Integrated STEM – Nagla Jebeile

Okay. So before we start,
I’d like you to look at the person in front of
you, across the table. There’s two schools per table I think. Roughly, yep. And I want you, in two minutes, to explain to the person in
front of you from another school not the person next to
you from your own school that you chat with all the time. What you think STEM. Alright so hands up if you
agreed on the definition that you explained to each other. Did you have the same wavelength? The same way of thinking. Only one table? Oh, two. So 26 tables didn’t have the same wave of thinking in terms of STEM definition? No? Well that’s not uncommon. All over the world, the
educators are trying to come up with a definition. What is STEM? What is the one definition of STEM? Well there isn’t one definition of STEM. Okay? And educators are trying
to do all sorts of things. One of the ways they’re
trying to come up with designing programs and
courses for improved student learning is by
enhancing students’ learning experiences in the
individual STEM subjects. Through problem-based learning. Through inquiry-based learning. Another way that they’re
trying is to integrate the STEM subjects. So, by integrating the STEM subjects, they’re trying to create
deeper understandings. They’re connecting concepts. They’re connecting ideas. They’re placing the
concept into some sort of context for students. Okay? That’s relevant to me. I’m going in. U7 geometry I’m teaching. Space, yeah? CAD. Thank you. Alright, so when you look at how you’re gonna be designing your units, there’s two ways of distinct thought that everybody agrees with. One, really enriching your curriculum area in your instruction in maths and science, and giving it an application in technology or engineering. Give it meaning. Make a real world context come to life. Bring the maths and the
science out of the textbooks. Bring it off the page
and off the blackboards and take it into the
students’ minds where they’re really thinking about
problem solving and working at things that matter. The second way is to
integrate one or more subjects together. So integrating the STEM with the, the science with the
technology with the engineering with the maths. In a very authentic context. Okay? So what are the characteristics
of integrated STEM? Start collaborating. Alright, characteristics
of integrated STEM. The learning outcomes. When you’re working
for about a semester on an integrated STEM unit, you would hope, and we
would want students to be able to demonstrate integrative STEM knowledge and practices. We want them to effectively and flexibly, flexibly be able to use science, maths, engineering, and technology
to solve authentic problems. Okay? The scope? Well, if a certain concept
is better taught alone, until the kids get it, then don’t integrate it. But if it lends itself
beautifully at a certain point where it’s time to integrate, you must integrate. Find the context, apply it. Apply the skills, apply the
knowledge, apply the concept. Make sure the kids really
understand why they’re learning these skills. So at the moment if they’re
learning separate skills in isolated areas and they’re not able to make those connections, that is our problem. We want them to make the
connections and really understand the concepts properly. So, the scope of a lot
of the integration with STEM education, is firstly implementing
one or more science, technology, engineering, or maths in one or more classroom or periods. You may team teach, you may go down to the
science labs and put two classes together and do things together. You might put them in a
totally different working environment. Something they’ve never done before. Kids need to work in groups. They need to problem solve. So think about how you’re gonna do this. And think about the
way you can change some of the things that we’re
doing at the moment. And this is meant to add
to what you’re already doing and enhance what you’re doing. Pedagogy. So with integrated STEM education, it engages student in
integrative thinking. And it ranges from very simple to complex. ‘Cause what we’re talking about here is integrative stem to
cater for all students. We have our GATs kids, we
have our mixed-ability kids, we have all sorts of kids. And we need to cater for all our students. And you need to make sure that you design your units and you design
your lessons and activities to cater for all your students. And get the personnel in
the room that you need so every student is successful. Whether the thinking skills are simple, or they’re quite complex and in-depth, whatever it takes. Think really clearly
before you do your planning and make sure you have everything on board so that everybody does experience success. Integrated STEM can be interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary, or transdisciplinary. It engages and assess students. They get to design. They get to make things. They get to test what they’ve created or their thought process. They get to modify it, adapt it, fix it. They do a few trials
’til they get it right. But they finally solve the problem, and the buzz these kids
get from it is amazing. Think outside the square a little bit. It’s a little bit noisy, but it’ll be fine. And then it’ll be active work. And they absolutely love
it and they thrive on it. Integrated STEM really does
improve student learning. And there’s a lot or research out there. So, in 1995 actually, they found that students
who integrated curricula did as well or better
on traditional measures of achievement than those in
separate subject curricula. Okay so the principles
of learning and linking it to integrated STEM. Well we look at students’ prior knowledge. Students’ prior knowledge
is really, really important. Students come with existing
knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes. Gained in all the courses
and through daily life. When learning, students
bring existing knowledge to the surface. If it’s robust and accurate, it will provide a strong
foundation for building new knowledge. And this is really important. And with STEM education and
the units that you design, it provides students with opportunities to activate and build on
their prior knowledge. All the stuff that they’ve been learning in their classrooms. How students organize information
and influences how they learn and how they apply new knowledge. So students make these connections between pieces of knowledge,
and they try to retrieve and they apply new knowledge. What we want them to do,
start to be able to do that between their maths and their science and their TES classrooms, yeah? Not just in the maths. So, we have had enough
time trying to connect one sub-strand in maths to
another sub-strand in maths and making sure the kids
understand the connection. They never seem to make
that connection themselves. But we’re gonna go a step further, and we want them
connecting concepts across different subject areas. But it’s gonna start
becoming really easy for them once they learn how to do it. So with STEM education
we do provide students with opportunities to
organize content and knowledge to retrieve. ‘Cause they have to. You can’t solve that
problem if you don’t grab out of your toolbox, your toolbox of skills and
knowledge from all your KLAs. Literacy, huge component. Huge component in all of this. Okay. Motivation. A huge one in the pedagogy
of teaching and learning. And STEM motivates students. It generates a high level of interest. Really important for kids. Developing fluency and automaticity, students must acquire
component skills first, practice integrating them, and then know when to apply them. And that’s part of the
higher-order thinking, working out which mathematics or science principles to use, when to use them, which one’s effective, which one’s ineffective. Really important. And STEM gives them that
opportunity to immerse the students in the
application integration of science, technology,
engineering, and maths. Goal-directed. So kids come in, there’s a goal. They’re trying to achieve a goal. Giving them lots of
feedback enhances their quality of learning as well. So if they’ve got a
goal to achieve and they set out to think about it, there are no parameters, these kids can think in any way they like. And you’ll have given them the feedback, effective feedback as
they progress through. So STEM provides that. Students get a specific
goal or design challenge, ongoing feedback from peers, self-evaluation from their teachers, from other teachers. All about their solutions
until they get it just right. And the last one, to become
self-directed learners, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning. And truly with STEM, you know they’re working
in a group design, and it encourages them
to take responsibility for their planning. To self-assess, to monitor,
and really to reflect.

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