Back-to-School: Sliding into STEM

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Summer is quickly approaching an end, and for some, it's already time to start planning for the first few weeks of school.

The beginning of the school year is critical for setting norms and expectations for the rest of the year. It's when teachers introduce rules and norms, cover refreshers from last year's curriculum, and ease into new content. Introducing STEM and a culture that is open to problem-solving and innovation should be a part of this time to make a yearlong STEM program as successful as possible.

When introducing STEM to students this fall, you can begin by connecting students' summer experiences to the concept of technology so that STEM is introduced as a relevant and fun topic - innovation feeds on self-engagement.

By bringing this new dimension to your classroom, students will see your classroom as a safe place for exercising critical thinking and iteration (which includes "failing" and trying again), and imagining the possibilities of technological innovation.

To help you slide into STEM, we've created a few free resources to help connect students' summers to technology and innovation.

On our Free Worksheets page, you'll find three free downloadable worksheets that will tie in summer activities to technology. Throughout each activity, ask guiding questions that allow students to reflect on and share some of the fun they had this summer, brainstorm innovations that currently exist, and imagine new innovations that solve new problems.

The "Our Summer Technology" worksheet will also incorporate a math extension to help analytical conversations get started around data.

Happy planning, teachers and educators, and have a great start to a brand new school year!