Several graduate students in the School of Education presented their research on teaching science, technology, engineering and math to elementary school children, including English language learners and those with severe disabilities.
The students, who graduated earlier this month from the Master of Arts in STEM education program, conducted the research as part of their theses. The presentations were made at the biannual STEM MA Poster Session at Hagedorn Hall. Students were challenged to develop a math or science unit for elementary students to solve problems using the engineering design process.
“One very notable aspect of the projects was the inclusion of lessons for students of different abilities,” said Dr. Amy Catalano, the director of Hofstra’s STEM education program. “From the severely disabled, to those with autism, or students who are learning English as a second language, we want to promote the fact that STEM is for all!”
A student of the MA program, Tina-Marie Russo presented a lesson for teaching weather studies to Kindergarten students in a TESOL classroom (a classroom in which some students are English language learners). Kristina Lanza, a graduate student who works with severely disabled children, designed a method for teaching severely disabled students how to develop healthy habits.
Other research topics included constructing a habitat to protect an animal from various weather conditions, designing a garden using math concepts in 2nd grade, and implementing a Lego robotics project.0
“Our MA program is the only one of its kind on Long Island in which elementary teachers focus on STEM,” said Dr. Catalano. “Integrating engineering design into the science and math curriculum is one of the hallmarks of the new NY State Science Learning Standards. Hofstra’s STEM education program strives to stay ahead of the curve emphasizing practical, hands-on teaching.”