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Lesson Review

Author:Roxanne Ansolabehere
ETP Title:STEAM in Your School
Organization:Autodesk, Inc.
ETP Type:Staff Development
Grade Level(s):School Staff
Subject Area(s):Staff Development

Lesson Abstract:

There has been a great deal of curricula written and lessons developed for the recent STEM education push, however, Georgette Yakman, an educator who is the founder of STEAM education and speaker at the Big Ideas Conference has made a compelling case for STEAM education, which includes the Arts in the STEM acronym. The major goal of STE@M education and of this staff development is to show teachers why they should and how they can integrate lessons.

This ETP presents staff development on STEM/STEAM education and is a workshop on writing an integrated lesson with other teachers. The staff development uses a Powerpoint presentation, which will be presented to the faculty (my school's leadership team and the core  departments).

The presentation/Powerpoint will cover:

  • STEM/STEAM defined 
  • Practical strategies for teaching content across STEAM disciplines with inclusion of 21st Century skills
  • Suggestions and a model on formulating integrated lessons in our professional learning community

The Powerpoint  will review why this recent educational movement is important in the 21st Century classroom.  I will show how teaching across all disciplines (STEAM) can work in today's comprehensive high school. Lastly, after the staff development, I will ask teachers to fill out a survey to evaluate opinions on the usefulness of the staff development and the need for future trainings/inservice/seminars.

Focal Standards

From California Standard for the Teaching Profession

6.3 Collaborating with colleagues and the broader professional community to support teacher
and student learning
As teachers develop, they may ask, “How do I…” or “Why do I… ”
• collaborate with teachers, administrators, education specialists, paraeducators, and staff to
ensure that all students' diverse learning needs, interests, and strengths are met?

Measurable Objectives:


  • Teachers from across disciplines will collabrate and formulate lessons with other teachers using 21st Century skills and applications


  • After the STEAM/STEM presentation to the staff, I will immediately make available a survey to participating teachers asking them to evaluate the relevance of the staff development and also query them on how they have already integrated their lessons with other disciplines in collaboration with others.
  • I will encourage teachers  to develop aSTEAM lesson plan, which includes collaboration and teaching across disciplines to be implemented within a month of the staff development .


21st Century Skill(s)

1. 21st Century Skills

  • Enables 21st century professional learning communities for teachers that model the kinds of classroom learning that best promotes 21st century skills for students
  • Encourages knowledge sharing among communities of practitioners, using face-to-face, virtual and blended communications


21st Century Skill(s) Application

Next year is the second year where our administration has been educating and encouraging the staff to form informal and formal professional learning communities. My presentation will provide encouragement and ideas to facilitate formation of  these professional learning communities by using integrated teaching, STEAM education and 21st century skills to connect departments and lessons around curricular themes. For example, my auto shop teacher teaches students to figure miles to the gallon and then uses this number to ascertain an engine's liter capacity. As the students calculate, the teacher requires them to draw a cut-away representation of the car's pistons/engine. I could encourage the auto shop teacher to work with a math teacher, an art teacher, and a science teacher and demonstrate to all three teachers how they can work together to add to, modify, and reinforce STEAM concepts in each other's classrooms. This would incorporate STEAM  across the disciplines and integrate the lesson.

Fellowship Description

I am working with the education section at the design and engineering company, Autodesk. My project is to research via web, educational databases and specialized-content databases, the cutting edge STEAM trends and emerging technologies in secondary education in India, China, Brazil, Russia, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and the United States. I am also launching more open-ended searches on the overall curricular trends in secondary education in those countries.

I am using the research and search skills from my background in library science and assessing curriculum by using my experience as an English teacher. I am working with educational project managers both here in the United States and from other countries as I research and present my findings.

My sponsor is the Project Manager for Worldwide Education section of Autodesk. She investigates educational trends and advises marketing on what products might be placed and developed for emerging software markets in secondary education around the world.

The connection between the ETP and Fellowship. :

I would like to show my staff (leadership team) that the leading countries in science and technology education (with far fewer resources) are adopting exciting constructivist techniques that encourage the use of technology in the classroom and other, if not all, 21st century skills. This summer I am researching emerging technologies in secondary education for the design and engineering firm, Autodesk.  I am using advanced database and open resource searching and research skills. I regularly use Boolean strategies to build searches and I also use media literacy skills of assessing the dependability of sources and information. I am interpreting data and reports and writing assessments and informative briefs on the emerging educational technologies at the secondary level in numerous countries. The types of careers that could be an extension of what I am doing are library science, research, in fact any career where research and reporting, which results in a polished, well-written and incisively interpreted deliverable is required. Autodesk is a global company that designs software for the engineering and design sector and Autodesk Education is concerned with placing their software products, such as AutoCad and a host of others in the schools. Therefore, the company would like to know if Russia is moving toward mobile technology or if China is using Open Education resources and which countries have robust distance education programs. Knowing this will help Autodesk, design and sell its product.

I have been surprised and concerned by the results and information of the voluminous research I am doing this summer at Autodesk on educational trends and emerging technologies around the world. In order to remain competitive in the global economy, the United States must incorporate teaching techniques that prepare students for the global workforce and they must continue to incorporate technology into the curriculum. I would like to show teachers a way to incorporate these skills into their teaching. Taking a integrative approach to instruction is a great way to begin teaching STEM or STE@M. In fact, holistic instruction is a goal of STE@M education. The lessons I learned at Autodesk were clear: the United States must incorporate lessons that require 21st century skills of our students and lessons that cross departmental boundaries. These are situations students will face in the work world they face.

