Here are the highlights of some notable articles in STEM Integration.
Ani Liu blurs the boundaries between art and science. The research-based artist has found dynamic ways to confront conversations about female empowerment, motherhood, and labor in her artwork. Liu “thinks of her body as a tool — and the subject — of artmaking. In her work, the 36-year-old research-based artist visualizes the emotional experiences she underwent at every stage in her life.” This description by Xintian Wang in The Huffington Post is not only a great example of integration but a potential motivator for young people who refuse to accept boundaries in their work or their imagination. How Ani Liu Is Brilliantly Disguising Her Art As Science | HuffPost Entertainment
Cassie Bess describes her experiences in looking at human impacts on the environment for young children in "Unpacking the STEM Disciplines". Students leap over disciplinary boundaries in their efforts to reduce the impact of plastic water bottles. This multi-week inquiry supported students’ desire to create a positive change in their community. Follow her step-by-step experience that appears at Unpacking the STEM Disciplines | NSTA
Engaging the Unengaged
Reflecting on the problem of recruiting engineering students, Cary Sneider and Mihir Ravel summarize research on how to engage students in engineering in the journal Connected Science Learning (August, 2022). Their conclusions support the value of introducing an engineering problem early, continuing it over time, and engaging in relevant problems. These strategies were all components of successful studies. They present guidelines for successful design challenges at https://www.nsta.org/connected-science-learning/connected-science-learning-july-august-2022/engaging-value-engineering
Never Too Young for Photography
Kids Gardening presents a number of age-appropriate interdisciplinary activities in https://kidsgardening.org/resources/lesson-plan-photographing-shapes-and-patterns-in-nature/?mc_cid=b33302ff06&mc_eid=60d7e55c7e%C2%A0. It’s a great time for looking at leaves in the fall. This core activity lends itself to extensions like creating a photo field guide and writing about images. Directions and suggestions are included.
From the Garden to the Racetrack
The roar of a NASCAR track becomes the backdrop for this interdisciplinary unit from NSTA. Students observe a NASCAR engine and notice it only makes sounds when it is running, which raises this question: How does an engine make sounds? Observations and inductive reasoning are all part of the process in this series of activities. How Do Things Make Sound? | NSTA
How to Build Bridges
The National Science Foundation has explored how to bridge the gap between formal and informal science learning environments. The core group of the research project was the ILETES Collaborative, a group of nine teachers who taught middle or high school science in New York City public schools who also had engaged in ISE (Informal Science Education) either as a part of their preservice or in-service teacher training or both. Participants reflected on how the cultures of each learning environment differed, and addressed the question: “Why can’t we put the (same methods of) informal experiences inside the classroom?”. Among the implications were:
The implications of the study include ways to make connections, center identities, and leverage learner strengths. Teacher-Learning, Meaning-Making, and Integrating ISE Practices in Diverse Urban Classrooms | NSTA
STEM from the Start
JASON Learning’s Early Childhood STEM program has been recognized with the Trailblazer: Early Learning (PreK-6) award by a consortium of STEM associations. The Trailblazer: Early Learning category recognizes providers who offer products and services that push the boundaries of technology for teaching and learning. This 65-lesson series incorporates not only the traditional STEM disciplines but also reading, art, music, and technology. The lessons are embedded in a storyline framework and each includes use of award-winning literature. The judges describe it as “a robust resource that has intentionally been designed to ignite the curiosity of children” and note “the platform has a vast array of lessons that incorporate all areas of STEM.” https://jason.org/jason-learning-wins-two-best-of-stem-2022-awards/