Promote Metacognition and Reflection in STEM

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Explore and create : Playground

This is presentation 3 of 3, at station "STEM Playground Station 3" within the playground "Mission: STEMpossible"; scroll down to see more details.

Other presentations in this group:

Melinda Kolk  

Come explore graphic organizers, formative assessments and resources to support student thinking during STEM learning. Resources will be paired with examples to show how scaffolds can support a range of STEM learning contexts. Uses engineering design process of ask-imagine-plan-create-improve, but can be adapted to more.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: iOS, Android, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: PDF reader.
Topic: Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Knowledge Constructor
  • Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories and pursuing answers and solutions.
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

1 Provide concrete ways to support student thinking during the STEM process
2 Transfer responsibility for learning to students
3 Help students build future-ready skills for success in STEM careers and beyond


1 - Title slide
2 - Future-ready learners (goal of STEM/PBL)
3 - Instructional shift to student-centered
4 - It's the process, not the product
5 - Managing process
6 - Design thinking (IDEO)
7 - Engineering design process
8 - Ask - identify a problem
9 - Ask - TPE, empathy, 5 whys
10 - Imagine - dream up possibilities
11 - Imagine - PMI, 6 hats, & webbing
12 - Plan - develop plan
13 - Plan - cycle, sequence, flowchart
14 - Create - design-to-build (digital tools)
15 - Create - exit slips and reflection journals
16 - Improve - test and iterate
17 - Improve - feedback & assessment criteria
18 - Involving students
19 - Transferring responsibility
20 - Takeaways

Supporting research

Katz, L.G. and Chard, S.C. (2000) Engaging Children's Minds: The Project Approach, 3rd Edition. Stamford, CT: Ablex.

Fisher, Douglas; Frey, Nancy; and Hattie, John. (2016) Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12: Implementing the Practices that Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning.Corwin. ISBN: 1506332358

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Melinda Kolk, Tech4Learning, Inc

Melinda is the Editor of Creative Educator magazine and the Deputy Director of the Constructivist Consortium. Melinda is also one of the founders of Tech4Learning. For the past 20 years, Melinda has led workshops at schools around the world and made hundreds of presentations at education conferences, such as ASCD and ISTE, on the topics of creativity, project-based learning, and open-ended technologies. She has been a featured speaker or keynote at MACUL, VSTE, MICCA, and ISTE.

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