense and is both productive and effective. STEM goes beyond concepts, theories, and factoids of information. It also goes beyond activities and inquiry experiences. It must contain a process that makes all of this understandable and comprehended while providing authentic learning experiences that connect to the real world. Educational use of technology must take it far beyond a land, passion, and adventure that Dewey may never have dreamed of. Follow me in the coming series as I explore resources that can help make this exciting journey of STEM learning possible. Explore the PBL based resources below and remember, ““Method means that arrangement of subject matter which makes it most effective in use. Never is method something outside of the material. – John Dewey

PBL Project Resources
BIE Tools – PBL Project Search – Here you will find a collection of 450 proven lesson plans to set any PBL desire into action. Look at the database but also click on the home tab to view the entire site.
West Virginia PBL Project Data Base  – This is a wonderful site where teachers can search through the subjects of reading, language arts, math, science, social studies, dance, visual arts, theater, and music. You can select from grade two all the way through grade twelve. These are PBL projects made by teachers for teachers!
Learning Reviews – This website claims to connect kids to learning on the web. It really connects kids to awesome, engaging, rigorous, and relevant projects. It points to numerous websites on the internet that house some great PBL possibilities. Be sure to check out all of the subjects and grade levels.
Here are more than 30 websites with free PBL examples, guidance, rubrics, and templates.  To see project-based learning lessons sorted by subject go to:

Others

Next in the Series… Forty Amazing STEM Sites Filled With Wonderful ReEsources!

Thank you for joining me and I hope you found this information something you can use in your school and useful to share with other educators.  As always, I invite you to follow me on twitter (mjgormans). Please give this post a retweet and pass it on to someone who will benefit. To ensure you do not miss a future valuable post or other resource covering PBL, Digital Curriculum, STEM, 21st-century learning, and technology integration please sign up for 21centuryedtech by email or RSS. Have a great week… enjoy the Websites! – Mike (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now  almost booked through October and the rest of the 2016 calendar is filling fast. In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

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Building a Makerspace Culture to Support Standards and Learning … 10 Ideas and 16 Resources

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As you are aware there is an amazing and powerful Maker Space movement going throughout the education landscape. This is a concept that I and many others want to see sustained because of the amazing learning opportunities it provides.  In order to do so, I believe there are several ideas and concepts we must acknowledge in order to achieve the genuine education possibilities that the Maker’s culture can bring a classroom.   Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter  at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet.    – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

Quick Notes – PBL Opportunities you may want to be aware of:

BLC 16 …. I will once again join Alan November at the BLC conference in Boston in July. I have my own pre-conference master class. It will be an informative and action packed  PBL Splash for Teachers and Leaders. Check out both the conference and my pre-conference. This PBL Splash Master Class is almost filled. Sign up soon. I will also be providing some wonderful concurrent sessions to share at the conference.

Making Learning Happen…New York  PBL  – Join me in Syracuse, New York in August for some exciting PBL workshops. I plan on providing sessions that integrate PBL with STEM, Makers, Differentiated Instruction, Inquiry, Deeper Learning, and Technology Integration. This conference will be filled with amazing speakers and workshops. Hope to see you there!

Using Games, Play + Digital Media To Build Your Own Maker Culture – If you are going to be at ISTE in Denver this summer be sure to stop by this session. Join me, the Institute of Play, and PBS Learning Media. (Wednesday, June 29, 10:15–11:15 am CCC 201)

Building a Makerspace Culture to Support Standards and Learning … 10 Ideas and 16 Resources

Take a moment to contemplate what it would be like if every school had a Maker Culture and it was part of the school curriculum. You may wish to dream of the possibilities for essential 21st-century skill development and significant content skill alignment. Think about the aura of engagement, flow, grit, perseverance, problem solving, revision, reflection, and satisfaction in that amazing learning environment. Contemplate parents asking the question, “What did you make in school today?” Now sit back and imagine the answer, and further conversations it would bring!

The idea behind the Maker movement includes allowing students to imagine, envision, create, innovate, play, learn in a formative manner, experiment, collaborate, share, and most of all dream of possibilities. The idea of making is really not a new concept. In fact,the art of making is at the root and mixed into to the very fabric of our culture. I believe that the amazing innovation we have seen in this country is due to a Maker mentality. We have long been a culture set on dreaming up possibilities, and then taking the action to make it happen. The initial growth of technology has somewhat taken some of our creativity and produced  consumption based thinking. We are now past the initial way of thinking, and the Makers movement allows people to finally use the technology to create and make. As you set up or evaluate the Maker movement in your school or district I ask you to think about the ten ideas I have below. Use them as a vetting procedure or a filter. I also invite you to discover some amazing resources that might fit into your Maker culture. Enjoy the journey as you Make possibilities for your students!

