October 12, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Your burning STEM Challenge questions answered. If yours isn't on the list, comment or message and I'll be happy to answer!

There are a few questions I get quite a bit through my TPT store, this blog, and other social media. Today, I'm covering my top 4. 

Question: Your STEM challenges are listed for grades 2 - 8. I don't think it's possible that any activity could be appropriate for that age range; are you full of lies? 

Short answer - It's totally possible / I'm not full of lies! Because I know this is a very common question and cause for concern, I had a special video made to quickly explain how any challenge can be made appropriate for any age! Watch it here:

For just a little offering of proof, here are a few of the teacher-buyer comments I've received on one of my resources, Protect-a-Pilgrim:

“Fun activity to use year after year. It was a great way to challenge my students with learning disabilities (high school). They loved doing this activity.”

“My middle school kids had a lot of fun.”

“So awesome! My firsties really enjoyed this activity.”

“My 7th and 8th graders loved this!”

"Did it with first graders...They loved it!"

Question: Should every STEM challenge be treated as a competition?

Short answer: No, not every challenge. And before you label me as one of those give-everyone-a-trophy-for-trying people, hear me out. I have good reasons, check out the video below.

Question: Should I use a materials budget lists to constrain students in the engineering process?

Short answer: I'm not a fan, so I don't use them. That doesn't mean you shouldn't or that they can't be used well. For me, budget lists slow down the process too much without providing a valuable trade-off for that investment of time. However, giving students constraints to design around is a critical piece of the engineering process! I prefer to constrain materials simply by only providing a set amount, as well as constraining other aspects of the challenge rather than implement materials budgets. I explain more in the video above.

Question: What challenges do you have available for ____ (time of year)? / Are you ever going to bundle all of your challenges?

Yes, I finally did create a mega bundle! I have 43 challenges in all. You can see the quick preview of my current challenge library in the brief video below:

Do you have a burning STEM challenge question?

I love to discuss STEM challenges, so feel free to reach out with any questions you might have in the comments, via email, or social media. You'll find links for all up in the header of this page.

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