STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
Over the past few years, we at my high school have hosted several STEM Competitions where teams of students compete in short (30min), easily-judged, hands-on activities that incorporate various STEM skills. In my Principles of Engineering class, I also try to mix in a variety of similar STEM activities: short (30-90min) ‘Friday Mini-Projects’ that complement the curriculum and reinforced the engineering design process, while also providing a break from some of the longer-term projects that required students’ sustained focus over 4-6 weeks.
So here I hope to create a directory of links to STEM Competitions and other mini-projects like those we use in STEM Competitions. In addition to their use as a one-day event, or in engineering / tech ed classes, they can also be used in other ways. Science classes or math classes could use these projects as they provide short hands-on activities that relate to a variety of subjects within the science/math curriculum. They could be used as brief team-building activities in other classes. They can also be used for adults too – I’ve really enjoyed these at professional development workshops I’ve gone to! I’m curious too about possibly using them in the future at a math/science/engineering family night at school to build parent & family involvement.
Without further ado, a repository of links:
- Our First Annual STEM Competition, November 2008
- Second Annual, November 2009
- Spring STEM 2010
- Third Annual, November 2010 + blog post
- Spring STEM 2011 Events: Catapult Battleship & Paper Rockets
- Team Registration Forms
- Schedule of team rotation
- Judges’ rubrics: 08 09
- Letter to the faculty explaining the STEM Competition
FRIDAY MINI-PROJECTS I’VE USED
- An explanation of my Friday Mini-Projects (scroll down to the F.M.P. subsection)
- Paper Tower: full, blank for students to take notes on
- Toothpick Tower
- Bottle Car: instructions and scoring
- Balloon-Powered Rocket Racer Car