As I look to 2021, I have been reflecting on both, what I teach and how I teach it. It has been my practice to teach using a lot of hands on activities that reinforce the particular subject’s vocabulary. Many of the games that we use during class are both fun and challenging. 2020 has posed many challenges to using some of our resources, and with the challenges, came a different paradigm of looking for ultimate answers to the most scientific questions that are posed to society.

I am devoting my energy to developing resources that will challenge students to answer our most difficult world-wide situations. The new activities will each be a week long, Project Based, Learning STEM Challenge. Each project will include the engineering and design process, scientific method explanation, STEM overview Venn diagram, multiple websites of interest, Project Guide Sheets, and the actual challenge.

The STEM Challenges will be unit culminating projects. Up to this point, due to the nature of the subjects, some of the topics that are covered in the classroom rely heavily on video feed. For example, the unit on volcanoes can be built up with reading passages, and vocabulary escape rooms, but in the past I have not challenged my students with a real-world question like: Can lava flows be detoured from destroying towns? The new STEM Challenge will not only pose the question, but challenge the students to design a plan to do just that.

As I look forward to the new, and hopefully better year, I invite you to start this journey of STEM Challenges with us. You may access the resources on our Teachers Pay Teachers store; The STEM Center. Be safe and stay healthy!