As educators, we know that students learn more effectively when they are actively engaged with the lesson plan, and our research and development carried out in schools have only reinforced this approach. Activities like assembling walking robots, for younger pupils, or analysing meteorological observations with a weather station kit, for college students are great solutions to this challenge; inspiring greater inquisitiveness, imagination, and collaborative work for everyone involved in the projects.
What’s more, by implementing the basics of programming, these resources also develop other vital skills for STEM education including critical thinking and problem-solving.
Step three: come one, come all
Fostering a sense of enthusiasm among students is an ongoing challenge for STEM education; as leaders invested in the advancement of STEM, we need to think outside the square. This not only means, making the lesson plans engaging and diversified but also finding ways to make the subjects more inclusive.
Designing activities that strike a chord with both male and female students is key and a significant aspect of this is finding resources that are compatible with other elements like LEGO blocks and circuit kits. This allows students to overlap their own existing areas of interest with STEM which, more times than not, will instil greater enthusiasm for the subject areas.
Another way to overcome this hurdle is to ensure products introduced in the classroom are user-friendly. Some edtech solutions that have heeded the call for STEM resources, are jargon heavy and require extensive user manuals however, robotics kits are intuitive and easy-to-use.
Finally, trying to reach a wider audience, computer, coding, and robotics clubs are an invaluable way to make STEM education inclusive, and are, importantly, free from the bonds of curriculum and assessment frameworks.