Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education

Exploring Effective Practices of an Elementary STEM Block Program

Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2022, pp. 195-225
OPEN ACCESS VIEWS: 327 DOWNLOADS: 140 Publication date: 15 Sep 2022
ABSTRACT
Creating a STEM-driven culture incorporating engineering habits of mind and 21st century skills at an early age could impact students’ STEM interests and knowledge.  Therefore, early exposure to effective engineering design practices could create a foundation for a STEM program. This exploratory case study examined the integration of a STEM program in an elementary-level school. Survey, interview, focus group, and observational data were analyzed and coded to determine effective practices of the STEM program. This paper focuses on the emergent themes of the (a) critical role of the specialist, (b) instructional design, and (c) integration of the engineering laboratory.  The STEM specialist at Gemini Elementary School provided the teachers with the foundation for the in-depth acquisition of STEM content and pedagogical skills. Teachers were provided with team planning time that focused on the instructional design of the STEM Block lessons. Through collaborative settings, teachers and the specialist were able to design modern real-world problems for students that allowed students to apply engineering design practices to find solutions. The results of this study point to the need to increase the number of STEM programs embrace engineering design in elementary schools.
KEYWORDS
STEM Program, STEM education, Engineering design process, Elementary Schools, Case study
CITATION (APA)
Waters, C. C. (2022). Exploring Effective Practices of an Elementary STEM Block Program. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 5(3), 195-225. https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.532
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