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ERIC Number: EJ1214905
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2158-0502
Fostering Creativity and Curiosity: Developing Safer Elementary STEM Learning Spaces
Swagerty, Lindsey M.; Hodge, Tara
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v78 n8 p20-23 May-Jun 2019
Recent education initiatives have created a spotlight for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs within schools with an eye to not only improve students' overall performance in mathematics and science, but also increase the pipeline of students pursuing STEM-focused careers. While current STEM initiatives focus on all levels of education, Dejarnette (2012) identifies elementary grades as a key target to foster curiosity in STEM subject areas, allowing for continued interest and learning among students. Unfortunately, the majority of STEM programs in K-12 schools are designed for--and delivered to--secondary students. This means elementary schools that understand the need for STEM learning are building their STEM programs without guidance or access to proven templates. When considering the development of a new STEM lab or space conducive for project-based learning (PBL), many elementary school leaders throughout the nation seem to be looking for assistance and guidance (Kelso, 2010). Despite the benefits of PBL and integrated STEM, it is common for elementary teachers to feel apprehensive about teaching STEM lessons, often making them reluctant to initiate or lead a STEM initiative within their classroom. This reluctance typically involves concerns about classroom management, control over learning activities, and their perceived inability to answer students' questions. These fears may be mitigated or eliminated should the school develop a designated STEM lab or space for all teachers to use within the school.
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. 1914 Association Drive Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539. Tel: 703-860-2100; Fax: 703-860-0353; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A