BrickLAB STEM Foundations Curriculum
BrickLAB STEM Foundations is perfect for any educational environment as it was designed to be suitable for classrooms, after-school programs, home school groups and more. By utilizing hands-on projects to explore the foundations of construction engineering, communications, mathematics and physics, which can be purchased separately or as a bundle. Bricks are the perfect manipulative to inspire students in unimaginable ways, making any learning environment an authentic experience for students in grades 3-6.
The projects in the curriculum were built upon Bloom’s Taxonomy to combine educational efficacy with fun, experiential activities. In each series, activities 1 and 2 build comprehensive knowledge, activity 3 provides analysis application and activity 4 wraps up with an evaluation synthesis coupled with an assessment journaling aspect. This series builds multiple neural pathways, to reinforce new concepts and challenge students to use these concepts in new ways. In addition, these engaging activities were developed with the ITEEA standards for technological literacy, which is growing in importance as a 21st Century Skill.
BrickLAB STEM Foundations has been developed using modern research and 21st Century alignments to create a powerful teaching tool that is easy for instructors to start using immediately. Additionally, the STEM Foundations BrickLAB is the perfect starter kit for an instructor that may not know exactly how they want to integrate hands-on manipulatives into their current curriculum. Start experiential learning in your classroom today with BrickLAB STEM Foundations!
Students become budding architects in this unit as they explore basic architectural elements like the post and lintel and cantilever. Understanding the basics is extremely important when designing structures, so some history is also covered to show how long architecture has been used and why it is integral to the success of a society. Greek temples and Egyptian pyramids are studied for their structural finesse and ability to withstand time. Additionally, proper nomenclature is always used in PCS Edventures curriculum, so architectural terminology is introduced as new concepts are covered. Learn about why architecture continues to grow and develop not only as a science but as an art form with this unique construction engineering unit!
By diving into manipulative-based concepts such as geometry and statistics, students are able to use their hands to get more involved with math! They explore cubes, circles, pi, tesselations, measurement and so much more in this interactive math-filled unit. Correct terminology is also reinforced to aid students with memory recall of math concepts. Whether students enjoy math, or struggle with grasping concepts, the STEM foundations math unit helps students of all abilities see math in a whole new light and mathematics becomes more hands-on than ever before with this engaging unit!
In an increasingly digital world, communication skills are more important than ever and have become a highly sought after 21st Century Skill. In this unit students must put their current communication skills to the test in order to improve them! Activities require students to follow specific instructions, communicate with precision and use technology to communicate with semaphore and braille systems. One can never have too much experience or practice in the communication arena, so this unit is a beneficial addition to any classroom!
Force and motion are studied in this unit by giving students the opportunity to experiment with the different types. Newton’s laws of motion, the work formula and the effects of friction are also studied with engaging, experiential activities that would make anyone want to become a physicist! Students are also challenged to examine and relate scientific topics to the world around them using scientific vocabulary, specific to the physical sciences. Get moving and shaking with this exciting unit!
In the foreward of their document Standards for Technological Literacy, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) describes the need for up and coming generations to have an understanding and appreciation of technology. The ITEEA wrote “we are a nation increasingly dependent on technology. Yet, in spite of this dependence, U.S. society is largely ignorant of the history and fundamental nature of the technology that sustains it. The result is a public that is disengaged from decisions that are helping share its technological future,” (2007). In response to this apparent need for technological literacy in today’s society, The PCS Edventures BrickLAB STEM Foundations set was developed specifically around the standards laid out by the ITEEA.
The ITEEA began with a broad definition of what technology is: “technology is how people modify the natural world to suit their own purposes.” From there, they developed a set of age-appropriate standards, which outline what concepts should be instilled to develop a sense of technological understanding as students progress. Additionally, it is apparent that there is a vast difference between what technology education entails versus educational technology. Many schools utilize technology in education, but fail to dive into the origins of technology and how it developed with the human race and continues to evolve with us into the future.
In response to this publication and its findings, PCS Edventures decided to develop a curriculum series which directly addressed the concerns laid out by the ITEEA. The BrickLAB STEM Foundation series focuses on recent research which shows that many students learn best from experiential learning. Bricks are utilized to “provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their understanding of technology and its value to them and society,” (2007, 19). With engaging Project-Based Learning activities, BrickLAB STEM Foundations instills a deep understanding of the world of technology!
To read the entire ITEEA document about technological literacy:
Standards for Technological Literacy: Content for the Study of Technology, Third Edition. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.iteea.org/TAA/PDFs/xstnd.pdf