Cosmic Classroom – putting STEM in the spotlight
Since the Principia mission launched at the end of 2015 and put British ESA astronaut Major Tim Peake on everyone’s radar, it’s been notable that there’s been a gentle culture shift with more children engaging with STEM subjects. This week’s #cosmicclassroom had Major Tim doing fun stuff in space. So how can we be sure that we can translate that vibrant buzz back to earth on a daily basis?
A research document from the US Doe puts it well: “Teaching concepts of STEM at an early age is one of the little things we can do as parents. You’d be amazed how much difference some well-crafted videos can make on your child’s life. You never know what’s going to be the spark of inspiration or curiosity that they remember for the rest of their lives.”
“You’d be amazed how much difference some well-crafted videos can make.”
US Department of Education
At Lessonbox, we’re interested to hear about, and share with you, ways in which video has been shown to enhance both teaching and learning. Here are a few:
Using video to improve the findings of group work
STEM subjects often lend themselves to group work. The problem with group projects though, is that often it becomes a number of individual projects done independently and then pasted findings in a single document. Research at Loughborough University however, shows that using video to report this kind of project in STEM subjects offered a variety of positive outcomes:.
As part of the research, a series of focus groups were captured on video.
The main identified outcomes were:
- increased student motivation
- enhanced learning experience
- higher marks
- development potential for deeper learning of the subject
- development of learner autonomy
- enhanced team working and communication skills
- a source of evidence relating to skills for interviews
- learning resources for future cohorts to use
- opportunities for staff development (for more using video for staff CPD click here.)
When performing a practical experiment by using video, you can review methods, results and then come to a conclusion. Additionally you can ultimately save resources – one group can do one experiment and share the results with the rest of the class.
A stem.org.uk research project at a school in Worcestershire featured Year 7 maths groups shoe were recorded doing a construction project investigating why triangles were used to build electricity pylons. The study of the video concluded that Year 7 students are often capable of more than we think they are, but students do not always see or reflect on what they are learning unless objectives are made explicit.
The study also noted that video can successfully be used to improve teaching and learning in a variety of ways that are not immediately obvious.
The Video collaboration can
• engage pupils;
• improve students process skills;
• provide a variety of assessment opportunities;
• be used to foster cross-curricular links in many areas outside STEM as well.
If you’re dealing with the various arithmetic that crops up in STEM subjects it can take a while to fully explain it and to go back can waste precious class time. Creating an online video to guide students through detailed calculations avoids the need to repeatedly cover the calculations during class time.
Did we miss something crucial from this list? Let us know.