The STEM Lab
Through stimulating students’ interest in STEM fields at an early age, educators make it more likely those students will further their STEM education and pursue STEM careers for the betterment of a society. Italy specifically is in great need of technology experts, engineers, and scientists. In this project we studied the best practices for teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, gathering advice from STEM programs and educators, and reviewing core learning objectives for STEM from curriculum guidelines in the US and in Italy. We used this information to develop a start-up STEM education lab for Venetian students. The lab incorporates fun, hands-on activities and lessons, using two modern technologies owned by the Venice Project Center, Farmbot and Simtable. Our ultimate purpose was to design a lab that might teach students about plant life, topography, programming, and other topics, while keeping them engaged and excited. We prepared the equipment for use and designed a set of beginner and intermediate learning activities for use with each technology. Getting feedback from experts and exposing several children to the lab, we summarized our findings and made recommendations for future teams implementing the lab. Our menu of lesson plans, activities, and relevant instructional handouts were published on an online website. Venetian teachers can use it as they bring their students to the lab in the future.