STANDARD 7: Learners engage in self-directed STEM learning guided by professional staff members who are effective facilitators of learning.
In higher level STEM classrooms, students consistently use technology to learn. Students have the opportunity to enhance and enrich their education through learning how to effectively use chromebooks to bolster their ability to research, to find information, and to engage in powerful discussions that challenge them to think both creatively as well as critically.
When students come to class, there is an expectation to leave distractions at the door and to become thoughtful and reflective learners. Each day, classes allow students to build information that will make them successful when encountering the unit's assessments. Through the use of STEM instruction, our school has noticed a sharp increase in students' ability to understand graphs, use graphic organizers, and engage in program presentations.
Specifically, students are motivated to become owners and managers of their own learning when tasked with an Embedded Assessment. There is no way of scoring high on revision assistant without becoming a truly thoughtful reader in class. Students will be tasked with using a rubric while working on the embedded assessments. The rubric highlights what to demonstrate to achieve the max score. The more we ask students to use rubrics, the more self-directed they become. The productive grapple during this time really highlights the students who have done well each day listening and participating and easily indicates to instructors the students that need to change their habits at school. Students have been noticed taking an active role in their work with rubrics. When one student finds success, it creates a waterfall effect that gets other students motivated to demonstrate the expectations well.
Our work with the engineer design process has also helped tremendously with students' ability to become more self-directed here at Campbell STEM Elementary. Teachers truly take on the role of facilitator when engaged with this process and the students enter the spotlight as leaders of their learning. The creation of Student Exemplars helps us to step into the role of facilitator that much easier and gives students a wonderful “jumping off point” for students to understand the assignments easier.
STEM in Specials
Students learn grade-level art standards through specifically designed units of study. Students learn about art forms and then have the opportunity to produce a piece of work implementing the style into their artwork.
During PE, students are constantly problem-solving and engaging in opportunities for teamwork. Students are being physically and mentally challenged during instruction. PE instruction occurs indoors and outdoors.
STEM is incorporated into all music instruction. Learning music standards such as patterns, rhythm, and beats supports mathematical thinking and understanding. Our music teacher works in collaboration with the PE, health and art teacher to support STEM instruction.
Our STEM library has a designated schedule for MakerSpace. MakerSpace opportunities include engineering challenges, cooperative games, robotics, electric circuits, free building and discovery. Students are taught the importance of reading in our library. Nonfiction texts are used often and students are taught how to navigate them to find the information they need. Library instruction includes STEM instruction, focusing on learning about books, library organization, technology usage and safety, and digital literacy. Short-term engineering projects are integrated with texts that are read. The librarian works with stakeholders to provide various STEM opportunities to all students.
STEM School Wide Events
The PTA supports three STEM schoolwide events every year. The events are STEAM Day, Fun Rondy, and STEM Field Day. The events are planned by the STEM Council and supported by PTA. The events are entirely focused on STEM and require students to critically think and problem-solve.
STEAM day focuses on Engineering. The STEAM events vary from year to year.
- Winter Village (Made out of recyclables)
- Paper Bag Basket Challenge
- Paper Plate Roller Coaster Challenge
- Note Card Challenge
- STEM Balloon car challenge
- Toothpick Tower Challenge
- FabLab high-tech equipment activity
Fun Rondy is based off of a local event called Fur rendezvous. There are many local events focused on Fur Rondy. Two of the local events are an outhouse race and a can creation challenge. Campbell STEM rotates the focus yearly depending on the weather.
Outhouse Race: Campbell Elementary students celebrate ‘Fun Rondy’ on the last day of school before spring break
Can Creation: Students bring in canned goods and build a structure out of the canned goods. The students determine a problem and use the Engineer Design Process to solve the problem. The canned goods are then donated to families at Campbell STEM and throughout the community.
STEM Field Day: STEM Field Day activities require students to critically think while moving. The PTA along with the STEM Council organize the events.
In addition to PTA sponsoring STEM schoolwide events, Campbell STEM offers two exploration days a year. Explorations provide students with the opportunity to learn about something they are interested in. Some of the activities throughout the years have included using high-tech equipment, STEM Challenges, Physics, circuits, and cooking.
Evidence: Document Link