STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is a hot topic in education circles right now and for good reason! STEM is a movement designed to help prepare students for their future careers. As industries look for innovation in every corner, STEM projects help students gain a foundational understanding of multiple subject areas and increase their retention of new lessons.
Discover why else STEM projects are so important for student learning:
Hands-on experiences helps students better learn.
Through a recent study Stratostar participated in, we discovered students learn better through hands-on experiences like launching a high-altitude weather balloon. STEM projects, by nature, are hands-on experiences. Because STEM includes multiple subject areas, students learn about more than one subject as they’re completing the project. For example, the classic egg drop experiment in which groups of students design a protective shell for an egg that is dropped from a certain height. In this project, students use science, math, and engineering to create their shells. Because they’re incorporating multiple skills and subject areas, they’re more likely to relate to the project and retain the information.
STEM exposes students to new subject areas.
Many students excel at a single subject and don’t understand how that particular subject area might overlap with others. Because the egg drop experiment might be happening in science class, a student who loves math may not understand that mathematical calculations factor into the actual drop. However, when the experiment or project is introduced to students, it can and should be presented as a way that gets every student involved.
STEM is also occasionally referred to as STEAM, which means Art is incorporated in the learning environment. Approaching the project this way intrigues those students who may focus more on art and creativity. Consider adding an award for the best looking eggshell for the project to get these students engaged.
STEM projects prepare students for future studies and careers.
Most importantly, STEM projects help students understand that the future is technology focused, which means having an understanding of math, technology, and engineering is going to help them find success in their careers. Having an understanding of all the STEM subject areas will help students transition from their educational careers to living careers because they’ll have a more well-rounded background.
Are you ready to give your students the tools they need to soar in a 21st century education and work environment? StratoStar can help you create a STEM curriculum around our high-altitude weather projects. These projects are designed to get students out of their seats and excited about learning. As they create experiments, hypothesize about the effects of near space, and analyze the results, student will be exposed to science, technology, engineering, math, and even art.
Want to learn more? Contact the StratoStar team.