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:
Interest in environmental issues
Individual experience and expertise
Potential team roles
If students are having trouble working as a team—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:
Facilitator or Project Manager : The facilitator's role is to ensure that everyone in the group participates.
Recorder : The recorder writes down the team's ideas and responses to questions.
Timekeeper : The timekeeper keeps the team on track and ensures they have enough time to complete all parts of the assignment.
Spokesperson : The spokesperson shares the team's ideas and responses with the class.
Regardless of each student's role, everyone should be encouraged to share their personal experiences and ideas.