[Adapted from Pitsco Education’s Community Blog]
Pitsco knows that adaptation is essential. The classroom has been changing, and Pitsco is changing with it. For the past several years, we’ve noticed a trend toward more flexible curriculum and environments. With the availability of open resources and easier access to collaboration, educators have more control over how they’ll deliver material and which pieces they would like to use. And we would like to help.
We’ve embraced the changes as an opportunity to reconfigure our Modules curriculum to meet the varying needs of educators, and we will soon be releasing it under the name of STEM Expeditions. We’ve built it from the ground up based on Common Core State Standards. However, it’s also flexible enough to fit well with any standards your state might be using. Other standards we considered while writing this curriculum include ITEEA and NGSS.
STEM Expeditions will be cloud based and incorporate STEM concepts into relevant, real-world activities. Each Expedition will begin with an Essential Question, which sets the focus and shapes students’ thinking. Career connections have always been an important part of our curriculum, and we will continue to weave those in. Students will work together to complete the activities. Collaboration and teamwork will be key.
STEM Expeditions takes an integrated approach to education. Students are learning several different subjects at the same time and finding out why it matters. For example, in STEM Expeditions, they might be working through a hands-on science activity and can’t move forward without applying math in many forms.
We’ve observed how well the integration works in our beta test sites, such as when students have to measure distances and work practical conversions. They might have learned this skill in an earlier grade, but without context conversions, it can be quickly forgotten. STEM Expeditions give students a reason to use concepts learned in other content areas again.
If you’ve used our Modules titles, STEM Expeditions will be very familiar to you. We’ve simply updated them with today’s educator in mind. You could say we adapted. You’ll be able to use STEM Expeditions rotationally or whole class. We believe the curriculum we’ve created will be easier to tie into things that you are experiencing locally. I think your students will reach a deeper level of learning and that you’ll find it more flexible to suit your needs.
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