Ten Ideas to Build and Support a Maker’s Culture

  1. Keep in mind that Maker’s is a way of thinking and not a space. – With this in mind, the Maker Concept can occur anywhere and anytime. It can be in a dedicated space, or room, or in the library. It can be in the classroom, or possibly be a set of materials that can be brought out to students anytime.  The real idea is to promote a Maker thought process that facilitates innovation, creative thinking, and self-learning throughout the school day.
  2. Make it part of the curriculum – It does not have to be a separate time, but instead can be integrated into the curriculum. While an after school program is wonderful, why not bring it into the classroom by carefully connecting the idea of Making with curricular material. Keep in mind that the final product should demonstrate learning.
  3. Promote significant content and standards – Provide students with important learning targets that are connected to the content being learned. Allowing students to make, while also emphasizing important standards can be powerful and effective. The act of making allows students to do and sets the foundation for understanding. In fact, a collaborative effort with groups of students can allow for discussions that lead to deeper understanding and retention.
  4. Reinforce authenticity and relevance – Genuine learning is connected to the real world. Don’t let final projects be landfill material. How can the products be useful in the real world? How can these products bring real meaning and promote student rigor and grit as they work?
  5. Promote those important success skills – Often referred to as 21st-century skills, it is important to use the Maker’s culture to both facilitate these skills and assess them. Go beyond the 4 C’s of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. What are the subsets of the skills and how can you provide time for students to not only practice the skills but also process them?
  6. Encourage the iterative process of learning – In this day of instant gratification and solutions, students need to learn that solutions and design do not happen in a short time period. It is important to allow for multiple drafts as students work toward a successful outcome. We must allow students to face a setback, attempt a hurdle, and practice persistence until satisfying and quality work is the final outcome.
  7. Allow for important metacognition -John Dewey stated that doing leads to important thinking, that in turn promotes genuine learning. Students must not only think about the process, but also journal, assess, and have conversations with others throughout the project. This will allow for a learning and understanding that is owned by the individual. This ownership transfers to genuine learning!
  8. Provide opportunities for student voice and choice – As you might know, the concept of a genius hour is quite popular. Based on the concept of the Google 20% program, students should be provided time to learn and make in regards to their interest. This can still be standards based as students write and use research skills. Of course, important 21st-century skills can also be assessed. Allowing for this could pave the way for important career pathways.
  9. Facilitate self-direction and regulation – A Maker’s culture allows students to set goals and provide both a timeline and method to make it happen. It allows students opportunities to learn on their own, or in small groups, often exploring ways that can make this happen. It is a wonderful way to promote lifelong learning.
  10. Align it to existing initiatives – How can the Maker’s culture work with other important programs and initiatives in the school. Perhaps it fits into PBL, STEM, 1 to 1, or particular school goals. It can provide an avenue to reach those 21st-century skills and can be used to reinforce important power standards.

16 Resources to Build and Support a Maker’s Culture

In a recent panel presentation at ISTE. I had the opportunity to share these important Maker resources under the categories of play, games, media, and Makers. I thought this would be a wonderful place to list these resources so that you can explore some amazing possibilities as you keep within the filter of the Ten Ideas to Build and Support a Maker’s Culture. I know there are more but thought I would point out some that provide some rich opportunities or emphasize a different way to view the Maker’s culture. Please take some time to browse these resources. I am certain you will find a way to incorporate them into your own Maker’s culture.

Play – You may remember an activity called “going out to play”. In fact, this is where I learned many of my 21st-century skills. How many times did you make something when you were playing?  Play provides a wonderful learning opportunity which also include self-regulation and socialization possibilities. How can we emphasize play in the Maker’s culture? After all, Making provides a wonderful opportunity to play and learn.

Institute of Play – Take a look at this wonderful site providing resources and ideas that will allow you to facilitate real learning and your students play. You are bound to get some awesome Maker’s ideas

Playworks – Discover this organization that embraces play as a necessary part of every child’s learning experience. You will find wonderful research and possibilities that support play in education.

New York Hall of Science – Have you thought about STEM, play and the support of important standards. Take some time and play around on this site!

Department of Education and Child Development – This website from Canada provide some rich and playful ideas that can become a part of your Maker’s culture.

Games – Simulations and games provide a wonderful opportunity to learn. Perhaps a web or computer adventure can be part of your students’ Maker time. There are a lot of games that allow students to make as they use their minds. Why not take another step and have your students create their own games? This could be done through using code, or just plain cardboard and markers. Students can even create a game that provides a learning experience for themselves or other students. Of course, they can then spend some time in the process of play with their games!

