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Middle School STEAM

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12 Ways to bring STEM to Your Classroom
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From Getting Smart, here are 12 ways to start teaching STEM

Want more STEM experiences for your students but don’t know where to start? Want to infuse art into science and boost STEAM experiences?
Before exploring how to do STEM, let’s define what it is. Everybody teaches science and math—STEM adds technology and engineering to the equation; STEAM adds art. Common elements of quality STEM learning include:
• Design-focus: using design tools and techniques to attack big problems or opportunity (challenge-based, problem-based learning).
• Active application: applying knowledge and skills to real-world situations and constructing or prototyping solutions to challenges (maker, project-based learning).
• Integration: real world problems aren’t limited to a discipline—solutions almost always draw from many fields.

Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Author:
Greg Young
Date Added:
10/11/2018
All Natural: Jim Denevan and Chris Drury
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CC BY-NC-SA
Rating
4.0 stars

SPARK tails artists Jim Denevan and Cris Drury as they create large earth works. This Educator Guide is about the history and tradition of artists making work in and about the natural environment.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
KQED Education
Provider Set:
KQED Education Network
Date Added:
05/18/2005
Art and Ecology
Read the Fine Print
Rating
3.5 stars

Artists are often particularly keen observers and precise recorders of the physical conditions of the natural world. As a result, paintings can be good resources for learning about ecology. Teachers can use this lesson to examine with students the interrelationship of geography, natural resources, and climate and their effects on daily life. It also addresses the roles students can take in caring for the environment. Students will look at paintings that represent cool temperate, warm temperate, and tropical climates.
In this lesson students will: Identify natural resources found in particular geographic areas; Discuss ways in which climate, natural resources, and geography affect daily life; Apply critical-thinking skills to consider the various choices artists have made in their representations of the natural world; Make personal connections to the theme by discussing ways they can be environmental stewards; Identify natural resources found in particular geographic areas; Discuss ways in which climate, natural resources, and geography affect daily life; Apply critical-thinking skills to consider the various choices artists have made in their representations of the natural world; Make personal connections to the theme by discussing ways they can be environmental stewards.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Art History
Visual Arts
Ecology
Physical Geography
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Gallery of Art
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Attention and Perception Lesson Plan
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Novel representations and diverse perspectives can reveal new insights into complex systems, and can support rich understandings of the world. In this activity, students will identify and analyze the choices artists and scientists make when creating representations of living or non-living natural objects. This process will help students recognize the potential and place for their own articulation of how the world works. After drawing from nature, students will reflect on the process of representing information, then compare their drawings with that of a 16th-century artist. Students will consider what is included and what is excluded, and hypothesize about larger contexts and systems.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Date Added:
03/01/2016
Catapult Challenge
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This is a really fun and informative lesson that I do with my high school Programming/technology class to break up the monotony of beginner programming. However; this lesson can be used and applied in essentially any class and for many purposes, and to address many areas. One of the other really nice things about this lesson is that it can be extended to hit many points including physics, math, and advanced engineering.

Throughout the building period, I would present teams with a challenge (puzzle, build, etc…) and the first team to complete it would get a prize. It could be more modification time, extra materials, etc…)

The materials (including hot glue guns) can be purchased at Wal Mart or a similar store for around $20-25, if ordering through your district isn’t an option. With those purchases, it gives you a lot more materials than needed which can be used for additional similar projects.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Timothy Barnes
Date Added:
12/05/2018
Remix
Catapult Challenge
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CC BY-NC-SA
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This is a really fun and informative lesson that I do with my high school Programming/technology class to break up the monotony of beginner programming. However; this lesson can be used and applied in essentially any class and for many purposes, and to address many areas. One of the other really nice things about this lesson is that it can be extended to hit many points including physics, math, and advanced engineering.

Throughout the building period, I would present teams with a challenge (puzzle, build, etc…) and the first team to complete it would get a prize. It could be more modification time, extra materials, etc…)

The materials (including hot glue guns) can be purchased at Wal Mart or a similar store for around $20-25, if ordering through your district isn’t an option. With those purchases, it gives you a lot more materials than needed which can be used for additional similar projects.

Subject:
Engineering
Education
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
STEMToolkit Administrator
Date Added:
06/16/2021
Continuous Line Robots and Art
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Educational Use
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Students use the robot paths they documented during the associated Robots on Ice Engineering Challenge activity to learn about and then make artwork. During the previous activity, students recorded the path of their robots through a maze in order to collect data during a remote research simulation. Now, they take a new look at the robot paths, seeing them from an art perspective as continuous line drawings. Students learn about Picasso’s famous works of art that used the same technique. Then they learn the artistic definition of a line and see examples of how it is used in different art pieces; they practice making continuous line drawings and then create sculptures of their drawings using colorful wire. A PowerPoint® presentation is provided to guide the activity.

