Integrating STEM education: A comprehensive framework for analyzing mathematics classrooms at a primary school

Huey Lei, Tony Li, Janice Ao
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This paper presents an overview of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) project implemented at a primary school in Macao SAR, that integrated pedagogical consideration on a rocket building competition. The project adopted an analytical tool as a theoretical framework for integrated STEM education. It exploited a modified analytical tool, grounded on the in-depth analysis of design, implementation, and evaluation of the project, called integrated STEM education framework in practice (iSTEMiP). The theme of the project covered space exploration combining a real-life problem and encouraging students to respond to manageable challenges. Its design focused on providing students with hands-on experience in integrating mathematics, engineering, and science knowledge within the exercise. For the participants of the project, a class of grade four students joined the STEM competition designed by a STEM team consisting of two teachers at the school. The students formed groups and were aided by the teaching team through instructional scaffolding, while the students constructed their own design rockets, step-by-step, integrating the acquired knowledge. Implementation of the project included the design stage of the rockets, group sharing activities, and the launch of the rockets. The major findings of the study discover students’ learning trajectories and teachers’ teaching flows by the critical features of the modified theory of iSTEMiP. Specifically, the mathematical concepts involving angles and projectiles were prominently shown to have been used from analyzing the work done by the students. Moreover, the study found that the participants expressed positivity toward the learning experience of the STEM project.

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