Wednesday, March 14, 2012

STEM skills

Science, technology, engineering, math - or STEM  - is the hottest trend in education today.  We are already on this band wagon - for solid reasons.  Our Pre K kids build with blocks and do puzzles for greater spatial understanding and problem solving.  Our students have math in small groups for an hour every day starting in kindergarten and meet twice weekly for science with a specialist - and it's a core subject with labs in middle school.  In K through 5, kids continue to build with blocks, Knex, and the like.

Giving students experiences in STEM skills through LEGO Robotics, STEM Week in middle school, Pi Day, and even Doctor week in Pre K are Parker priorities.

Ten skills gained from STEM activities:

o   Accuracy in record-keeping and communicating findings.
o   Researching topics and determining good, reliable sources of information.
o   Analyzing small parts of systems and seeing relationships; noticing details in content and process.
o   Recognizing cause and effect relationships and distinguishing fact and opinion.
o   Using mathematical skills for calculations and measurements.
o   Predicting and drawing conclusions using data.
o   Reading and understanding technical materials.
o   Repairing equipment and using software.
o   Communicating with others and listening.
o   Thinking creatively, solving problems and experimenting.

Plus, there is the sheer joy and excitement about science, technology, engineering and math!

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