Turnitin launches iThenticate 2.0 to help maintain integrity of high stakes content with AI writing detection
Learn more
Blog   ·  

3 Effective and Meaningful Ways to Teach STEM

Engaging ideas that can help to bring science, technology, engineering, and math to the classroom

Audrey Campbell
Audrey Campbell






By completing this form, you agree to Turnitin's Privacy Policy. Turnitin uses the information you provide to contact you with relevant information. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time.


STEM, the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math, is a hot topic and main focus for educators across the country and around the world. At every level and in every subject, engaging activities that spur curiosity and hone problem-solving skills are essential. However, despite the value and importance of STEM activities in our modern-day classrooms, it can still feel intimidating or overwhelming to develop a STEM lesson for the classroom, whether you teach math and science or literacy and art. In celebration of Computer Science Education Week 2018 (CSEdWeek), here are a few ways teachers in elementary and secondary education can easily infuse their curriculum with a dash of STEM, a spoonful of creativity, and a whole lot of energy.

Say “Yes!” to Errors and Unexpected Learning

Winston Churchill once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” It is important for educators to model a passion for discovery AND how to embrace mistakes and failures. Chelle Hendershot, on the Beneylu Psst! blog, emphasizes to teachers that if “it doesn’t go as you had planned, use that as a lesson, too. STEM is all about trial and error. The students learn just as much, maybe even more during flops.” She suggests starting small and assess what you are already teaching, then ponder how those lessons could be presented as a problem or a question, which would allow students to research, explore, and solve. Some educators even keep an “Oops!” chart in their classroom, highlighting memorable mistakes, or have students keep an ongoing journal where kids can reflect on their successes and the moments where things didn’t go the way they expected.

Reach Out and Ask for Help

For any teacher embarking on a STEM lesson for the first time, it can feel like a huge leap of faith. What is the best way for students to interact with the material? What should be covered? How should assessment take place? The best part of tackling a new teaching topic is that there is a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. From online forums and websites dedicated to STEM education, to the mentors and colleagues with whom you work at school, there is no better way to learn about STEM than seeking support.

Take a Chance and Try Something New

Ask colleagues what they do. Join an online forum and engage with other STEM or classroom teachers. Check out the Ask a Tech Teacher website for ideas on meaningful lessons for every age or go from STEM to STEAM and explore ways to incorporate art and design into your lessons. You can also check out lesson ideas from the Steam Powered Family in order to add a different, but engaging activity to your classroom. Just know there are myriad ways to bring STEM/STEAM into your learning space!

No matter what your lessons ultimately look like, know that experiential learning and problem-solving in any form helps students to see the world in a different way.