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5 Tips for Mixing STEM and Play During Distance Learning

September 10, 2020

This STEM and play event and post are sponsored by Unruly Studios. All opinions are my own.

What does it look like to mix STEM and play during distance learning? This month I’ll tackle this question in a new, free STEM webinar. When you join us for this special event, you’ll hear five tips for making STEM concepts lively and engaging while students are learning at home.

Unruly Splats mixes STEM and play in K-8 classes across schools. I’m excited to partner with them for this new, free webinar!

If you haven’t heard of Unruly Splats before, their memberships includes exploratory coding activities for students to do at home, synchronously and asynchronously, or in-person in the classroom  Splats virtual activities are designed to spark engagement and creativity while students work together remotely to code home fitness circuits, memory challenges, morse code messages, and musical songs to dance to!

Students can work together as a group or at their own pace as they explore various virtual activities that mix STEM and active play.

Unruly Splats are programmable floor buttons that students code using an iPad or Chromebook to tell Splats when to light up, make sounds, or collect points when they are stomped on. Using block-based coding, students code the rules to create games like whack-a-mole, relay races, and dance competitions and then play them with classmates. Splats also has a virtual platform where students code on their devices remotely, and instead of stomping on physical Splats, use Virtual Splats on a screen to play collaborative games or activities.

Splats are used in computer science, science, music, math, PE, and art classes and work with iPads and Chromebooks. The Splats membership includes 12+ Splats and their software with unlimited seats for teachers and students. Members also receive ongoing coaching, lessons and activities, an unlimited warranty while in the membership, and usage reports. 

Sign up for the free webinar >>>

Join a new STEM webinar and learn how to mix STEM and play during distance learning.

STEM and Play Webinar Invitation 

I’m very excited to partner with the team behind Unruly Splats for a brand-new webinar this month! It’s called “5 Tips for Mixing STEM and Play During Distance Learning.” This special event is taking place next week, and you can use this link to join us!

Here is the official webinar description:

If you are planning out what the rest of the school year will look like – join the club! Mixing STEM with active play is a great way to keep students engaged, but it can be challenging to do this virtually. In this webinar with Monica Burns, Ed. D, you will learn:

  • The benefits of mixing STEM and play during distance learning
  • Techniques to engage students in STEM and play while staying focused (virtual classroom management tips) 
  • Ways to introduce activities to students learning at home
  • Examples of STEM and play activities

Would you like to join us for the STEM and play webinar? Registration is free, and if you’re not sure if you can make it, sign up, and we’ll send you the replay information.

STEM Webinar Sneak Peek

During the webinar, I’ll share five tips to help you mix STEM concepts and play. One of the tips is “step up your show and tell.” We’ll look at how you can connect a simple show and tell activity to STEM topics during the webinar. This type of activity can lead to a wide variety of discussions and can occur synchronously or asynchronously.

For example, you can use prompts like, “Find an object that helps you solve a problem.” This prompt can spark a conversation on inventions, problem-solving, and how to address an issue in your home. You might have students play this show and tell game during a live (synchronous) video call and set a timer for them to find an item, or you may give students and families a heads up beforehand and ask them to come to a call with their item. 

Alternatively, you might have students participate in this playful activity asynchronously. You can have them record a quick video with the item they found or share a response on the discussion thread. This quick tip is a great way to make your distance learning time for playful and reinforce STEM concepts simultaneously. I’ll share more prompts for the “step up your show and tell” tip in the webinar and four more tips for making STEM concepts lively and engaging during distance learning.

Use this link to join us on the webinar! And share your questions or favorite tips in the comments below.

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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