STEPS to STEM: A Science Curriculum Supplement for Upper Elementary and Middle School Grades – Teacher’s Edition

Springer
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"STEPS (Science Tasks Enhance Process Skills) to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is an inquiry-based science curriculum supplement focused on developing upper elementary and middle students’ process skills and problem-solving abilities characteristic of how scientists think and act. Students learn key concepts in seven “big ideas” in science: Electricity & Magnetism; Air & Flight; Water & Weather; Plants & Animals; Earth & Space; Matter & Motion; and Light & Sound. Using simple, readily available materials, teachers facilitate learning experiences using the following structure:
STEP 1: Investigate – Hypothesis – TestSTEP 2: Observe – Record – PredictSTEP 3: Gather – Make – Try
Once students complete a set of STEP activities aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), they are ready to collaborate using a STEM Center. STEM Centers provide students with the opportunity for extended investigations focused on a single problem or “team challenge.” Students utilize science and engineering practices while collaboratively conducting research to gather information. Once a plan is made, the team attempts to solve the problem or complete the open-ended task. In addition, a Science Notebook or Sci-Book serves as an essential companion to STEPS to STEM; students maintain a written record of their completed activities which can serve as a form of authentic assessment. STEPS to STEM aims to help students find enjoyment in science and in the process of problem-solving – there are things to do, discoveries to be made, and problems to solve. Ideally, these experiences will lead to more explorations and questions about the world around them."


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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer
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Published on
Feb 2, 2017
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Pages
262
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ISBN
9789463007917
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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"A “Sci-Book” or “Science Notebook” serves as an essential companion to the science curriculum supplement, STEPS to STEM. As students learn key concepts in the seven “big ideas” in this program (Electricity & Magnetism; Air & Flight; Water & Weather; Plants & Animals; Earth & Space; Matter & Motion; Light & Sound), they record their ideas, plans, and evidence. There is ample space for students to keep track of their observations and findings, as well as a section to reflect upon the use of “Science and Engineering Practices” as set forth in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Using a science notebook is reflective of the behavior of scientists. One of the pillars of the Nature of Science is that scientists must document their work to publish their research results; it is a necessary part of the scientific enterprise. This is important because STEPS to STEM is a program for young scientists who learn within a community of scientists. Helping students to think and act like scientists is a critical feature of this program. Students learn that they need to keep a written record if they are to successfully share their discoveries and curiosities with their classmates and with the teacher. Teachers should also model writing in science to help instill a sense of purpose and pride in using and maintaining a Sci-Book. Lastly, students’ documentation can serve as a valuable form of authentic assessment; teachers can utilize Sci-Books to monitor the learning process and the development of science skills."


The purpose of this book is to serve as a supplemental reference text for 21st century elementary classrooms. The primary objective is to help teachers inspire and engage their students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. The push for incorporating STEM education in elementary school has become increasingly important, yet most educators and publishers have offered problem-based activities, without considering one of the most important pedagogical entry points to lesson planning – the hook or the opening.

und-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">Inspiring STEM Minds aims at providing teachers an effective, easy to use text that they can use to discuss specific mathematicians, engineers, inventors, and scientists (although the individuals chosen for each section of the book are in no way an exhaustive or selective group that may characterize each discipline). This reference text is organized into four key sections, depicting the four disciplines that make up STEM education. Each section briefly gives historical background, as well as provides a problem or short activity designed to use everyday materials so that teachers can implement the activity in their classrooms. The classroom activities are directly related to each biography and have, we believe, great potential to engage students in the classroom. Each activity is also correlated to the National Standards, and we also supplement the activities with suggestions for interdisciplinary connections. We hope this book serves as a valuable resource for classroom teachers.

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