Appendix C: Working With STEM Teams
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Organizing your class into STEM teams enables students to explore these sometimes-intimidating topics in a non-threatening environment. As students work together, encourage them to share their ideas and content knowledge to solve real-world problems. The goal is to promote inquiry, collaboration, problem-solving and perseverance among all students.
When forming a STEM team, try to include students with a mix of different skills and abilities. Here are some facets to consider:
Learning style or modality
Individual experience and expertise
Potential team roles
If students are having trouble working as a group—one student is dominating the conversation; students are not engaged in the activity; or students are uncertain of how to proceed—assign each student to a specific role. Possible roles are:
Project Leader: The Project Leader's role is to ensure that everyone in the group participates and stays on task.
Project Coordinator: The Project Coordinator makes sure that the team completes assignments in a timely manner and that everyone has what they need to do their work.
Communications Specialist: The Communications Specialist writes down the team's ideas and responses to questions.
Presenter: The Presenter shares the team's ideas and responses with the class.
Researcher: If the team needs to look up information or work with data, the Researcher is the one to take the lead.
Regardless of each student's role, everyone should be encouraged to share their personal experiences and ideas.