Writing guidelines for the STEM book

Just had a really useful meeting over coffee.  We have firmed up some of the ideas about how we collect ideas for STEM.

There are three sorts of ‘items’ we would like to capture and include.

  • ‘Shorts’ – these are the instant ideas that occur to you over coffee! You really don’t want to write these up in a template because a) they are not complete lessons, just bits of lessons b)writing in a template is daunting and squashes any creativity you might have had
  • ‘Lessons’ – should deal with a complete item on a scheme of work and contain enough information for another teacher to do it.
  • ‘Projects’ – a longer term piece of work which will probably be undertaken over many weeks by groups of students working collaboratively. What we need is the context or scenario, the particular opportunities it offers, which might combine several topics (although teachers will almost certainly add their own), resources that might be useful, some ideas about how the project reaches a ‘finale’.

We are happy for you to post direct onto the relevant ‘space’ on the website. If you want someone to check it over before or after you post it, email or phone or skip me.

The quality criteria are:

  • The e-technology must be integral to the idea, not bolted on at the end!  We have no room for activities which are simply traditional lessons, however good they are, which finish up saying “you can record this on video” or “every group makes a powerpoint presentation and shares what they have done”
  • lots of shorter contributions are better than one long complex one. Even projects which take students several months of work to complete may be able to be expressed in a few paragraphs. So precision is important – we are supposed to be scientists!

Other stuff

  • when you are browsing the STEM bit of the site – look for the gaps and see if you can fill them but don’t get hung up on this.
  • If you have not tested the idea – don’t let this stop you posting it.  Add a message saying something like “Haven’t tried this but would be interested hearing from someone who does!” or “Tried this out and it was great /OK but needed work or whatever.
  • Keep commenting on other people’s stuff – to add an idea or another angle etc
  • Illustrate your post with a picture whenever you can and add the attribution to the image metadata
  • If you want to contribute to other sections of the book (e.g the introduction etc) post your comments on the Google doc.

Keep thinking, keep writing – let’s make the STEM book a jam-packed resource and fun to read.


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