Ideas for special STEM days for immersion and deep play for students in middle years.
Sometimes it is nice to be able to immerse students in a whole day of STEM activities, away from the constraints of everyday lessons and bells.
Impactful STEM days can provide something different to what is normally done in class. They can address big problems in the world or society, and allow students to creatively come up with solutions, engage in enterprise and work collaboratively.
Following an engineering design model, here’s an idea:
STEM Day – The War on Waste
1. State the problem: Explore the problem of human consumption and waste e.g. through watching the ABC’s War on Waste series. http://www.abc.net.au/ourfocus/waronwaste/
2. Generate ideas: Use post it notes, mind maps, ‘roots and branches’ tree problem unpackers, padlets or other, in groups, to generate ideas to one specific problem around waste. Try to get to 100 ideas!
3. Select a solution: choose one solution that is simple, cheap, and effective.
4. Prototype the item: build, storyboard or otherwise prototype the chosen solution.
5. Evaluate: collect some user data e.g. through testing the use, consumer surveys etc and make changes to the design and model to reflect learnings. Aim for three iterations.
6. Present results: Showcase the completed prototype or produce a short video to pitch the solution to the wider group or school.