Assessing Students – STEM Projects

STEM Exit Ticket

STEM projects are GREAT…but it’s hard to track how much my students are really learning!!

So here’s my solution:
1. Exit Ticket Assessment
2. Grading Rubric
3. Student Score Chart

The Exit Ticket contains four basic questions that can go with almost any STEM lab. The answers to these questions will help you assess your students’ level of involvement and understanding of the concepts addressed. It also gives an idea of which labs are effective and which are not and maybe what could be done different next time.

The Grading Rubric gives a common standard to score these assessments on. It makes grading a ton easier.

The Student Score Chart helps keep all that data organized!!

You can check it out here, in my TpT Store! It’s only a dollar…like something awesome on the shelf at Dollar Tree…only it’s way better and you don’t have to drive…just click the link below!!
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Exit-Ticket-Grading-Rubric-Score-Chart-3030918

Have a great time with STEM!!

 

Jumping Bugs Activity!!

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We are having abnormally awesome weather for February here in the Midwest United States. I took advantage of this nice weather to have some science fun outside with my kids! What could be more fun than watching bugs jump?

Here is the list of activities you will need, materials listed below are per group (3-4 students):

• 2-3 film canisters with lids (either 1 per student or 1 per group). I buy these on ebay • Tape (scotch or masking)
• 2-3 scissors
• Beaker or cup with water in it
• 2-4 “Alka-seltzer” tablets (meaning 1-2 packets)…. (I don’t buy the name brand tablets)
• markers, crayons or colored pencils
• 1 Meter stick (for you the teacher to use)
• “Bugs sheet” pdf (pre-cut)
• Student instructions Sheet
* A few towels to help clean up the area when finished*

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In this video I explain how to run the activity and explain the science behind it.

First, my kids colored and cut out their bugs! This is a chance to make it a “STEAM” activity. They loved this part. They folded along the dotted line and taped it to the bottom of the film canister. Some younger children will need help with that part.

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Next you pour water into the film canister and add the tablet.

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Close it up and place it with the cap down. You’ll need to do do this pretty quickly!! Again, the younger kids will need help with this.

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Wait for it…wait for it…and then…POP!!!

 

Kids can use their worksheets to follow along with the instructions, record data and improve their results. This worksheet, materials list, teacher instructions sheet and grading rubric and teacher instruction video are available in a single pdf file FOR FREE in my TpT store. Here’s the link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Activity-Challenge-Jumping-Bugs-K-2nd-Grade-1198540

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Try it with your students and let me know how they do! Thanks for visiting my blog and reading this post 🙂 STEM is always a great to engage and bring learning to life!

STEM Building Challenges

STEM-building activity

Grades K-2:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Engineering-4-Activities-Kindergarten-1st-and-2nd-Grades-2734250

Grades 3-5th:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Engineering-4-Activities-3rd-4th-5th-Grade-2734235

Grades 6-8th:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Engineering-4-Activities-Middle-School-2734227

In this S.T.E.M. lab bundle, students will work in groups to design and create towers and bridges. Your students will be engaged in the problem solving process as they trouble shoot and improve their projects!

This bundle includes the following Activity Challenges:
1. Straw Bridges
2. Index Card Towers
3. Popsicle Stick Bridges
4. Gum Drop Towers

These STEM projects include, teacher instructions, student instructions (worksheet), grading rubrics, a demonstration video for the teacher, a materials needed sheet, and the related NGSS standards!

Weekly “Free STEM” Facebook Drawing!!!

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Every week I have a “FREE STEM Fridays” drawing on Facebook!!! I usually announce what the big prize is (anywhere from a $10 – $50 value) on Wednesday afternoon. To enter, “like” my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/sciencedemoguy/

and leave a comment below the announcement post by 5:00 pm each FRIDAY. I’d also love it if you would share the Facebook post with your friends! 🙂

STEM Flash Freebie! Saturday, Feb 4th – Sunday, Feb 5th!!

STEM Free projectFlash FREEBIE this weekend! My STEM Activity Challenge “Index Card Bridge” is FREE for two days—Saturday, February 4th – Sunday February 5th!

Grades K-2:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Activity-Challenge-Index-Card-Bridge-K-2nd-Grade-1986058

Grades 3-5th:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Activity-Challenge-Index-Card-Bridge-3rd-5th-Grade-1992048

Grades 6-8th:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/STEM-Activity-Challenge-Index-Card-Bridge-6th-8th-Grade-1997910

In this activity students will work in groups to build a bridge from index cards that will span some “raging waters” (blue construction paper). Their bridges will be tested by adding pennies until it falls!

This STEM project includes, teacher instructions, student instructions (worksheet), grading rubrics, a demonstration video for the teacher, a materials needed sheet, and the related NGSS standards!

Usually $2.50, but get it this weekend for FREE!!!

Free STEM Fridays – Enter to Win

free stem activity contest
Every Wednesday I post one of my STEM products on my Facebook page – FREE to one lucky winner. All you have to do is “like” my Science Demo Guy page and write a comment below the “FREE STEM Fridays” post for a chance to win. Sharing is always great, but not necessary!

