STEM - It's Not Too Early

Notes from a TCEA 2011 Concurrent Session

Diane Kahanek
Technology Facilitator
Village Elementary School
Georgetown ISD

What is STEM? The integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics into the curriculum.

Why integrate STEM?
  • Stimulates curiosity
  • Taps into student use of higher level thiniking skills
  • Engages learners
  • Manipulate concepts into any content area
MARE Curriculum - Marine Activities and Resources Education. Village does this in May. It is a school-wide STEM porogram for one month. School is decorated. It looks diferent every year because students research and decorate every year. Collect materials all year to recycle them for the decoration. Textbooks are put away and students stay in homerooms to immerse themselves into the program.

Students present what they have learned. Last year, another elementary was bussed over to learn from the Village students.

Students are very engaged in MARE and discipline problems are reduced.

Curriculum addresses standards in Earth, physical and life science, as well as inquiry; language arts, environmental issues, art, and music.
As students progress through the years, they build upon concepts and processes learned in previous years.

Village uses to help teachers plan the MARE unit. This includes Aha! Math and Aha! Science

Kindergarten - Life in a Pond explores habitats, water as a home, properties of water, adaptations and food chains/interrelationships. They do a Kid Pix Activity to create a living pond ecosystem.

First Graders - Rocky Seashore explores habitatae, animal and plant adaptations, different torms of rocks that make a seashore. Use Word or a PowerPoint or Blabberize to create a report about a rocky seachore.

Second Grade - Sandy Beaches - Themes include roc cycle and invertebrates. Math Activity - Sort, classify and graph biotic and abiotic elements using Excel.

Third Grade - The Wetlands and Estuaries - themes of organism diversity, habitat edges, and animal adaptations. Create a poster using Publisher, KidPix, or Glogster. Inquiry journals.

Fourth Grade - Kelp Forest - Includes themes of light and color under water, fish adaptations, seaa otters, seaweed, and human uses of seaweed. Students create a video about how kelp forests change throughout the seasons.

Fifth Grade - Dive into the Open Ocean - Disect squid and make it into calamari. Includes themes of global interconnectedness of the oceans.

MARE Museum - Students should learn enough about the topic so they can present it to someone else. They give tours to guests of what they are learning.

S: Life systems, water cycle, seasons
T: Graphics presentations research graphing and publishgin
E: Construcitng 3d models of organisms
M: Collecting data and measurement

Campus is now looking at Imagine Mars Project from This comes with AhHa Science and hopefully will come with Easy Tech soon after TEA approval.

Grades 3-8 STEM program, project based, where students create a colony on Mars. has all of the resources needed to complete the project.

All resources from this presentation are posted here: