Project-based inquiry learning is known as PBIL for short and it’s designed to boost the achievements of students who are studying STEM topics. Today, we want to share information about what PBIL is and why it lends itself to enhanced student understanding of STEM subject matter.
While the material in this blog is suitable for those who’ve completed the Project-Based Inquiry Learning: Science Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century Certificate Program, our blog is also a good resource for any types of STEM educators, or for other people who have an interest in STEM education.
We want to help educators by giving them information which helps them to teach science, technology, engineering and math topics.
What is Project-based Inquiry Learning?
This type of learning helps students to build conceptual understanding. It also assists with student development of critical thinking skills. Students who are taught via this learning style tend to find problem solving and scientific reasoning easier.
What is STEM, Anyway?
STEM is a particular curriculum which has a four-discipline focus. It’s about teaching science, technology, engineering and math via an approach which is interdisciplinary and applied.
How to Make a PBIL Center for Learning
PBIL is utilized in order to teach STEM topics. It’s a great way to get students thinking. PBIL is an ideal learning style for an array of topics, including robotics and engineering. In fact, NASA holds robotics workshop for kids, older students and educators which are delivered in a project-based inquiry learning style. For example, a group of teachers might work on a robot together and learn PBIL techniques along the way, which they will then be able to use in the classroom.
If you want to facilitate the delivery of PBIL education in your classroom, you may wish to create a PBIL center for learning. Your learning center should include a cluster of storage centers where every activity has been set up in advance and then stored for the kids to use. You might invest in a locking storage cabinet, containers and other storage options which make it easier for you to organize this type of teaching.
Basically, you’ll be creating learning stations which have everything stored ahead of time.
Delivery of premium STEM education is a worthy goal. STEM acumen opens up opportunities for students, no matter which walks of life they come from. However, PBIL for STEM topics will require the purchase of high-quality equipment and this includes enough storage containers to hold all of the elements of STEM projects while they aren’t being used. Since PBIL is a type of learning which features plenty of “hand-on” inquiry activity, it’s nice to have things prepared for students in advance.
Store Project Components in Packages
It’s best to store components of every project element in packages. Then, students will have easy access to what they need. As well, they’ll be able to put it all away once they’ve completed PBIL.
If some students require more time in order to learn effectively, activity packs may be reused. All of the pieces of these activity packs will be in the same place. Students who are having trouble may then learn independently or with the supervision of a teacher, outside of class hours or while the rest of the class is engaged in other learning activities. A PBIL learning center for STEM will make it easier to deliver a high caliber of instruction for students, whether they find this type of subject matter easy to grasp or not.
Learning centers of this type help to control chaos. They streamline the learning process by centralizing components of individual projects. For example, if you’re teaching kids how to make robots from Lego materials, you’ll find that implementing the right storage system is an effective way to stop various components from going missing. Just be sure to do an inventory after class, or before class, when students are putting away materials that aren’t being used in robots.
Sometimes, components for PBIL learning are quite costly. This means that taking good care of them is essential. You’ll set a good example for students by creating learning centers which includes sufficient storage space. You’ll show them that caring for components is part of the PBIL process.
STEM Instruction is Moving Forward
STEM instruction should challenge and inspire students, by showing them how to make inquiries based on projects which mimic real-world experiences. When students do a project, such as making a robot from start to finish, they learn plenty of valuable STEM skills along the way. Also, they know that people make robots in the real world and they realize that they may one day be able to enjoy careers in the robotics field. For example, they might work on robots which are sent into space by NASA. NASA may send humanoid robots, known as R5 robots, into space during precursor missions, or use the robots at NASA headquarters, so that the robots may mimic the actions of real-life space travelers.
PBIL learning centers will help students to make STEM discoveries in a natural, step-by-step manner, as they problem-solve in order to complete projects, such as the construction of simple robots. Without learning centers, it may be harder to control classrooms and foster student engagement.
If your classroom budget doesn’t provide enough funds for storage materials, it may be time to ask for more money from school administrators. Fund-raising might also be an option. A lot of parents do want their kids to receive the most comprehensive STEM educations possible. They know that science and tech offer a host of job opportunities. So, it may be possible to access donations which help you to buy this equipment. Secondhand storage materials are another option to consider as you plan out your own PBIL learning center for STEM.
The official NASA website is a great place to find ideas for classroom projects which feature STEM topics and a PBIL style of education. NASA partners with many educational facilities in order to deliver workshops, courses and other STEM-based educational opportunities.