Please visit my Facebook page and “like” it today—and come back on Wednesday – Friday to enter the drawing!!

Thanks!! 🙂

FREE STEM Fridays Drawing

stem wars free project

It’s Science Demo Guy’s Free STEM Friday!!! To enter, just like my page and like and comment on this post by 5:00 pm this Friday. Please share this post with your friends! 🙂 Make sure to check back on Friday night to see if you’ve won!!

Also, please check out this featured activity bundle and more in my TpT store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Science-Demo-Guy/Category/02-STEM-All-Year-255388

This week’s prize is my STEM Wars bundle of 5 training missions, FREE to one lucky winner. This pack includes FIVE super fun “STEM WARS” themed activities:

• Fly a Glider Fighter

• Sink the STEM Trooper

• Roll a Pop (or Soda) Can

• Launch an Ewok

• Levitate a Sphere

Each activity includes:

• Student STEM Training Mission Worksheets

• Teacher Instructions

• Teacher Instruction Video

• Student STEM Wars Introduction Videos

(Starring three young and talented STEM Warriors)

• Materials List

• STEM Wars themed Posters

Fine print: Only one winner per contest. Must be 18 years old to enter. Winner notified on the Science Demo Guy Facebook page only. No purchase necessary. Winner drawn at random. Winner must email or Facebook message Science Demo Guy (ScienceDemoGuy@gmail.com) within 3 days and a link to the product (on Google drive) will be sent. Product link and product must not be shared with others. Link will expire after 30 days. Odds of winning not improved by purchasing. Contest is not connected to or endorsed by Teachers Pay Teachers. Contest is not connected to or endorsed by Facebook. Prize has no cash value and cannot be exchanged for other merchandise or store credit.

STEM Career Spotlight: Software Developer

software developer STEM

Question #1: How much will I make?? The median salary for this job is $100,690 per year!

Problem Solving! It seems that every STEM job requires a good deal of problem solving ability. A Software Developer career is no exception! They analyze what users need, create solutions and continue to improve and redesign, especially when problems come about in the design process!! People in this profession also need to be able to communicate clearly and think creatively.

“A software developer is a person concerned with facets of the software development process, including the research, design, programming, and testing of computer software.” -Wikipedia

When you’re programming and testing computer software, it is super important to be detail oriented as well. Multi-tasking is a huge part of this job and they need to be able to focus on a number of details all at once.

To become a software engineer you need a solid education—usually a bachelor’s degree in either computer science or math. It’s also important to have some sort of internship during college.

 

Here is a fun link:
What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career as a Software Developer

Sources:

United States Bureau of Labor
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm#tab-4

Occupational Outlood Handbook
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm

Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_developer

STEM to STEAM!

STEAM is the combination of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math with ART. When I first heard about adding the art component to STEM, I thought, “seriously, what does art have to do with it?”.  Are we just trying to be “politically correct” by including art so it doesn’t feel “left out”? I know that sounds barbaric, but being truly honest, that’s really what first came to my mind.

Free Picture: ArtID: 5259480 © Davinci | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Free Picture: ArtID: 5259480
© Davinci | Dreamstime Stock Photos

After sifting through several articles…including art is, indeed, a great idea. It draws out those awesomely creative right-brained kids out of their apprehension towards science and math. These kids are invaluable in the STEM fields—they are innovators and creators, dreamers who think up amazing ideas and plans.

With a little inspiration, these kids can go on to become the next Leonardo Da Vinci or Steve Jobs. Da Vinci combined art and science. He “believed art, was indisputably connected with science and nature”* and came up with extremely unique and innovative ideas. Steve Jobs seriously tapped in to that “Right” side of his brain, working with left-brained colleagues (most prominently, co-founder, Steve Wozniak) to visualize and market some of the most influential devices of our day (ever heard of the “iphone”?).

My point is, Steve Jobs wasn’t involved in the actual developing of products—he wasn’t a programmer or software developer—he didn’t know much about technology—BUT he knew how to work WITH people who were developers and tech genius’s. We need to teach right and left brain kids the skill of working together!

Involving the “artsy” kids in STEM brings a whole different dimension to not only what THEY can become, but also the mark they can leave on our world.

Freebies:

STEM to STEAM

Click on the picture above to download this fun { FREE!!! } poster demonstrating STEAM. (TpT store, Science Demo Guy).

Also, please check out my free resource that turns 16 k-2 STEM Activity Challenges in STEAM Activities!!

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Sources:

“The Importance of STEAM learning”, Huffington Post
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vidcode/the-importance-of-steam-l_b_9488898.html

“Steve Jobs played ‘no role at all'”, Business Insider
http://www.businessinsider.com/woz-jobs-didnt-design-apple-computers-2015-9

STEAM “Mission Statement”
http://steam-notstem.com/

*”Leonardo Davinci”, History.com
http://www.history.com/topics/leonardo-da-vinci