Science: A STEM Approach is a series of copymaster books that runs from Infants class to Sixth Class. It uses a STEM project(more about that later) to support the Science curriculum.
Each book is divided into four sections-Living things, Energy and forces, Materials and Earth and the environment so it can also support integration of the geography curriculum as well.
What is STEM?
STEM is the buzz word currently, especially with the Department of Education despite the fact STEM is not a curriculum subject! STEM is the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics concepts using project based and cooperative learning.
Breakdown of the units
Each of the four units detailed above is broken down further into lessons, summative assessment test with teacher notes and a STEM project.
I liked the clear unit overview of concepts that the students will learn along with an excellent scope and sequence chart( a medium term plan for Irish teachers!)
Each lesson plan is extremely detailed giving the skills development, outcomes, integration opportunities, background information for the teacher and assessment focus before a clear lesson plan with copy-masters for the students’ activities.
STEM project overview
At the end of each unit of work, there is a STEM project overview which is a very detailed list of the projects your class will carry out in their groups. This could also be useful for homework and longer type projects.
Each unit lists the key vocabulary needed and this is one of the features I think will aid the teacher.
To be honest with you, it is hard to fault this book. It contains everything you need to integrate technology, science,maths and engineering if that is something you are interested in. I really like the STEM project at the end as it contains self assessment rubrics and group assessment targets, always a good area for children to develop in. the technology examples are open ended and endorse the aims of a solid, digital learning ethos in any school-creativity, collaboration and communication are huge here! The simple pieces of technology listed like a digital camera will be easy for most schools to get a hold of. STEM: A science approach does what is says and more! I can recommend to any teacher that wants to explore project based work using the principles of technology, maths, engineering. The next book I’d like to see would add the “A” in STEM and integrate the visual arts but we cannot have it all!
You can buy the books here at https://www.prim-ed.ie/series/science-a-stem-approach/ for €24.95 a copy. Prim-Ed gave me a copy of the STEM books as part of my work in reviewing them. Thanks to Prim-Ed Publishing, you can win all seven class level by entering our competition!
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