STEM Mentoring Using Kidblog

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As the need for STEM related jobs grows, the education world is changing.  Integrating STEM education into all aspects of teaching should not only be easy to do, but it should be fun!  Blogging provides a means to get students throughout an entire school excited about STEM.

I am currently teaching in a K-7 school, working with a 6th-grade STEM class that meets daily.  Providing students with an opportunity to teach others about what they know has provided students with a great chance to learn from one another.  Since a middle school schedule doesn’t always mesh well with an elementary schedule, the use of blogging has provided a great starting point for communication.  Below you will find an outline of how I have used blogging to support STEM mentoring in our school.

Rocketry STEM Mentoring Project:

  1. Our 6th grade STEM class created straw rockets where they analyzed the science of rocketry and tested variables related to their rocket design (number of fins; body tube length; nose cone design/mass).

  2. From their work and knowledge of rocketry, the 6th graders created a mini-lesson/challenge related to rocketry.  They were required to present an engineering design challenge, list of materials needed, and timeframe for completion to a 2nd grader in our school.  They included all of this information in a blog post that they made ‘public’ for the 2nd graders to see.

  3. Once the 2nd graders reviewed the challenge, they were required to send their ‘STEM teacher’ a question about either the materials, timeframe, or engineering challenge.  This was done as a comment to the original post.

  4. The 2nd graders then worked on their design challenge and posted questions as they came up to their 6th grade ‘mentor’.

  5. The mentors and mentees were then able to meet up and both send their rockets for a test flight but also share what each other learned.

Blogging provided a great way to connect these two classes!  Using STEM, blogging, and mentoring to foster thinking has made a huge difference in the lives of a lot of students who don’t have many mentors in their lives.  If any of you have used a blog for mentoring, I would love to hear back from you as well

Finally, if any of you would like more information on the rocketry unit we did, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment as well.  I will help in any way that I can!

About the Author
Bill has spent the past 20 years teaching in England, Michigan, and Colorado. He has taught in 1st through 6th grades and is currently teaching STEM to 6th graders at Holland Public Schools. He has a Masters in Integrated Natural Sciences from Colorado College and is Nationally Board Certified in Early Adolescent Mathematics.

2 comments

  1. Kelly Richardson

    I would love to have more information about the unit. It sounds very exciting. I teach K-3rd technology and always looking for new things to do with my students.

    • Bill Boerman

      Kelly—I would love to send you some things. You are welcome to drop me a note at bboerman@hollandpublicschools.org, and I will get you some information/ideas. Similar to you, I am always curious to hear/get other ideas!

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