It’s time to update your elementary school STEM program for the 2023-24 school year! Your students deserve an engaging and effective curriculum.
STEM education is becoming more and more important for today’s students. It’s directly related to many critical jobs in today’s world, like medical and tech jobs. But even if none of your students grow up to be software engineers, a good STEM program will set them up for success.
STEM programs help students develop key skills for anything they pursue in life. They give kids tons of opportunities to practice problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration.
Since the STEM world is changing every year, you need to update your curriculum regularly. Your basic science and math lessons may not need to change much, but your technology-related lessons definitely do! On top of that, nearly every elementary school STEM curriculum could use more hands-on activities and accessibility options.
Here are four ways to update your elementary school STEM program for 2023.
1) Add Hands-On Activities
Hands-on learning activities are a great way to engage students and make learning more fun. They can also make your elementary school STEM curriculum more effective.
Interactive activities help students understand their coursework in a way they wouldn’t from just reading or listening to a lecture. When students experience what they are learning firsthand, they are more likely to remember it. Hands-on activities also provide students with opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in a real-world environment.
Engineering activities, science experiments, coding practice, and other activites are all great additions to your elementary STEM curriculum. These activities all provide opportunities for well-rounded, active learning. For example:
- Science experiments help students learn through observation and experimentation.
- Coding practice helps students develop their problem-solving skills.
- Augmented reality (AR) games, 3D printing activities, and robotics projects help students explore and practice using new technologies.
Many students struggle to stay engaged when their lessons don’t seem relevant to the real world. Hands-on activities can bridge the gap between what students learn in school and what they do in their everyday lives.
By adding more hands-on activities to your STEM curriculum, you can set students up for success even outside of STEM. Hands-on activities in general tend to require collaboration, creativity, problem-solving, and communication skills. These skills are essential in any career or life pursuit.
With hands-on activities, you can get your students ready for whatever they try down the road.
2) Choose an Up-to-Date Digital Citizenship Module
In today’s world, digital citizenship skills are increasingly important for all students. They’re especially important for younger students in elementary school who haven’t learned how to make responsible choices.
You may be wondering whether digital citizenship is all that important. After all, some of your students are likely more comfortable with technology than their parents. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they know how to keep personal information safe, avoid plagiarism, prevent cyberbullying, or avoid misinformation.
Digital citizenship shouldn’t be just a one-off lecture topic — it should be a significant part of your elementary STEM curriculum. A well-developed digital citizenship module can help students learn why their online behaviors are important. More than that, it will teach them how to behave responsibly and ethically online.
When selecting a digital citizenship module, make sure it’s up-to-date with the latest technology trends and online best practices. Social media and information security concerns are always changing. Your module should be new or recently updated to ensure the information is still relevant.
You should also check that your digital citizenship module or course covers all of the following:
- Digital security
- Data protection
- Online etiquette
As students grow increasingly comfortable with technology, you need to remind them to be careful. They need to know how to stay safe online and treat others with respect. A digital citizenship curriculum is a great way to teach those skills.
By adding a digital citizenship module to your elementary STEM curriculum, you can contribute to a healthier online community.
3) Make Your Elementary School STEM Curriculum More Accessible
Your elementary school STEM curriculum should be accessible to all students. It’s important to ensure it meets the needs of students with less common learning styles and abilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires schools to provide accommodations for students with disabilities. Those required accommodations extend to your elementary STEM curriculum. Some curriculum tools may already include these accommodations, but others may not.
When planning your elementary STEM curriculum, consider any ADA accommodations you will need to make to ensure students with vision, hearing, or other physical impairments can still participate in the program. For example, your curriculum tools may need to include:
- Captioned video and audio content
- Enlarged text
- Fonts designed for students with dyslexia
- Other visual aids
- Tools for one-handed typists
- Tools that can help students with motor skills impairments navigate course materials more easily
Your elementary STEM curriculum should be accessible for as many students as possible. With the right accommodations, you can ensure your program reaches its full potential. All of your students should have an equal opportunity to benefit from the educational opportunities you provide.
4) Consider Online Elementary School STEM Curriculum Supplements
Online STEM curriculum supplements can provide a range of benefits. These tools are often much easier to use than teachers expect!
Online curriculum supplements can make differentiated learning within a single elementary classroom easy. If a student has trouble with a lesson, they can spend more time on it. If they catch onto a concept quickly, they can speed ahead to extra learning activities. Everyone can learn at their own pace.
These tools can also make student absences less disruptive. Students can access the necessary learning materials online and complete their work at their own pace. The same principle applies to teacher absences as well. If a teacher is out, their students will still have all the materials they need to move forward.
Another advantage of online STEM curriculum supplements is that they can often be customized. Rather than relying on generic materials, teachers can adjust their online curriculum resources to their students’ needs. They can choose from a variety of activities, quizzes, and videos depending on what their students do or don’t know.
Online STEM curriculum supplements can be a life-changing upgrade for your elementary school stem program. They provide a more personalized learning experience for students. Your teachers will appreciate them too.
Try Our Elementary School STEM Curriculum Supplements
Yeti Academy is an online, easy-to-use STEM curriculum for K-12 schools and districts. Our interactive learning modules cover coding, digital citizenship, Google Workspace, computational thinking, life sciences, keyboarding, and more.
Each Yeti Academy module includes all the teacher resources you need, from lesson plans and slide shows to activities and tests. Ready to learn more? Try out Yeti Academy for free today!