In 2020, we learned a lot about our students, our schools, and ourselves. This year was challenging, but teachers were resilient and found ways to teach across virtual platforms despite a looming pandemic. As we move into 2021, we have a lot to look forward to. We hope to resume teaching with our students in person and bring STEM back in the way it was intended: hands-on and inquiry-based.
To help teachers transition back into normalcy in STEM education, we’ve developed classroom curriculum kits that support everything amazing about STEM. We’re excited to introduce our Start tp STEM program, comprehensive STEM equipment, curriculum, and professional development classroom experience.
What is Start to STEM?
Start to STEM is a program developed for STEM educators by STEM educators. This program is intended to bring hands-on learning back into STEM, with a focus on students learning through doing. There are three parts to Start to STEM: quality equipment, a comprehensive curriculum manual, and professional development training. Each part of the program was developed to help teachers from beginning to end when implementing STEM into their curriculum. Whether you’re new to STEM or are a veteran, these kits are intended to help educators teach STEM in an engaging, hands-on way that focuses on real-world applications of STEM fields.
Start to STEM includes a comprehensive equipment package with enough supplies for a full class of 24 students. Each kit is focused on a specific STEM topic area and is packaged to help you every step of the way! Currently, our Start to STEM program has four topic areas to choose from: Simple Machines, Robotics and Coding, Makerspace, and Kinesthetic STEM. In the future, we plan to add even more kits around popular STEM fields!
These equipment packs include the most-loved teacher and student products. For example, our Start to STEM Robotics and Coding Kit includes Ozobots, MakeyMakey, Dash, Cubelets, and more! We believe that to learn STEM principles, students need to be exposed to several examples within a topic area. We’ve curated these products into Start to STEM kits to provide the most exposure to a topic area to inspire the future STEM workforce!
The Start to STEM curriculum manual includes daily lesson plans that can be done using the equipment in the kit. Depending on the topic area, the manual has enough lessons to pack one to two weeks of teaching on a topic area. Each lesson plan includes: lesson objectives, suggested teaching and timing tips, set up instructions, teaching instructions, additional teaching options to scale up or extend the activities, and related vocabulary. Additionally, you’ll find student worksheets related to the lessons that you can distribute while using the equipment.
The equipment and lessons can be used all at once during an extensive 1- or 2-week teaching unit or spread out over the course of the year. Due to the adaptable nature of the curriculum manual, you can also use Start tp STEM in non-school spaces like public libraries, science museums, scout troops, or more!
We have taken the extra step to align all lessons to widely used national standards in STEM education. All manuals include alignment to Next Generation Science Standards. Depending on the topic area of the kit, you may find additional standards like CSTA K-12 CS Standards or Common Core Math Standards. We chose these standards as they’re commonly adopted in the United States, but understand that your state may use others. Don’t fret as all topics are relevant to general STEM teachings! Each activity facilitates STEM learning no matter what your standards are! We guarantee you’ll find value in the manual regardless of your teaching standards.
Professional Development Training
The professional development training is intended for both teachers new to STEM and STEM veterans alike. Within the training, you will get an introduction to all of the equipment, discuss how to use the manual, and see activity demonstrations of lessons in the manual all from a STEM expert. Additionally, you’ll go over best practices for lessons and any relevant troubleshooting (e.g. robotics topic). There will also be ample time for you to ask questions and get live responses. In STEM, we encourage hands-on teaching, so have your equipment nearby and participate in lessons while on the training call! All trainings will be recorded, so you can pass the information along to teachers who could not be in attendance.