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Operation STEM in the Classroom

Amy Philyaw, Director of STEM Education, developed a two-part series that incorporates science, English, and math into the new 4th grade Wit & Wisdom module.

At Lower Creek Elementary, 4th-grade teachers are introducing the new series to their students.

"First, we discuss the circulatory system with students, why their hearts are important, how it functions (does its job) and what it looks like internally," said Philyaw. "We then challenge students to build a model of a four-chambered heart."

Next, the focus is on a series of passages to tie in English Language Arts with the body system. Students read passages concerning patients with a broken foot, arm, diseased heart, and description of their stomach in order to identify the point of view, text features, main idea, and theme of each passage. Math is also embedded in this module by having students analyze fractions, factors, and multiplication problems.
Finally, science is incorporated by challenging students to recreate each body system on a paper model body and label the corresponding organs with their functions during a game of I Spy.
"The room is decorated as an operation room with students dressing in scrubs, shoe booties, and hair caps," said Philyaw. "This lesson feels more like fun!"