This summer was quite literally a windfall for any teacher involved in educating students about STEM ideas. In one summer we were treated to the physics-laden Olympics, the engineering marvel of NASA’s Mars Curiosity, and the statistically significant fingerprint of the Higgs Boson. It’s little wonder why so many sources extol teaching STEM using current events in an attempt to generate relevancy in the classroom.
The trick is not in finding relevant happenings; it is in finding ways to present core standards embodied by these stories without coming across as contrived. I want my students to look at something real and respond with real questions. All teachers want this, but how can we take out an insurance policy against lessons that smack of “schoolness” instead of realness?