Wilbur Elementary is in Colonial School District, where I have been employed for the past five years. Prior to this position, I have taught sixth grade Science at Gunning Bedford Middle School. Throughout my time in Colonial, I have been heavily involved in all things related to Science and Technology, including Professional Development both as an observer and presenter and a multitude of committees and leadership opportunities. I believe all of my past experiences have prepared me for the STEM position that I face today.
I have taught a wide range of abilities at the sixth grade level but I will still be in for a rude awakening when I meet my new students... who start at five years old. That being said, my journey begins with PREPARATION. To prepare, I have been "pinning" anything and everything related to elementary STEM projects and Maker Spaces, looking for insight into what to expect and what I can expect the youngsters to be able to do at each grade level in the K-5 range, and looking for inspiration for STEM projects and Maker Space activities.
After researching the past couple days, I feel very strongly that there is a difference between Science experiments and STEM projects. And while any activity that incorporates two or more of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math could be considered STEM, I even find myself thinking about projects for my STEM class and activities for the Maker Space differently. Check out the differences in my mind in the chart below:
Preparing for STEM Class
Preparing for the Maker Space
- Who will lead your maker initiative?
- Where will you create a makerspace in your school?
- How will you fund your makerspace?
- What do you want the key components to be?
- How will you determine the educational value of your makerspace?
- Set Up
Lastly, I also came across "the Maker's Manual" that is embedded below. While the Manual is definitely higher level then what I plan for my elementary space, it does provide good insight into what we would eventually hope students would be able to do, which is to innovate their own creations and even go on to sell them.
Want more? Check out what I've "Pinned" so far...
Ideas for the STEM Lab:
Ideas for the Maker Space: