How to Effectively Use STEM Teaching Tools

In today’s digital world, we cannot deny the importance of  STEM education as it incorporates the crucial tenets of science, technology, engineering, and math into an integrated curriculum. Fortunately, many websites and apps offer multiple STEM tools that educators across the globe can use to introduce their students to the world of STEM. 

Before we explore some of these tools and how you can use them effectively, let’s see why STEM matters.  

Why Does STEM Matter?

So, why is STEM important? STEM education redefines how we approach math, technology, engineering, and science at all levels. STEM matters because it teaches your students to think critically and instills a passion for innovation in their hearts. Participating in online STEM programs can help your students develop problem-solving skills and make them more curious about learning, experimentation, exploration, and innovation. It will help them develop the skills they need to contribute to the world and integrate their learnings into making it a better place.   

How to Use STEM Tools Effectively

Your job as an educator is to use multiple STEM tools to enrich the classroom and introduce innovation and fun into your curriculum. You can do that by using the following STEM tools in your classes:

3D Printers and Scanners

3D printers and scanners are the ideal tools to incorporate STEM into your curriculum. 3D tech is enriching, and when used correctly, can promote creativity, innovation, imagination, and engagement. The best way to use 3D printers is to encourage your students to materialize their ideas and produce functional shapes or objects from their digital files. 

Your students will be able to scan real-life objects with the scanner, alter the objects’ measurements digitally, and print the new structure. It will help them learn how changing the object’s measurements will affect its structural integrity and overall performance. You can encourage them to create art, digitally model abstract concepts, and so much more.

Robotic LEGOs

All of us are familiar with wooden and plastic LEGOs. However, when it comes to STEM, you can use advanced robotic LEGOs to encourage student participation in STEM activities. LEGO BOOST and LEGO Mindstorms are tools that your students can use to program or build a robot and enable it to perform multiple functions. 

These tools are ideal for students who have shown an inclination toward robotics as they will teach students about computers, programming, and engineering. Moreover, these computer-based LEGO programs also help students develop a hands-on approach. A classroom kit of LEGO Mindstorms allows students to design, build, and control many robots. It comes with everything you need to provide your students with a fun and memorable introduction to STEM. 

Coding Tools

Many coding tools are designed to help kids of all ages get an idea of what coding entails. As an educator, you can use a coding tool like MIT’s Scratch, designed for students at all levels. They can use it to build a simple app. For instance, literature students could create an app that would visualize and explain the main themes in the poem or novel they are reading in their course. Meanwhile, you could guide your social studies students to create a game that teaches younger students the historical events in their course. 

Construction Games

You can also take an uber-fun route and explore STEM-related games that will teach your students how to use STEM to solve puzzles or build things. For instance, you can introduce Bridge Constructor Playground to them. It’s a game designed for people of all ages and teaches them how to build bridges. It allows students to explore their creativity and build bridges to cross rivers, canals, and deep valleys. The game then puts students’ bridges through a stress test to see if it can support the weight of the vehicles driving across it. The tool comes with an extensive tutorial as well. 

STEM Activity Sets

You can also invest in STEM introductory tools and activity sets for your students. For starters, you can use paper cups, Popsicle sticks, PlayDoh, and other items found around the house to make fun STEM games. You can also purchase many STEM-based activity cards, toys, and sets for them to introduce them to the wonderful world of STEM. 

AR & VR

Augmented reality and virtual reality tools provide immersive experiences to students already introduced to 3D tech. You can incorporate multiple AR tools to teach students about real-world objects and even the human body by making the hearts, brains, and lungs interactive. You can use VR headsets, such as Google Cardboard, and education apps, such as Google Expedition, to transport your students to virtual locations and take them on scientific or historical tours and field trips.  

Use the tools above to introduce your students to STEM and allow them to explore its potential.

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