A guide to exploring STEM Connect in 10 easy steps.
Step 1: Log In and Access Stem Connect
Navigate to discoveryeducation.com or your custom URL. Input your username and password and Sign in.
Select STEM Connect from the Curriculum Packs section of your My DE homepage. You can also access STEM Connect from any page using the Global Nav menu in the upper left corner.
Step 2: Explore Course Resources
Toggle the Teacher View on and navigate to the STEM Connect Resources drop-down menu. Here, access many additional materials to support teaching and learning with STEM Connect.
- Getting Started with eLearning Course: This interactive course is self-paced and teaches the ins and outs of STEM Connect.
- Standards: Explore National Standards alignment as well as find state standards mapped to the units.
NAE Grand Challenges and UN Sustainable Development Goals: Provides background information on the NAE Grand Challenges and UN Sustainable Development Goals that STEM Connect is grounded on.
Literacy Guides: 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. 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. STEM Connect helps reinforce learning in core subjects and provides ways for students to connect ideas and concepts across disciplines.
Interdisciplinary Unit Alignment: Provides an at-a-glance overview of the 32 interdisciplinary units included in STEM Connect.
Step 3: Explore a Unit
Review the available units and corresponding topics from the course-level landing page. Select 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 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 save to your computer or print for your reference.
Print All Student Handouts: This option brings all student handouts into a bundled PDF to save to your computer or print 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's not necessary to follow the pathway, it'a helpful to see the unit structure and recommended delivery before you begin.
Each unit contains a Model Lesson that includes the Big Idea, Grand Challenge/Sustainable Development Goal, and Unit Outline. Additionally, each lesson is outlined in the model lesson and includes time suggestions, directions, links to lesson resources, and 4Cs opportunities.
Step 6: Explore STEM Content Connections
Content Connections contain activities that help you 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
Each lesson highlights real professionals solving real-world problems using STEM skills discussed in the unit. Use these diverse STEM careers in context within the lessons or explore and assign 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. Use 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 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 tackle 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 personal way that generates enthusiasm that'd 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 now you've experienced the power of this approach, you'll return for many more units throughout the year!