What Are STEM Activities For Middle School Students?
When middle school students feel engaged with the topics they’re being taught, they perform better in class and the knowledge they gain really sticks with them.
STEM activities are a great way to engage kids in learning, but at the middle school level, activities need to be challenging enough to meet students’ intellectual and emotional maturity levels.
Providing engaging STEM activities for middle schoolers can require more creativity than activities for younger learners, but the investment is well worth it for the positive impact it has on childrens’ development and education.
WHAT IS STEM?
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In today’s world, these subjects are woven into every aspect of our lives.
STEM curriculum is a unique approach to learning that focuses around individual students’ learning styles and interests by connecting academic disciplines and relating them to one another.
The STEM acronym was first publicized in 2001 by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and came as a response to reports that U.S. students were not achieving in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the same rate as students in other countries.
Dire consequences were predicted if America couldn’t compete in the global economy as the result of a poorly prepared workforce.
Therefore, prioritization was given to the U.S.’s attention to science, mathematics, and technology research; on economic policy; and on education as these areas were seen as being crucial to maintaining U.S. prosperity.
WHY IS STEM EDUCATION IMPORTANT?
STEM education connects classroom learning to the real world and provides students with the skills they need to be successful in the future.
Regardless of the career path your child will choose, STEM prepares them to bring a mindset of innovation, invention and creative problem solving to every task they face.
STEM emphasizes the following skills:
- Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
Reports from the U. S. Department of Commerce inform us that STEM occupations are growing at a rate of 17%, whereas non-STEM jobs are only growing by 9.8%.
Students who graduate with degrees in STEM fields earn higher incomes and science, technology, engineering and mathematics workers play a key role in the sustained growth and stability of the U.S. economy.
Students who go on to careers in STEM fields are a critical component to helping the U.S. stay strong in the future.
STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy and enables the next generation of innovators.
Here at Cornerstone Christian School in Harrisonburg, VA, we help students to understand through STEM activities that what they are learning now is important to their future and the future of the whole world.
At our faith-based school, students learn to integrate Biblical principles into every aspect of life as they mature in character, grow academically and develop a heart to serve and love others. Teachers and staff are concerned not only with promoting a high level of academic achievement, but also with cultivating godly convictions within the heart so that students can interact with others in healthy ways.
EXAMPLES OF STEM ACTIVITIES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS
In addition to the classroom-based STEM programs, STEM-themed activities outside of school are equally important.
When considering STEM projects you can do with your children at home, remember that to be effective, STEM education can’t be boring.
It should incorporate other skills than just mathematics and science and be geared toward the unique interests of your children so they can learn and enjoy.
For example, you can turn activities like board games and darts into math lessons, or create a stop-motion animation film to learn about technology and storytelling.
But where to find ongoing sources of inspiration for STEM activities for middle schoolers? Pinterest is a great resource, as is Science Buddies.
Collaborating with other parents with children enrolled in Christian schools in Virginia or in Harrisonburg, VA schools is another great way to bring new energy and ideas to DIY STEM projects.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL IN HARRISONBURG
Visiting us in person is the best way to understand the investment of a lifetime that you can make for your child’s future through enrollment in our Christian school.
Let us host you for a private visit, or, stop by during one of our open houses.
You can learn more about Cornerstone Christian School tuition on our website and if you have any questions about enrollment, you can contact our Development Director Stephanie Shafer directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (540)432-9816.
We look forward to welcoming you!