As I leave this conference, and another few weeks of engaging discussions, I am looking toward September and a class of students in Grade 6/7. What have I learned (or been reminded of) that will impact them? What might that look like?
Encourage everyone to pursue their passion, whatever that it.
o Boy, girl, other, STEM, art, design, music, food, LIFE
§ Passion projects
§ Integrated projects and problem solving
· Keep it real.
o Tasks should be authentic, and ideas explored
§ Follow tangents, explore student questions and interests, connect back to content (or not)
§ Problem solving, in real-life contexts - focus on application of learned content
· Ask big questions, have deep discussions.
o Look at the content from different perspectives, ask critical questions
§ gratitude journals
§ role-playing and writing-in-role
§ pointing out and discussing stereotypes
§ analyzing texts and media
What I find really interesting about this is…
1. None of this is new to me.
2. None of these are actually directly related to STEM education.
What I took from this conference was the idea that diversity is key – whether that be diversity in teams OR diversity in interests and pursuits. STEM is not going to save the world, we are (or aren’t). All of us, every day. Students need to be engaged, and the only way you will ever do that is by providing them an opportunity to explore what makes them curious.