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Stem and Stories

by Sarah Sansbury

Integrating the humanities and STEM is easier than you would think. Let me share with you my STEM + Stories project that was funded by the Mable Wyche Underwood Grant award. Overall, I had three objectives, for kids to (1) read books. (2) create STEM projects. (3) and have fun learning!

Below are some of the novels that we read as a group and the corresponding project that was inspired by the book’s plot. Our STEM + Stories Club met weekly and read each novel over 4-6 weeks (depending on the length of the book). When we met, we used Kahoots as a way to tease discussion out of the students. I would use the different questions as a jumping board for asking kids’ opinions about the book, plot, and so on. After the Kahoot discussion, we would work on our project. Before every meeting, I always built my own STEM project to help me detect anything that may need troubleshooting before the kids built theirs. Many of the projects I had never done before, so I was in many ways learning along with the kids. Besides reading, creating, and learning about STEM, one of the greatest benefits I observed was our students increasing their perseverance and GRIT when they faced something difficult or something that wasn’t working right the first or second or third time. It made their successful creation all the satisfying of an accomplishment--and I couldn’t be prouder.

Fuzzy by Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger

STEM Project: Using Little Bits, create a robot hand that waves.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

STEM Project: Using Little Bits, design a machine that creates art.

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

STEM Project #1: Design a luggage tag in Tinkercad and 3D print it.

STEM Project #2: Create an interactive map using Makey Makeys and Scratch coding.

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

STEM Inspiration: Create and shoot off rockets.

If you want to reach out to me to learn more or to get advice on your STEM + Stories activities, feel free to message me on Twitter (@supersansbury). Also, I highly encourage you to apply for the Mable Wyche Underwood Grant. GLMA is accepting applications until the deadline of March 17th.

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