Subject:
Career and Technical Education
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Anthony Spears
Ayanna Howard
Carrie Beth Rykowski
Date Added:
02/07/2017
Counting on Art
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Rating
4.0 stars

In these lessons students will explore the paintings of Horace Pippin and Wayne Thiebaud and the mobiles of Alexander Calder to discover and practice math and visual art concepts. Background and biographical information about the work of art and artist, guided looking with class discussion, and activities with worksheets using mathematical formulas and studio art provide the framework for each lesson.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Visual Arts
Geometry
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Gallery of Art
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Creatively Navigating the Design Process With Disaster Islands
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Used as an introductory activity in an Exploratory Makerspace and STEAM class, this project is designed to be an introduction to using all steps of the Design Process. Students will work through these steps to identify the problem, imagine a solution, create a plan, build (an island), test and evaluate their solutions.After we talk about these six steps, students are encouraged to solve the simple problem of building an island.  As an instructor, I emphasize that this can be any type of island using any materials we have available, encouraging strong personal choice.  

Subject:
Architecture and Design
Environmental Science
Graphic Arts
Visual Arts
World Cultures
Environmental Studies
Educational Technology
Cultural Geography
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Author:
Sharla Krell
Date Added:
04/27/2021
Digital Reflections: Expressing Understanding of Content Through Photography
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Some Rights Reserved
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Striking images can leave lasting impressions on viewers. In this lesson, students make text-self-world connections to a nature- or science-related topic as they collaboratively design a multimedia presentation.

Subject:
Language, Grammar and Vocabulary
Reading Foundation Skills
Reading Informational Text
Reading Literature
Speaking and Listening
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Unit of Study
Provider:
ReadWriteThink
Provider Set:
ReadWriteThink
Date Added:
08/23/2013
Discovery Through Juxtaposition
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Problem solving is often guided by disciplinary frames of reference, which can restrict our ability to see other possibilities. This exercise uses object-based learning to underscore the idea that there is more than one way of analyzing and knowing the world, and that through multiple ways of knowing, we develop more complex understandings and new solutions. Through the process of critique, an essential part of visual-arts pedagogy, students practice analyzing and reflecting both individually and in groups.

Subject:
Visual Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media: Multimedia Resources for the Classroom and Professional Development
Date Added:
03/01/2016
Ecology Birdhouse Makerspace Project
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CC BY-NC
Rating
4.33333333333 stars

This project is a science based unit that incorporates using a makerspace. Students work together to research a local bird species and design and build a birdhouse to meet the specific needs of their species.

Subject:
Life Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Christopher Montagna
Date Added:
03/16/2018
Flexible 3D Print Masks : 12 Steps (with Pictures)
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Learn how to make lightweight, flexible 3D printed masquerade masks! These are great masks as they make it look like the design is tattoed on your face or floating on your face.

Subject:
Computer Science
Graphic Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Penolopy Bulnick
Date Added:
01/31/2020
From Dream to Reality: Building the Hale Telescope: Primary Source STEAM Project
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CC BY
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The 200-inch Hale Telescope (historically known as the “Palomar Telescope”) at the Palomar Observatory in California represents an amazing feat of engineeringand ingenuity, the result of decades of trial and error.The primary sources in this project describe the last great hurdle in the Hale Telescope’s construction: successfully transporting the 40-ton, 200-inch mirror and its packing materials from upstate New York to the top of Palomar Mountain in southern California. This project is designed for advanced middle school or high school students. It contains a suggested project that puts students in the role of problem-solvers, with students using the actual data points drawn from the 1947 primary sources. Students will learn how to work with a formula, and to manipulate the formula’s variables to achieve different outcomes.

Subject:
Applied Science
Arts and Humanities
Education
Higher Education
Mathematics
Physical Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Module
Primary Source
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Author:
The Rockefeller Archive Center
Date Added:
04/14/2021
ISKME's Teachers as Makers Academy 2012
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Activities, resources, photos and videos from ISKME's two day professional development teacher training that explores Open Educational Resources (OER) and Maker-Teacher collaborations to facilitate innovation in the classroom. The Makers’ projects are points of inspiration for Teachers while they engage in design-thinking activities to create, remix, and share OER Projects with online collaborative tools.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Mathematics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Author:
Megan Simmons
Date Added:
01/28/2016
Jennifer Hannaford
Read the Fine Print
Educational Use
Rating
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In this video from Science City, meet a forensic scientist. She describes the steps to recover and analyze fingerprints to help solve crimes. She also discusses common attributes between art and science.

Subject:
Applied Science
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
Teachers' Domain
Author:
Partnership for a Nation of Learners
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
09/18/2007