May 23, 2018

Musical Instrument STEM Challenge

The engineering process is an important step in using STEM in your instruction. I find that many kids these days don't know how to persevere through failures. I've found that teaching the engineering process while teaching STEM lessons helps lesson the helplessness and encourage students to think outside the box.

Here is a STEM lesson I taught and a few helpful tips I learned along the way to limit the chaos! 

1. Teach the engineering process

Focus on the fact that engineers almost never get it right the first time. I show this Kid President video then explain how the engineering process is an ongoing cycle. 

2. Introduce the problem (ask & imagine)

Explain to students that we have to make instruments that make at least 2 sounds. Reiterate that is does not have to look like a traditional instrument. My class had a long conversation about this. I even showed them a Stomp video. I gave out the material list and explained that they could use only 5 items on the list to make their instruments. I gave students time to imagine their concepts and talk about it. 

3. Plan

Students use their planning paper and the materials list to draw out their concepts. My students walked back and fourth between their tables and the materials to get ideas. 


I use a cute stamp to 'approve' their designs. Once approved, students can get materials and begin to design. Some students had a lot of trouble in they stage. I allow students to replan their instrument if an idea isn't working out. Warning: this is messy and loud. Get used to it. 

5. Test and improve

Students use the self-assessment paper to test and improve their designs. I allowed students to redesign or keep their original if they were happy with it. If the students needed something to do they can help a friend or decorate their instruments. 

Because the engineering process is an ongoing cycle, technically you could do this projects for weeks. However, I'll admit I was happy once this was over! It took a little planning and a lot of cleaning, but overall I felt it was successful because my students were able to express themselves creatively, work though problems, and have fun! Good luck!

Get the full lesson plan HERE!

1 comment:

  1. anaokulu malzemeleri eğitici oyuncaklar kreş oyuncakları tıkla sepete ekle yengeç eğitim araçları ve tasarım anaokulu materyalleri kreş mobilyaları


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