There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning. While these subjects might seem more intimidating than others, they impart valuable knowledge to help students for years to come. To help students embrace STEM learning, we’re sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks to make it more interactive and approachable.
STEM learning doesn’t have to be boring. Get creative and incorporate fun elements to compliment the lesson like polls, trivia, or even adding educational content into games like Minecraft. Turning lessons into a game can make learning easier to understand and loads of fun.
Utilize hands-on activities
Not everyone learns by just looking at a screen or reading a textbook. An easy way to help engage students is to use hands-on activities as part of the lesson. Using real applications through experiments will make more of an impression than reading about it in a science book. Learning about chemical reactions? Try incorporating a fun activity using safe, household ingredients to demonstrate what happens when different chemicals collide.
Make it social
We all learn in different ways, but it helps to talk through different concepts or bounce ideas off of others. You know what they say, two heads are always better than one. Make sure to create opportunities for students to chat, join small breakout groups, ask questions, or make it more of a two-way conversation to ensure learners of all levels can actively participate.
Analyze how your students learn
Feedback is key as not all learners are the same. Find out what works best for your specific audience and use that to help shape future lessons. Are your students visual, verbal or physical learners? Do they retain more when the lessons are shorter or longer? Not sure? That’s ok, try combining a few different formats and see what students prefer. Knowing what works best will help keep students engaged and excited to participate.
Bring lessons to life
What better way to test your knowledge or help reinforce concepts than by bringing them into the real world? Incorporating informal learning opportunities such as field trips, going outside, exploring a specific environment, or doing a hands-on activity helps translate lessons to a real life scenario. It also shows students how to use what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it to everyday life. Not to mention it’s an easy way to have fun while learning.
These easy strategies make STEM learning come alive for students and can be used for in-person, virtual, and hybrid education models. When students understand STEM, they develop important critical thinking skills and are exposed to a world of possibilities in STEM-related fields. By igniting curiosity and fueling a passion for discovery, experimentation, and critical thinking, you can empower the next generation of great thinkers.