Edutopia –  This is a wonderful site with amazing education ideas to help you transform instruction. Follow this link and you will view articles, resources, and research that will give you a wonderful glimpse of gaming in education.

Utah Game Network – What a wonderful collection of interactive possibilities using technology. How might some of these be used in a Maker’s culture?

Games for Change – Take a moment to discover a gold mine of rich resources that allow your students to create digital games. A great portal for bringing the Making of games into your Maker’s culture.

Activity Village – Not everything in the 21st century has to be digital. How about allowing students to create games in the non-digital world, like using cardboard and markers? Think of the learning standards their games could connect to.

Media – We live in a dynamic multi-media culture, and our students have grown up in it. How can multimedia enhance and inform our Maker’s culture? Perhaps it provides avenues for our students to learn and even see examples. It might also provide us opportunities to see some Maker possibilities. Your students may even wish to make some of their own multimedia. I will try to provide an example of several resources in the ideas below.

PBS LearningMedia –This rich multimedia based education service provides some units that include Maker possibilities. It also has tools that students and teachers can use to build and create.  Don’t forget the wonder and answers a video can add to a Maker study on concepts and even careers.

YouTube – This well-known video service will provide you countless Maker ideas. It will also supply your students with important how-to videos along with others that provide explanations of important learning content. Just search the service and allow it to facilitate making!

How Stuff Works – As students make they may want to learn more and even have further questions, this is a great place to get information and explanations when Making. You are bound to find some curricular connections.

The Kids Should See This – Be sure to visit this amazing wonder-filled resource site. You will find ideas for making along with some great learning opportunities.

Makers – There are a lot of Maker sites on the internet and I share many of these in other posts. In this post, I thought I would share some of my very favorites. As described throughout this post, there are so many possibilities of supporting a Maker’s culture while integrating the curricular standards. A Makers culture is powerful and can really support genuine learning when the proper foundation has been set. Along with reading my included resources, be sure to review my Ten Ideas to Build and Support a Maker’s Culture. It really is the time that you and your students become part of a Maker’s culture!

Maker Camp – This was created as a summer-time learning opportunity by Google. The units that are part of this program are awesome and can be brought into the educational curriculum. Take your time browsing because you are going to find some engaging possibilities

Exploratorium – This entire website provides a treasure cove of Maker ideas. Take a look and you will have your standards covered with innovation and creation. You might even want to check out the book on this site, and don’t forget all the other educational possibilities.

How Toons – Discover the “how” of so many things and then get “doing” with that Maker mentality. You and your students will find countless ideas to begin your Maker journey.

Genius Hour – Teachers across the country are finding ways to put that Google 20% in their classroom while still supporting standards and 21st-century skills. This site might just help you get started in providing students the opportunity to learn how to learn, while practicing self-regulation. Best of all, it supports that important voice and choice along with spiraling inquiry!  It really encourages that important Maker’s Culture.

Other Shared Links – Please note that the below links were other links shared at the ISTE 2016 Session I hosted for PBS Learning Media entitled “Using Games, Play, and Digital Media to Build Your Own Maker Culture” . They were contributed by Amanda Haughs at the Campbell Union School District and  Jackson Westenskow at the Institute of Play.

Institute of Play   | PBS Learning Media | Newsela | NextLesson.org | TeachEngineering.org

Scratch | Khan Academy Computer Programming | Raspberry Pi | PythonRoom

The host of the was: PBS Learningmedia (Visit for some wonderful resource that can connect to  using games, play, and digital media to build your own Maker culture

Thanks for joining me on this wonderful journey of 21st-century possibilities. Please keep in mind to build more than a Maker Space, build a Maker Culture.  Join me in future weeks as together we explore , Project Based Learning, Assessing 21st century skills, PBL, STEM, technology integration, web resources, and digital literacy.  I enjoy learning from all of you. Also, remember to subscribe to this blog by RSS or email and follow me on twitter at mjgormans. I also appreciate your sharing of this post and any retweets. Keep up the amazing work, have a great week, and enjoy the opportunity to Make a Maker Culture. Welcome to the Future! – Mike Gorman

Booking Info – It is time to think about your school or conference needs.  Are you looking for a practical and affordable professional development workshop for your school or conference? I have traveled the country delivering PD relating to technology integration, PBL, STEM, Digital Literacy, and the 4 C’s. I have delivered hundreds of workshops and presentations. Check out my Booking Page.  Please contact me soon if you have an interest. I am now booked through November.  In fact, it might be time to begin thinking about next January! Look for contact information at the Booking Site.

 

 

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