Step
1

As you watch the skill video below, think about these questions:

What do staff members say that will influence their choice of activity? (Listen at 1:13, 1:28)

How does the age of the youth they teach influence their choice of activity? (Listen at 2:15)

If you were leading this meeting, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?

Step
2

Watch the skill video

Step
3

Now that you've watched the video, reflect on what you saw and post your responses.

When selecting STEM activities, why is it important to meet with the team beforehand?
Sara Marquez's picture
Communication is very important between the staff that is trying to do any activity. It ensures that eveyone knows what is expected of the activity and also lets the staff try out the activity. This is a way for them to see how long the activity will take and if any changes need to be made.
Holly Carr's picture
You are so right!  It was so cool to watch the folks at ThinkTogether when we were observing their staff meeting.  Even if you were not woking at that sight or program, they listened to each other and gave feedback.  They took part in the process of selecting STEM activities as a team.    It was communication and collaboration.  
Keith Shepard's picture
The team needs to meet beforehand to make sure that the students will have activities geared towards student personalities, needs, and interests.
Debbie Hawks's picture
To come up with a plan to present materials and colaberate what is expected and unexpected in doing the STEM activity. 
Jamie Brekus's picture
i would have template controlled.  You have better bldg with STEM.
Kimberly Meek's picture
So that you are all putting in your input to make sure the children are learning something as well as enjoying themselves to keep excited about what they are learning.
Carisa Jones's picture
It is important to meet with the team beforehand because you don't want to go in the classroom blinded. There must be a cohesive plan. You want to meet with your team to make sure the activities will keep the interest of students as well as keep in the components of STEM. The actitvites need to be aligned with STEM and meeting beforehand to plan activities out throughouly will ensure the alignment and the attention of the students.
Melissa Cahill's picture
It's always important to meet with the team beforehand to get more information about ideas that work or don't work for their students. In addition, this helps foster ownership and excitement from frontline staff to make the activity more engaging and effective.
Patricia Arellano's picture
Es de suma importancia reunirse con el equipo de trabajo para planear y compartir puntos de vista sobre lo que se pretende trabajar para promover las actividades STEM y así cubrir todos los aspectos necesarios para llevar a cabo una buena práctica.
Este trabajo permitirá identificar probables dificultades y buscar la mejor amnera de lograr implementarla para lograr nuestro objetivo de involurar a nuestros alumnos en la educación STEM.
What criteria did you hear from the staff that influenced their choice of activity?
Sara Marquez's picture

The staff noticed that their children were making a lot of paper airplanes. This was the leading factor in why they chose this activity.
Keith Shepard's picture
Student interests and abilities based on observations, location restrictions, and careers that could relate to the activity.
Jo Anna McCormick's picture
The staff wanted to be sure that they picked activities in which the students had interest. Yet, they also wanted the activities to teach big ideas (such as the scientific method).
Debbie Hawks's picture
Finding what the children have been doing and are interested in.
Jamie Brekus's picture
They had to build something that applied to the real world.  To create from starting to finishing line.
Carisa Jones's picture
When choosing an  activity, the staf ensures it is  an interest of the student and aligned with STEM. 
Melissa Cahill's picture
I heard that the grade level of the students, their interests, the activitie's purpose, and how it translates to STEM were some of the criteria discussed to design the activity.
Patricia Arellano's picture
Se dieron cuenta algunas profesoras de las actividades que realizaban los niños en su tiempo de descanso y que la de realizar aeroplanos de papel era lo que más interesados los tenia.
What did you see in the video that enabled the staff to be more confident when facilitating a STEM activity?
Sara Marquez's picture

They were able to meet and bounce ideas off one another. This provided critical feedback from their peers.
Keith Shepard's picture
They utilized research to find what type of activities could be done with airplanes, and how to connect this with the scientific process. They decided they would use worksheets to guide the students' findings and templates to keep the situation controlled and reduce behavior problems.
Debbie Hawks's picture
They had aplan on what to do and what concepts to present.
Jamie Brekus's picture
I  saw the hands on learning.  The steps to do this......engineering cycle, design, create, test.  And then re-design.  The children must learn  from the activities.
Carisa Jones's picture
They felt more comfortable when they heard other ideas and confirmation on their own ideas. So, planning with a team is a great deal and it helps each person understand the each aspect of an activity. Also, they will feel more comfortable knowing that it will be an activity the students will enjoy.
Carisa Jones's picture
They felt more comfortable when they heard other ideas and confirmation on their own ideas. So, planning with a team is a great deal and it helps each person understand the each aspect of an activity. Also, they will feel more comfortable knowing that it will be an activity the students will enjoy.
Linden Higgins's picture
They do appear to have a very fixed notion of the nature of science and the "procedures" of science as "experimentation", that could be limiting. In particular, this example is really engineering not science (by NGSS standards). 
Linden Higgins's picture
They do appear to have a very fixed notion of the nature of science and the "procedures" of science as "experimentation", that could be limiting. In particular, this example is really engineering not science (by NGSS standards). 
Melissa Cahill's picture
The staff were able to brainstorm together to strengthen the quality of the program. In addition, they were confident because they were able to use what they know about the students to design an activity that would encourage participation and engagement.
You might not be in a place where you can meet with the team before deciding on activities.  What can you do instead?
Sara Marquez's picture

If you are not able to meet, emailing is a great way to communicate. Also having a confrence call could be helpful as well.
Keith Shepard's picture
I can do research online, ask my supervisor for help, and develop written directions that will guide my team even without a prior meeting.
Debbie Hawks's picture
Talk over the phone or video conference. Or find a time to meet individually to plan STEM activity.
Jamie Brekus's picture
Ask the team to come up with activities.
Carisa Jones's picture
I can use technology by emailing, Skyping, or even face timing with team or other STEM colleagues. If the team is unavailable, I can always research on the internet about the activity I plan to do. There is so much valuable information online that is aligned or can be tweeked to be aligned. 
Melissa Cahill's picture
If not able to meet, try and communicate with staff electronically to get feedback on the interests of students and how other activities have run in the past.

Professional Development Resources

Digging Deeper in Selecting Activities

As a result of this training, staff will be able to think critically about selecting activities, curriculum, and supporting activities.

1 hour, 30 minutes
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Selecting Activities

Use this Professional Development Resource to work with staff in selecting STEM activities that meet students' interest and program needs.

1 hour, 30 minutes
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Finding the Right Activity

Create an action plan for selecting STEM activities that suit their program and their students' interests, experiences, and needs.
15 minutes
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Considerations when Selecting STEM Activities

Check out this Coaching resource to assist staff in evaluating STEM program activities.

30 minutes
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Getting Comfortable with Selecting STEM Activities

This Virtual Coaching resource works directly with staff to build confidence in selecting STEM activities.

15 minutes
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Why STEM?

With an understanding of the importance of learning about Science Technology Engineering and Math, or STEM, Frontline Staff and Volunteers will...

15 minutes
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How do I know if it's a good STEM Activity?

Work with your team to determine if a STEM activity will meet your program needs and the needs of youth.

15 minutes
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Leveling the Playing Field

This Meeting guide will help you work with your frontline staff to look at criteria for creating an inclusive STEM learning experience.

30 minutes
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Get Out of Their Way!

This Virtual Meeting Resource provides an opportunity to work with your team on building STEM activities, even if you can't be in the same...

30 minutes
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