STEM Challenge: Think Outside the Box!

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Explore and create : Playground

This is presentation 2 of 3, at station "Global Collaboration Playground Station 3" within the playground "Global Collaboration PLN Playground: SDGs in Education"; scroll down to see more details.

Other presentations in this group:

Deepa George  

Explore a fun STEM challenge, where students design packages with success criteria, constraints and EDP framework. STEM elements integrated can be applied to other projects. It is aligned to SDG12 and Massachusetts STE, Math, Arts, ELA and ISTE standards. Concepts presented are from the WPI STEM Education Center.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Laptop: PC
Topic: Project-, problem- & challenge-based learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
Global Collaborator
  • Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Interested to know how a 'STEM approach' to Education on SDGs can show itself? Jump right in!

With the STEM project ‘Think outside the box!’, I would be showing 6 STEM elements integrated, which you can apply to any other projects to make it high quality STEM. I would be sharing my ideas on what makes STEM learning unique and a wide range of package design exploration and creation activities to achieve the learning objectives of STEM learning, SDG 12 (Reducing packaging waste generation) and ISTE student standards (Global collaborator, empowered learner, computational thinker) .


Part I: Introduction, STEM elements incorporated in the project and what makes STEM learning unique.

Part II: The STEM challenge: Think outside the box! - the problem as presented to students, standards, key learning targets, EDP view of the project components and ISTE standards, learning activities that are 'low floors, high ceilings and wide walls', technology tools (Milanote, TINKERCAD and and STEM career connections.

Part III: In the last part, I will be sharing my go-to place for STEM PD opportunities, call for action and other takeaways.

Supporting research

The project was developed as part of the STEM educator certificate course, which I pursued from the WPI STEM Education Center, Massachusetts in January 2021.

Gordon Brander, 2021. Low floor, wide walls, high ceiling.

ISTE Standards for Educators: Computational Thinking Competencies, ©2018

Unplugged Computational thinking, 2015

Professional development at the WPI STEM Education Center, Massachusetts

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Deepa George, STEM and IB educator

Deepa George is passionate about offering learning opportunities to children that bring problem-solving and real-world approaches together. She is an enthusiastic life-long learner and her most recent endeavor was learning to create high quality STEM challenges from STEM experts at the STEM Education center, WPI, Massachusetts. She envisions supporting a PLN for the parent community so that parents recognize the different ways they can lead and nurture their child’s learning at home. She was recently chosen to be the featured educator for the month of May, 2021 by the ISTE STEM PLN for her exemplary parent educator roles.

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