True STEM vs Flawed STEM
Can you tell a flawed STEM project from a true STEM project? Use this handy checklist as a reference.
|Start-to-finish instructions or restrictive materials
ensure projects turn out essentially the same.
|Projects turn out unique. They are constantly evolving
through the design & engineering process.
Projects are often completed with little-to-no
|Projects include labs & processes that grow student
understanding (math, science, engineering concepts) to a
level where they can deliberately create something new.
|Data is not used to evaluate or engineer designs, nor is
the scientific method. Construction materials may not
allow for precise or accurate (usable) data.
|Data is used to evaluate & engineer designs.
Construction methods allow designs to have consistent
& precise (usable) data. Students have “now-I-get-it”
moments when they see how & why the concepts are used.
|Projects are selected & driven by the novelty of the
finished product (what can be shown off).
|Projects are selected, and driven by, what kids get out of it
(such as experience, knowledge, inspiration).
|Projects offer few curricular connections or standards
alignment. They often serve as a distraction from
|Projects are curricular and standards aligned. They
enable students to apply academic knowledge at
higher cognitive domains.
Once built, students are “done”.
|Students use every available minute to evolve their designs.
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