MELT for interdisciplinary STEM education: Forging Connections

One problem for teachers facilitating interdisciplinary STEM projects is how to lift student rigour and sophistication in each subject as well as the interdisciplinary whole. This problem is compounded by differences in terminology within STEM subjects, which make it appear to students like they are being required to do very different forms of thinking and makes it hard for them to make connections between subjects.

This seminar will introduce the Models of Engaged learning and Teaching, or MELT for short, to capture the sophisticated thinking within each subject in terminology used by that subject, and to show the connections between subjects. Participants will make their own modifications to MELT to capture the different ways of, for example, commencing project work in each subject. MELT then can be used to maintain the differences between subjects but amplify the connections between the sophisticated thinking in STEM, and lift student rigour in approach towards projects. . For example in Science it may be formulating a research question, whereas in Engineering it may be defining problem, in maths as establishing problem parameters and in technology determining customers’ needs.

In this seminar, you will work on your own MELT for each of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths to enhance communication and commonality of purpose in STEM learning.

How do you ask students to ‘embark’ in a specific subject?

Single-verb answers are great:

Here is a version from Golden Grove HS, that students helped to develop

Powerpoint for the SASTA workshop, 12 April 2021, Pulteney Grammar, Adelaide.

Do you think something familiar (MELT structure), something different (your modifications for each subject), could help forge connections in your STEM education?

Author: johnwillison

Senior Lecturer, School of Education, University of Adelaide. Director, Bachelor of Teaching (Middle) Acting Associate Head of Research

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