STEAM | Collection-Inspired Lesson Plans

NEW to Thursdays for Teachers

In summer 2016, the Nebraska Department of Education (NDE) held STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Academy to learn to facilitate and grow this approach to teaching. Joslyn is fortunate to get to work with two STEM Academy fellows, Monroe Middle School art teacher and Joslyn mentor teacher, Josephine Langbehn, and NDE’s Director of Fine Arts Education, Debra Wehrmann DeFrain, as we start to integrate this pedagogical strategy into our teacher resources.

We use the following as our guide:

NDE’s STEM approach reflects an integrated and interdisciplinary philosophy to teaching and learning that emphasizes collaborative school-based, work-based, family-based, and community-based experiences as a context for helping students to master key competencies within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.


The curriculum Joslyn produces for Thursdays for Teachers, with our team of mentor teachers from represent many disciplines, will demonstrate the application of this approach. Of course, as an art museum, we took the liberty of giving our lesson plans the moniker, STEAM. The first three lessons, featuring artists Edgar Degas, Kay Sage, and N.C. Wyeth, are now available online with the Museum’s teacher resources, including teaching posters and Pinterest boards.

   

Also included in the STEAM lessons are writing prompts developed by DeFrain. While teachers from any state may find them useful, they are to help Nebraska teachers comply with NDE's Rule 10: Regulations and Procedures for the Accreditation of Schools which states that "writing experiences are incorporated in all curricular areas K-12."

DeFrain suggests teachers provide students with 3x3 Post-It notes to complete a daily writing activity. Then students place their Post-It in their assigned number (see grid on letter-sized paper to right, page 12 of linked lesson plan) and mentions that if you take a photo of each paper, it could also serve as an attendance record for that class.

If you would like to know more about Nebraska’s innovative teaching and learning method, follow #NDESTEM on Twitter.

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