A little bit of STEAM!

The STEAM concept

STEAM in education aims to replace the traditional teaching methods with shifting the focus on developing learners’ real life skills. The acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math and encourages the integration of these areas when teaching.

Implementing STEAM in the classroom

Passive learning does not prepare students for the real word problems; rather it prevents students from learning valuable skills. From an early age, learners should be exposed to activities that boost their soft skills, enhance their critical thinking, encourage collaboration, and cultivate a problem solving mindset. Although we have talked about the importance of including a STEAM approach in class before, the question still remains:

How do we incorporate STEAM in our lessons?

Riddles and brain teasers are a great idea to have fun in class, while developing students’ analytical thinking. They can be used as ice-breakers in the beginning of the lesson or as closing activities. Either way students will definitely enjoy it!

Brain teasers for young learners:

1.
Think of a number. Multiply it by three. Add one. Multiply this by three. Add the number you first thought of. Add two. Take away five. Divide by ten.
What is the outcome?

Answer: The number you first thought of.

2.
A grandfather, two fathers and two sons went to the movie theater together and everyone bought one movie ticket each. How many tickets did they buy in total?
Answer: 3 (the grandfather is also a father and the father is also a son).

3.
Write down a seven digit phone number. Mix up the digits. Take the smaller number away from the larger one. Add the digits of this number together. Add the two digits together.

Example: 7247579, 9742775, 9742775 – 7247579 = 2495196 2+4+9+5+1+9+6=36… 3+6=?

Answer: Always 9

4.
1) Pick a number between 1 and 10 (including 1 or 10).

2) Multiply your number by 9.

3) Add the digits of the number created in step two.

4) Subtract 5 from the number created in step three.

5) Find the letter in the alphabet that corresponds to the number created in step four

Example: 1=A, 2=B, 3=C, etc.

6) Pick a country in Europe that starts with the letter you found in step five.

7) Pick an animal that starts with the last letter of your country.

8) Pick a colour that starts with the last letter of your animal.

Let me guess what you got! Is it an orange kangaroo from Denmark?

5.
1) Pick a number between 1 and 9 (including 1 or 9).

2) Multiply your number by 2.

3) Add 5 to the number you created in step two.

4) Multiply the number you created in step three by 50.

5) If you haven’t had your birthday yet this year, add 1757 to the number you created in step four. If you’ve had your birthday, add 1758 to that number.

6) Subtract the year you were born (ex: 1995) from the number you created in step five.

The first digit is the number you started with.

If you want a book that will help you to bring the colour and excitement of the real world into the classroom, the i Wonder series might be what you need!

STEAM, as an educational approach to learning, offers us the opportunity to customize lesson to learners’ abilities and interests. These brain teasers are but a small indication of what we can do to encourage students’ creativity and motivation. 

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