Guidance for creating meaningful STEM lessons
STEM Lesson Guideposts presents a clear and actionable approach for teachers and leaders to follow in developing meaningful STEM lessons and units. This companion to the bestselling STEM Lesson Essentials is a practical guide for helping you on your journey of creating integrated, interdisciplinary STEM units.
Where do I begin with STEM?
Educators often ask, Where do I begin? when thinking about STEM learning. Inspired by this question, Jo Anne Vasquez, Michael Comer, and Joel Villegas developed the W.H.E.R.E. planning model-five interrelated guideposts that provide structure and guidance for conceiving, creating, and organizing STEM experiences. These key focus areas include:
- What and Why: What needs to be learned and why?
- How: How do I plan to meet this goal?
- Evidence and Evaluate: What evidence of learning will be used and how will I evaluate the final product?
- Rigor and Relevance: How will I provide opportunities that will lead to increased rigor and relevance?
- Excite, Engage, Explore: What activities will excite my students and engage them in the STEM practices?
About the Author
Jo Anne Vasquez, Ph.D. is Vice President and Program Director of Arizona Transition Years' Teacher and Curriculum STEM Initiatives at the Helios Education Foundation. Jo Anne has been a classroom teacher, district science specialist for Mesa Public Schools, adjunct professor of science education at Arizona State University, and director of professional development and outreach for ASU's Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (CRESMET). A recognized leader in science education, Jo Anne is a Past President of NSTA (National Science Teachers Association), and the National Science Education Leadership Association. She was a Presidential Appointee to the National Science Board, as well as the first and only K-12 educator elected to the governing board of the National Science Foundation. Her distinguished service and extraordinary contributions to the advancement of science education at the local, state and national levels has won her numerous awards including NSTA's highest award, the 2006 Robert H. Carlton Award for Leadership in Science Education. She has been named Arizona's Outstanding Educator of the Year and the National Environmental Association's Teacher of the Year. Michael Comer's dedication to teaching was fostered by his early experiences at Assumption School in Peekskill NY. He carried that passion into his own professional career teaching middle school science. His work with classroom educators providing hands-on training and professional development workshops led to an invitation to work with the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia on improving their science instruction. Michael is coauthor (with Jo Anne) of Developing Visual Literacy in Science K-8 (NSTA Press). Currently he is the National Marketing Manager for STEM at McGraw-Hill and is the proud father to Brett, Toby and Elyse (who also share his passion for learning). Joel Villegas has 18 years of experience in education with a focus on STEM integration and professional development. A dynamic presenter, he speaks frequently at both local and national conferences. Follow him on Twitter @Villegasjoel8.