Is Your Classroom STEM-Ready? Make Sure These Five Things Are Checked Off Your List

Aug. 22, 2013

Here’s a checklist from MindShift of five questions your school needs to consider.

Do you work in a school or have a child enrolled where efforts to implement more science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) teaching in the classroom is just getting started? Or maybe your school is further along and has already experimented with different methods?

Regardless of the situation you’re in, MindShift, a website created by KQED and NPR to explore the future of education, gathered some advice from educators who've been teaching STEM classes successfully for several years to help other educators get prepared.

Anne Jolly, author of the MindShift blog post "How to Get Your School Ready for STEM This Year," says you might as well get yourself ready now for the noise, energy-infused classroom. These types of classroom welcome multiple right answers, as well as failure, because these are the stepping stones that lay down the groundwork of a successful solution.

Just a few tips:

• Allow kids to work in groups
• Provide hands-on methods for problem solving
• Sit in the back and allow students to explore their own innovations as critical thinkers

Here’s a checklist from MindShift of five questions your school needs to consider.

1. Does everyone at the school understand why STEM is being implemented and what it is designed to accomplish.

2. What type of program does your school plan to implement and what long-term goals do you hope it will achieve?

3. What is the school doing to prepare its teachers? How much do the teachers know already? What do they still need to learn? How will they me taught?

4. What will the STEM curriculum look like?

5. What resources are available at the institution to support STEM education?

Sarah Cechowski is the associate digital editor for Control Design and Industrial Networking. Email her at [email protected] or check out her Google+ profile.