Incorporating STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) learning is essential to foster so-called soft skills such as critical thinking, perseverance, communication, and creative problem-solving. Purposeful STEM education should begin at the earliest grades where these key skills can begin to develop. With the ongoing support of training and SME mentoring, even the most reticent teachers can implement STEM instruction with students at all ages and learning abilities.
To ease teachers into adding more STEM learning experiences for their students, the award-winning MyStemKits curriculum provides hands-on, standards-aligned, and highly engaging lessons, activities, and Design Challenges. This online collection of over 407 standards-driven lesson plans incorporates 3D printing, robotics, sensors, and virtual simulations that promote deep conceptual understanding to prepare the next generation of engineers, mathematicians, and scientists for the challenges they’ll face.
New kits, lessons, and Design Challenges are added regularly in response to teacher and student interest.
Newest STEM Kits
- Artifacts: Americas Kit – Students in grades K-12 can explore the artifacts of the Americas. The kit features dozens of artifacts from across North, South, and Central America and some Pacific Islands including Rapa Nui and Hawaii.
- Dynamic Carts Kit – Designed to fit the Labdisc portable STEM lab, this cart will enable students in grades K-12 to explore a wide variety of physics topics. Students can attach spring scales or string holes on the front and back and add weights to the large body. This kit also includes a pulley system set-up for creating a Half-Atwood machine.
- Circuit Diagram Kit – Students in grades 6-12 can do some unplugged planning of circuits with this desk-sized kit, by using the pieces with a whiteboard to plan out their circuits on paper prior to building and testing.
- Free Body Diagram Kit – High school students can explore free body diagrams with this handheld kit. They can add either short or long arrows to represent different forces acting on the body.
Newest Lesson Plans
- Friction Forces – Students in grades 9-12 will explore the force of friction between two different surfaces. They will seek to understand what factors influence friction and determine coefficients of friction for various materials. In this two-part lesson, students will work with static friction and explore kinetic friction using the dynamics cart and Labdisc portable STEM lab.
- Specific Heat – Utilizing the Labdisc, students in grades 9-12 will learn how energy can be measured in the form of heat. They will investigate how heat energy can be transferred by conduction through a simple hands-on experiment and then are tasked with considering the relationship between heat and energy efficiency in everyday products.
- RC Circuits – In this lesson, students in grades 6-12 will explore how capacitors can be charged and discharged at varying rates using different size resistors to control the flow. The Labdisc will be used to measure the change in voltage while charging and discharging.
- Unknown Resistance – In this lesson, students in grades 8-12 will use the light sensor on the Labdisc to determine if a linear relationship exists between resistance and the brightness of an LED light. They will then use their data to predict the value of an unknown resistor based on the brightness of the LED light in the circuit with it.
Newest Design Challenges
- Coding Custom Clocks – In this Tinkercad Codeblocks Design Challenge, students in grades 4 and 6 must rise to the challenge of a client-driven project. Provided with a sample of code, they must work to design a code-driven clock. Throughout the project, they will be challenged with understanding and utilizing code-based logic systems and variables, expressing relationships through equations and unit rates, and meeting the client's demands.
- Bulldozer Blade – Students in grades 6-12 are tasked with designing and testing an attachment to turn their MyBot into a bulldozer that can move rocks with ease. In doing so, they will investigate forces and Newton’s laws of motion in this open-ended design challenge. Pair this design challenge with the MyBot activity Moving Mars Rocks for a more in-depth exploration of forces and motion.
- Home on the Moon - This interactive project is great for students, families, and/or collaborative teams to understand how systems work on Earth and how they can be modified to work on the Moon. Then, in this Aldrin Family Foundation ShareSpace activity, build the ideal moon base in Tinkercad to 3D print!
The importance of implementing quality and innovative STEM activities and lessons in the curriculum is made clear by the growing need for STEM-trained personnel in the workforce. MyStemKits, and user-friendly MimioSTEM solutions, help to make the implementation and integration of STEM lessons, activities, and projects seamless.
For more information on MyStemKits, click here – MyStemKits STEM Curriculum.
To explore MimioSTEM solutions for K-12, click here – MimioSTEM.