GWAEA has purchased licenses for all students in our service area for the next three years. The platform supports teachers with implementation of project-based learning experiences by showcasing real world careers, and using meaningful reading and writing activities. It may also link to your district’s goals around project-based learning, STEM education, and blended learning.
With a click of a button, teachers will find performance and literacy tasks, aligned with and searchable by Common Core and state standards. Performance tasks are the project-based component aligned to Understanding by Design, where students research solutions and create a unique product to solve a problem. Each performance task is supported with high-interest videos, research articles, and product examples for the students and assessment rubrics for educators.
Teachers can also use Defined STEM to boost nonfiction literacy skills. Teachers can search for literary tasks by argumentative, informative, and constructed response options. Each of the literary tasks is organized and supported with articles and videos to aide students in exploring and understanding the big ideas. Once you’ve found a lesson that you like, performance or literary task, each lesson can be customized to allow teachers to easily fit it into their curriculum.
A few of our area schools have started to explore Defined STEM and see strong potential for this resource. Cassidy Reinken, Magnet Coordinator at Johnson STEAM Academy Magnet School, has participated in a Defined STEM webinar and had these reflections on Defined STEM.
“Defined STEM is a great resource for educators who are interested in providing students authentic, interactive, and engaging project based learning activities. It is very user friendly and contains a wealth of information! Defined STEM uses performance and literacy tasks aligned to the common core standards, making it easy for educators to create connections to their current curriculum. The performance tasks promote higher order thinking skills and the universal constructs are deeply embedded in each lesson. Students learn and communicate collectively to solve real world problems. I am excited for Johnson STEAM Academy (JSA) teachers to use Defined STEM as a resource to support the integration of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) in their classrooms and the STEAM Lab.”