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STEM Education: Five Tools That Transform the Classroom

STEM Education: Five Tools That Transform the Classroom

As new technological tools continue to be used in classrooms, the push for students to become experts in STEM increases. 

There are plenty of tools out there that teachers can use in their lessons "to reinforce theoretical concepts by demonstrating their real-world applications," said an article on TheAtlantic.com.

"By showing students that the knowledge is relevant and useful, teachers can help them unlock new realms of creativity in all scientific realms and possibly change their future career trajectories," the article said. The Atlantic then listed five technological tools that can help educators teach STEM. 

The first tool listed is 3-D printers. The article said "whether they're used to create food, organs or mechanical parts, 3-D printers allow engineers to make their designs tangible and physical."

"And that’s just what they can do for students, too; as 3-D printers have become less expensive and more ubiquitous, schools have begun integrating them into their science and engineering curriculums," the article said. Students have used 3-D printers for projects ranging from dioramas of real or imagined constructions to engineering the fastest model car to reconstructing of eyeballs to better understand how they work."

A second tool the article listed is the "flight simulator."

"Charting points on a graph to understand negative and positive slope may not be the most engaging lesson for restless middle and high school students. But for some schools, high-tech flight simulators may do the trick. Kids can get in the cockpit of a simulated airplane to “fly” over cities and navigate the appropriate trajectory. Students who dream of becoming pilots can see how math and science are used in the profession, while others will have a better grasp of the scientific concepts that could be used in any field in the future. Because one flight simulator station costs about $4,000, educators have had to apply for outside grants to bring flight simulators to their schools.

Legos, saying they can be "used as manipulative teaching aids, raw materials for the next great robot, or simply building blocks for young students."

"Lego itself has developed a curriculum for how to use its products in schools. Lessons range from helping young students pair math concepts with how they are written to creating sophisticated robots that can complete specific tasks. Lego also organizes a number of robotics competitions for students from age 6 to 18."

Read the full story and comment below. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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