Robotics. Snap circuitry. 3-D Printing. These are just some of the everyday activities for students at the STEM&M Lab at Martin Sortun Elementary in Kent, WA.
Doug Ferguson, Elementary STEM Specialist and Washington teacher leader through CORElaborate, says he uses these activities to build confidence and inspire his students to dream big. His approach seems to be working, especially with students like 5th grader Madelynne Barney.
When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Madelynne said, “Well, I do want to work for NASA, but I’m also thinking about running for president.”
All the learning activities in the lab are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, addressing the core needs of the students and what they need to learn and apply. According to Ferguson, “The standards allow teachers to access science in new and unique ways.”
“As we evolve in our understanding of how students learn…I think STEM will play a key role because it’s tangible, and it helps to make abstract ideas concrete. And it helps to show people what they can accomplish when they believe in themselves.”