STEM classroom activities

Cover image for STEM Student Research HandbookThe July 2011 release of the Framework for K-12 Science Education, from the National Academies, places new emphasis on the topic of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in the discussion of K–12 education priorities. The Framework recommends building science education in grades K–12 around three major dimensions: scientific and engineering practices; cross-cutting concepts that unify the study of science and engineering; and core ideas in four disciplinary areas (physical sciences; life sciences; Earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology, and the application of science). The September 2011 issue of NSTA’s Book Beat anticipates this growing emphasis on STEM education by highlighting lessons that can help science teachers demonstrate to students—in ways both fun and enlightening—the strong connections among science, technology, and engineering.  Included in the issue are links to free lessons like “Imaginative Inventions” from More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons (grades K–4), which helps students explore the invention process and then test toys with both fun and safety in mind. Middle and high school students can delve into the intriguing study of science at the nanoscale through the free lesson “Nanomedicine” from Nanoscale Science: Activities for Grades 6-12, by Gail Jones and colleagues. Nanotechnology has opened the door for medical applications that work at the molecular level to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease. In the “Nanomedicine” activity, students investigate through the use of gelatin-based cell models how nanotechnology is being used to treat cancer without harming the surrounding tissue. There’s also a free e-book offer and a preview chapter of the new NSTA Press book STEM Student Research Handbook. Read this month’s issue of NSTA’s Book Beat to download these STEM-related resources and more.


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