It isn’t all that uncommon for teachers and parents to hear students lament about their lack of understanding of how they will use particular skills or content they are learning in school in their real life. Here on the STEM-Works team, we will openly admit to being those kids (and adults). As STEM advocates, we feel like these kinds of questions are our opening to get students of all ages engaged in the world of STEM. As a result, we wanted to share some ideas to get you thinking outside your existing curriculum or advocacy materials and then get your thoughts on other ideas.
To start with, we are firm believers that if you find it cool, there’s at least a distinct chance that your students will as well (maybe not always, but we’re sure there are some common interests). For example, we recently stumbled on a Social Studies/Geography curriculum entirely based on Zombies. Using a project-based learning (or Zombie-Based Learning as the developer calls it), this curriculum provides a framework for students to learn important geography concepts by planning for and surviving a zombie apocalypse scenario. In addition to the curriculum being novel and engaging, it is standards-based, which makes it much easier to incorporate into traditional classrooms. Check out the developer’s explanation of how he came up with this concept:
So think about it and share your thoughts! What concepts, TV Shows, or life events do you think would make a good curriculum or framework for STEM advocacy?