STEM learning is an essential aspect of a child’s education. According to ID Tech, STEM jobs have grown by 79% since 1990, highlighting the increasing importance of providing quality STEM education in the classroom. This rapidly increasing field with a high volume of open positions has increased the importance of providing quality STEM education in the classroom. Educators are responsible for finding innovative ways to add STEM education to their classroom curriculum. They are also tasked with ensuring their lessons are effective, improving STEM literacy, and preparing students for standardized tests.
School leaders and administrators play a crucial role in supporting teachers to deliver effective STEM instruction in the classroom. It is crucial for teachers to have the support and resources needed to effectively implement STEM in their classrooms. In this article, we will review the challenges teachers face when creating STEM lesson plans and how to properly support teachers in this process to ensure students receive the best possible education.
Understanding the Challenges of STEM Lesson Planning
Creating a STEM lesson plan that will cater to the needs of every student and help improve STEM literacy is not an easy task. It is helpful to educators when administrators understand the obstacles they are facing to help them navigate the potential challenges. The following are some of the challenges educators face when creating STEM lesson plans.
- Accommodating diverse student needs: Every student has a diverse background and learning style. Educators have to find a way to engage left-brain and right-brain students and connect their lessons to things that interest them.
- Finding relevant resources: With new technologies and discoveries emerging all the time, it can be difficult for educators to keep pace and find resources that are both engaging for students and aligned with the latest STEM standards.
- Incorporating cross-curricular content: It takes critical thinking and planning for teachers to find ways to merge multiple subjects into one lesson plan. This is a time-consuming process and can require educators to learn new skills before teaching them to students. For example, a math teacher uses sports to introduce statistics or a history teacher uses literature to talk about World War II.
- Keeping up with new technology: The technology landscape is constantly changing, which alters best practices for STEM learning. Educators have to keep up with current trends and find ways to incorporate this into the classroom – despite often having minimal resources.
- Engaging all students: STEM can be a difficult subject that is daunting to some students. Teachers have to find ways to engage all students and get full participation.
How to Support Teachers with STEM Lesson Planning
When teachers are creating STEM lesson plans, it can be extremely helpful to have the support and assistance of school administrators. Below is a list of ways administrators can help teachers create the best possible STEM curriculum for students.
- Provide professional development opportunities: Give educators the opportunity to further their skills and knowledge in different subject areas. This can also include courses on new teaching methods they can use to create a more successful, welcoming classroom environment.
- Encouraging collaboration and cross-curricular integration: Cross-curricular lesson plans are linked to increased retention of subject matter. Creating an environment where educators can use each other as resources will lead to more effective teaching. Most educators are not specialized in each subject area, so this collaboration can give the context needed to build out cross-curricular curricula.
- Supplying STEM teaching resources: Allocating resources such as funding, equipment, and technology to support STEM education in the classroom. This can help ensure teachers have the tools they need to create engaging and effective STEM lessons.
- Supporting teachers with assessment and feedback: Assessments and feedback are an effective way to help teachers identify shortcomings they can correct in the future.
- Providing Mentorship: Administrators can be a great resource to teachers who are new to the field. This mentorship can help them establish their teaching style and navigate difficult situations.
How STEM Curriculum from STEM Sports Helps Support Your Teachers
As STEM job openings continue to grow, it is increasingly important students have access to quality STEM education. This can be done through collaboration between teachers and school administrators. One option for providing supplemental STEM curriculum to students is turnkey curriculum kits. STEM Sports® is an education company that provides K-8 turnkey supplemental STEM curriculum to K-8 students. Each lesson uses a different sport to connect key STEM concepts to real-world situations – in this case, sports scenarios. Every STEM Sports® curriculum kit comes with all of the materials, teaching tools, and assessments needed to facilitate the lesson with students. This makes it a great additional resource for any K-8 classroom. And it can be used for many years! If you are an administrator looking for additional STEM resources for your school, click here to learn more about STEM Sports® curriculum offers.