STEM Day Website Offers Masses of Classroom Activities
- By Dian Schaffhauser
First, there was Hour of Code. Now there's Siemens STEM Day. A makeover of the traditional Siemens Science Day, the new event is intended to encourage teachers to spark student interest in new forms of science, technology, engineering and math. The event, which doesn't have a specific day assigned to it yet, comes with the chance to win a $10,000 "possibility" grant for use in creating a new fab lab or outfitting the classroom with gadgets.
Promoted by Discovery Education and the Siemens Foundation, the STEM Day website offers 134 activities to be used in the class, which can be filtered by grade level, STEM category or career path (energy, healthcare, IT and manufacturing). Each project comes with a PDF file laying out the objectives, materials list, learning standards, teacher guidance and step-by-step instructions for the students. Among the activities:
- In the K-5 category for engineering, "Geronimo" lets students test the effectiveness of various parachute designs.
- In the grades 6-8 category for science, "Through the Looking Glass" talks students through the creation of a spectroscope and its use in observing the spectra of different sources of light.
- In the grades 9-12 category for technology, "Urinalysis" steps students through using lab diagnostics (using artificial urine samples) to obtain health data.
The STEM Day sweepstakes gives participants a daily chance to enter the drawing to win the prize, intended to cover the expense of a remodeling the science lab or outfitting it. The deadline is April 28, 2017.
The website also offers a list of "five-minute refreshers," short sets of PDF-based slides intended to remind teachers about the basics of many STEM subjects.
Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @schaffhauser.