Furthermore,  I would like to tell the teachers that the manner in which people worked and what I saw at Autodesk this summer reinforces the research I read. Collaboration is a key 21st century skill and I saw this at work at Autodesk. People from all areas of the company regularly meet, discuss ideas, work collaboratively, work independently, work with others on ideas on a global basis. The use of technological tools and working cross departmentally and cooperatively on projects most closely resembles the real work force the students will enter.

Instructional Plan:

Instructional Plan

STE@M in Your School

Time required – One 30-minute presentation

This is Staff Development for the entire faculty.

I, however, will be presenting this lesson to our leadership team since our entire faculty never meets in one large group. Our leadership team is comprised of a department head from each subject. It should also be used by the department heads for the teachers in their departments.

Before you begin, create departmental-balanced groups, 4-5 teachers per group. Try to have one English teacher, one social studies teacher, one math teacher, and one science teacher in each group. Evenly divide the other disciplines throughout.

Hand out paper and colored pencils. Indicate that math is red, English is blue, science is green, and social studies is black. Have the other departments choose a color, but make sure that department uses the same color in every group.


Opening comment: (This summer I spent 2 months launching research and writing reports on the use of technology in schools around the world.--omit this sentence and add your own experience!) At the present time, other countries have identified technology, 21st century skills, and a constructivist pedagogical approach as the key to the future of education in their schools. In order to do this they have taken out loans with the World Bank for hundreds of millions of dollars, they have launched massive teacher retraining movements, and have made sure the students have access to computers and other aspects of technology. In order to compete in the 21st century global economy, our students must be prepared. It is our responsibility to understand that the world we are preparing them for is demanding skills, which we can help them acquire.

Present the first slide, “Did you know” in the Power point and ask teachers to keep this in mind throughout the presentation.

After they read the slide and think for a minute ask them the following questions and ask them to raise hands if an answer is yes.

  1. How many rely on language to deliver/guide instruction?
  2. How many have asked students to draw or graphically illustrate a concept?
  3. How many have asked students to theorize about an idea and then test it, like a scientific inquiry?
  4. How many have asked students to build or design a project based on classroom instructiont?
  5. How many have used a computer, mobile device, tablet, or any other technological means in facilitating student learning?
  6. How many have done 1-5 in one unit? If they can answer yes, tell them congratulations, they are STE@M educators using integrative teaching techniques!


Show the Power point presentation (attached).

After the Power point ask teachers to recall a lesson they have recently taught, one that is fresh in their minds. Ask them to remember the lesson’s objectives, their instructional methods, the practice for the students (guided and independent), and the assessment they used.

 Guided Practice

  1. Give each teacher the hand-out, “Remember that Lesson” (attached) and ask them to fill it out in the proper color. After they fill it out, ask them to report out quickly in their group on the assignment they taught. Mainly concentrate on the objectives, how they delivered instruction and any 21st century learning skills they used.
  2. Once they have reported aloud, ask the teachers to pass thier lesson to the teacher on the right and ask that teacher to add what they might include in the lesson from their discipline. Then after a few minutes, pass the papers to the right again until all teachers have added something to all other lessons.  Redesign, collaborate, and integrate!

Independent Practice

  1. Once they have completed the round robin with the lessons ask teachers to rewrite their lesson using the suggestions from the other teachers.
  2. Using a document camera, the instructor will show a few "before" lessons and a few completed lessons and identify the original lesson (by color) and show how the other teachers/disciplines added to and expanded the lesson.
  3. Review aloud how the lesson has changed and how it might affect instruction and learning.
  4. If you are presenting to the Leadership Team, suggest this activity and Power point to each department head and ask them to take it to their next department meeting.  The objective is for each teacher to redesign a lesson they’ve taught and integrate instruction. (This is a step for those who are presenting to their Leadership Teams).
  5. Ask the teachers to write the quick outline of an integrated lesson based on the activity they have just completed.  The goal is that each teacher leaved the meeting with one 21st century lesson that is integrated with other disciplines.


immediately after the staff presentation (or the presentation to the leadership team,) make available the survey for teachers to complete (copy is attached.)  Ask the department chairs to complete the survey within 24 hours. Provide the faculty and the administration the results of the survey and review with administration and leadership team. Identify steps the school could take to help facilitate teachers designing lessons together.

Idea: ask the school's webmaster to set aside an area on the website for lessons that have been written by an integrated team of teachers. Use this site on the web as a teacher resource.

Survey is located:







Supply list:

  • paper
  • pens
  • LCD projector
  • document camera
  • colored pencils
  • Power point presentartion
  • copies of attachment. "Remember that Lesson"
  • copies of Power point presentation

Bibliographic or other resources you used in creating this curriculum:

Bibliography used in creating this lesson:

  • McGinity, G., and G. McGinity. "Statistics on American k-12 Public Education." Broadeducation.org. The Broad Education Foundation, 2009. Web. 3 Jul 2012. . Web.
  • Hokanson, K.. "21st century classroom." The Connected Classroom. Wikispace.com, 2011. Web. 3 Jul 2012. .
  • Jones, John, and Audrey Watson. "Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations: a visual essay." Monthly Labor Review. (2011): 3 . Print.
  • Stone, James. College and Career Ready in the 21st Century: Making High School Matter. New York: Teachers College Press, 2012. Print.
  • Web. .
  • Web..
  • Yakman, Georgette. "STE@M Education: an overview of creating a model of integrative education." Diss. Virginia Polytechnic and State University, 2008.
  • Yakman, Georgette. "What is the Point of STE@M?: a brief overview." Steamedu.com. www.steamedu.com, 2010. Web. 3 Jul 2012. .













staff development, STEM,STEAM, integrative teaching, pedagogy, 21st century