STEPS to STEM: A Science Curriculum Supplement for Upper Elementary and Middle School Grades – Teacher’s Edition
"STEPS (Science Tasks Enhance Process Skills) to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is an inquiry-based science curriculum supplement focused on developing upper elementary and middle students’ process skills and problem-solving abilities characteristic of how scientists think and act. Students learn key concepts in seven “big ideas” in science: Electricity & Magnetism; Air & Flight; Water & Weather; Plants & Animals; Earth & Space; Matter & Motion; and Light & Sound. Using simple, readily available materials, teachers facilitate learning experiences using the following structure:
STEP 1: Investigate – Hypothesis – TestSTEP 2: Observe – Record – PredictSTEP 3: Gather – Make – Try
Once students complete a set of STEP activities aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), they are ready to collaborate using a STEM Center. STEM Centers provide students with the opportunity for extended investigations focused on a single problem or “team challenge.” Students utilize science and engineering practices while collaboratively conducting research to gather information. Once a plan is made, the team attempts to solve the problem or complete the open-ended task. In addition, a Science Notebook or Sci-Book serves as an essential companion to STEPS to STEM; students maintain a written record of their completed activities which can serve as a form of authentic assessment. STEPS to STEM aims to help students find enjoyment in science and in the process of problem-solving – there are things to do, discoveries to be made, and problems to solve. Ideally, these experiences will lead to more explorations and questions about the world around them."
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___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Fact ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Science ___________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Write ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Fact2 Analyzing and interpreting argument from evidence Background Information balloon rocket bathysphere Boyle’s Law Brine shrimp carrying out investigations change in motion chart color computational thinking Constructing explanations darkling beetle designing solutions Disciplinary Core Idea Discuss your ideas dry cell electrical currents electromagnet encouraged to talk energy Engaging in argument Engineering Practices engineers think Epsom salts explain your thinking explanations and designing flowers gear glass happens hygrometer ice cube Identify which Science interpreting data key practices magnetic materials mealworms members and devise model to describe molecules move notes and/or sketches object particles Performance Expectation pictures and words Practices you feel Predict provide evidence questions and defining right hand column Sci-Terms Science & Engineering Science Standards NGSS sound STEM Center string Teacher Notes Team Challenge Team Plan Team Research Team Results tube vibrating wire