What is the PictureSTEM Project?
The PictureSTEM Project includes instructional units for K-2 classrooms that use an engineering challenge and picture books as supports for learning science, mathematics, engineering, computational thinking, and reading. These transformative new models for STEM provide students with authentic, contextual activities that engage learners in specific content while integrating across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Currently, there are limited curricula that address this need for integration. The goal of PictureSTEM is getting these high-quality, research-based materials into practice in a form that fits with teachers’ current implementation structures. Therefore, the units are modular with the ability for teachers to implement different lessons during different parts of their school day. Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Computational Thinking (STEM+C) with reading provides children opportunities to see the connections between the subjects we see in school and also see how these content areas are used together to solve problems for people.
The PictureSTEM Units:
Kindergarten: Designing Paper Baskets
First Grade: Designing Hamster Habitats
Second Grade: Designing Toy Box Organizers
Overview: Talia’s Toy Box Company has received complaints from parents about how messy toy boxes can get and how hard it is for their children to find their toys without dumping out all of the toys. In this unit, students investigate standard units of measure and sort objects according to their physical properties before applying them to design a toy box organizer.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1055382 through the Early Faculty Career program from the EEC division, through Grant No. 1519387 through the I-Corps for Learning program, and through Grant No. 1543175 through the STEM + Computing (STEM+C) program from the DRL division. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
10 thoughts on “PictureSTEM Project”
This is excellent! I have always used literacy to teach science and math, but its link to STEM and the Engineering Design Process is awesome. You did a very good job and the links you provide are very good. Any chance you have done work like this for middle grades?
We are working on a middle school project as well. It is called EngrTEAMS. You can find it at EngrTEAMS.org. However, it does not integrate literacy.
This made by day, I am a STEM community manager from California. We were planning to convert all our campaigns for Encouraging STEM Education to visual treat strategy. This would include infographics, gifs, interactive posters and puzzles ..etc. I reached picture stem during my research and it was totally inspiring and encouraging. Thanks and wishing you every best 🙂
Wonderful! We are updating the units this summer (latest versions posted 06/10/16). Let us know if you have any questions. We have added computational thinking to the units.
This sounds like a great program. You may want to Check out Future City; a middle school program and national competition established by the National Society of Engineers that combines literacy with engineering design. There are 40 regions nationally and one is in Indiana (see http://www.etcs.ipfw.edu) the contest has been very successfully incorporated into school curriculum by some schools to achieve a blend of literacy and engineering. There is also a strong STEAM component.
Thank you, Carol. We will check it out.
Any chance there will be more units like this? These are awesome and well thought out and organized.
Thank you. We are very glad you find the units useful. Right now these are the only ones in the works. We have not yet decided if we want to try to find funding to continue this work.
Maybe I’m missing something, but I can’t find how to open the units. Thanks for sharing – looks great and can’t wait to be able to use them.
There is a link to download a PDF for each unit. If you want the first grade unit for example, click on the unit title “First Grade: Designing Hamster Habitats”. Once you are on the correct page, the link for the unit will be just above the comments section.
I hope this helps!