I know STEM is happening in my classroom when students try try again

#MindblowingSTEM Is all about failure leading to success.

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Science is scary- REALLY scary. But of all the subject areas we practice in school, science should be the least scary for students. Where else do they openly get to make a guess or prediction, try it out, learn from their mistakes, and then try again? Simple activities such as learning to focus a microscope give students such a window into their own capabilities. By learning to focus a microscope, by actually touching it, not being lectured about, students get the pure joy of seeing into a whole new world- literally! And that's exactly what STEM does for students.

If we, as teachers, don't allow students to try and try again, they'll never have their "ah-ha" moment with science. If we always tell them all the steps to build a successful rocket, they'll never feel pride or true joy in seeing their bottle rocket shoot above the school blacktop. Too often we want to give students the answers- honestly, it's easier- but to cultivate a love of STEM we have to give students the chance to try and fail. We can't just teach them about inventors scientists like Edison and the Wright brothers, we have to make them into those innovators and scientists. No greater subject allows for this process than STEM.

Check out this out! Science needs failure to succeed!

I know active STEM is happening in my classroom when students #trytryagain in labs and projects #mindBlowingSTEM@TeachersGuild@100Kin10

— Sara Freeman (@sjfreemanteach) September 20, 2016

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Photo of Erin Quinn

Wrapping their heads around the idea that failure is a good thing is such a hard thing for kids to do. One of the things I found really helped my students figure this out was do a really deliberate job of documenting their progress using a "Maker journal" or similar. Then each mistake becomes an opportunity for iteration, rather than a failure.

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