Storytime STEM-packs are designed as stand-alone 45-minute activities focused on a particular STEM concept that can be flexibly integrated into existing curriculum. Storytime STEM+C Adventures consist of five integrated activities. They focus on building a foundation for computational thinking and integrate STEM activities.
Storytime STEM-packs are aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, addressing K-2 core concepts. PreK children work towards these concepts. Each Storytime STEM-pack focuses on a particular disciplinary core idea (science/engineering) or mathematics concept, building towards children’s understanding of that concept. Often additional concepts, either in the same or in another STEM area are also addressed, resulting in an interdisciplinary experience. For example, in the science STEM-pack “Kate Who Tamed the Wind,” children experience a push from the air moving objects (PS2.A: Forces and Motion) and discuss evidence of wind speed in the story and pictures (ESS2.D: Weather and Climate). Although “City Green” is primarily focused on the mathematics concept of arrays (CCSS.2.OA.C.4), children eventually plant kidney beans in an array and discuss the structure of plants as they grow (LS1.A). Engineering design Storytime STEM-packs focus on building a foundation for engineering design, such as defining engineering problems and optimizing design solutions (ETS1.A, ETS1.C). In addition, children apply a science concept to solve the design challenge and test the solution. For example, in “On the Construction Site,” children build a house that keeps the bear family dry. They use the science concept of properties of matter (PS1.A) to select materials for the walls and roof of the house that is being tested with a water spray bottle.
STEM+C Adventures are aligned to CSTA Computer Science Standards (practices and concepts) as well as STEM concepts. For example, in “Blue Girl Adventures” children program Girl-Bot to follow the power lines to bring power from the windmill farm to community places, addressing computer science concepts (1A-AP-09, 1A-AP-10, 1A-AP-11, 1A-AP-14) and the science concept of natural resources (ESS3. A.)
Storytime STEM-packs integrate 21st Century Learning Skills by emphasizing problem solving and argument from evidence, as children work collaboratively to solve problems and explain phenomena, connected to the storybook. For example, in “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind,” children work in groups of three to build and improve a simple windmill.
Storytime STEM-packs are an ideal way to enhance existing curriculum by adding excitement and interest, launch a unit, apply, reinforce, or enrich concepts. Storytime STEM +C Adventures build a strong foundation for computer science/computation thinking, while also addressing STEM concepts.To view the standards alignment (concepts) for all Storytime STEM-packs and Storytime STEM+C Adventures, click here. The facilitator guide for each Storytime STEM-packs also shows the practice standards and the crosscutting concepts (science/engineering design) addressed in the STEM-pack or Adventure.