A guide to exploring STEM Connect in 10 easy steps.
Step 1: Log In
Navigate to discoveryeducation.com or your custom URL. Input your username and password and select Sign in.
Select STEM Connect from the Curriculum Packs section of your My DE homepage or from the grid menu in the upper right corner. Then, select your desired grade level in STEM Connect from the Grade Dropdown.
Step 2: Explore Course Resources
With Teacher view turned on, an additional drop-down menu will appear in the top menu, STEM Connect Resources. Here, you can access many additional materials to support teaching and learning with STEM Connect.
NAE Grand Challenges and UN Sustainable Development Goals: These provide you background information on the NAE Grand Challenges and UN Sustainable Development Goals upon which STEM Connect is grounded in through our 8 Real World Challenges.
Literacy Guides: This guide connects key literacy skills (ask and answer questions, make predictions, identify cause and effect, etc.) to the STEM Connect Solution Seeker stories.
National Standard Alignment: STEM Connect was built to align to national standards in multiple disciplines. Each unit was benchmarked against frameworks in literacy, math, science, social studies, arts, health education and technology. Teachers can use the standards alignment document to help with unit sequencing. For example, if your school or district usually teaches the water cycle in the spring, you can look for units that align to those science standards using the standards alignment matrix. In this way, STEM Connect can help reinforce learning in core subjects and provide ways to students to connect ideas and concepts across disciplines.
Interdisciplinary Unit Alignment: This provides an at-a-glance overview of the 32 interdisciplinary units included in STEM Connect.
- eLearning Course: This interactive course is self-paced and teaches you the ins and outs of STEM Connect.
- Standards: Explore our National Standards alignment as well as find your state standards mapped to the units.
Step 3: Explore a Unit
Review the available units and corresponding topics from the course-level landing page. Select the one that supplements your existing curricular goals.
Step 4: Review the Teacher-Only Resources
Toggle Teacher View ON to gain access to Teacher-Only resources.
Activity Materials List: This spreadsheet includes all extra materials you will need for hands-on activities and content connections throughout these lessons.
Print All Teacher Handouts: This option brings all teacher handouts into a bundled PDF to be saved to your computer or printed for your reference.
Print All Student Handouts: This option brings all student handouts into a bundled PDF to be saved to your computer or printed for students.
Model Lesson: Access the Model Lesson for the unit to support planning engaging lessons.
Step 5: Review the Model Lesson
In addition to the other teacher-only resources, each unit in STEM Connect includes a Model Lesson that details a pathway of instruction and all the components of the unit. Although it is not necessary to follow the pathway, it is helpful to see the unit structure and recommended delivery before you begin. Each unit contains a Model Lesson which includes the big idea, Grand Challenge/Sustainable Development Goal connections, and unit outline. Additionally, each lesson is outlined in the model lesson including time suggestions, directions, links to lesson resources, and 4Cs opportunities.
Step 6: Explore STEM Content Connections
Content Connections contain activities that help you to relate STEM to your other classes and to the world. These are embedded throughout the lessons, but can also be explored and assigned individually from the unit page. These content connections include math, literacy, science, art, engineering, and social studies activities.
Step 7: Explore STEM Careers
Similar to the Content Connections, each lesson highlights real professionals solving real-world problems using STEM skills discussed in the unit. These diverse STEM careers can be used in context within the lessons or can be explored and assigned individually from the unit page.
Step 8: Explore a Lesson
Each unit contains 5-6 lessons that follow the Challenge, Design, Solve engineering design process. STEM Connect lessons are built in a slideshow format. Teachers can open the Notes on the left side for support in planning.
Slides can be advanced to create a self-paced learning experience for students. Reading Passages can be opened in a separate window to allow students to print or use the read aloud, page mask, and page ruler tools.
All lessons end with 4Cs reflection questions.
Step 9: Meet the Solution Seekers
Students are introduced to the STEM Solution Seekers in the first lesson of each unit.
STEM Connect uses the phrase “solution seekers” because we know that these global challenges are not merely problems to solve. Multiple solutions exist, and we want to encourage students to look for multiple ways to approach challenges.
To build empathy for the global challenges, STEM Connect features illustrated fictional stories, starring the “STEM Solution Seekers” in grades K-5. The characters introduce students to the topic and the specific challenge in each unit. In the middle school units, students are introduced to challenges by students just like them who tackled real—world problems through opportunities like the 3M Young Scientist Challenge, the Siemens competition, the Aspirations in Computing Award or the Lockheed Martin Generation Beyond video challenge.
The integration of literacy with the hands-on aspect of the design challenges allows students to practice essential skills of reading, writing, speaking, and listening. By reading the fictional stories and the first-hand accounts from other student “solution seekers,” students connect with the challenges in a different way that creates personal connections and generates enthusiasm that is often missing when tackling non-fiction text alone.
Step 10: Explore Additional Units
Every STEM Connect Course has eight units – all with connections to other content areas. Explore other units by revisiting the main page for each grade band or through the unit dropdown at the top of the page. We hope that once you've experienced the power of this approach, you'll return for many more units throughout the year.