The development and implementation of an integrated science technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) instruction in the middle school science classroom
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This study was conducted to investigate the development and implementation of lessons that integrated technology objectives with science objectives (technology-based teaching idea) in a middle school science classroom to give students a STEM experience. To this end, this study examined and generated an account of the implementation processes, the nature of the instructional design, type of scaffolds, instructor’s support and adjustments to the learning environment, challenges teachers faced, the interaction among these teachers, and outcomes for students and students and teachers’ perceptions of the integrated STEM instruction. The research questions that guided this study included (1) How do Science and Technology teachers restructure the middle school science curriculum and instruction in order to incorporate /implement STEM objectives into science classroom activities using a teaching approach emphasizing robotics equipment? (2) What are the teachers and student perceptions of the STEM implementation in regular science classroom? (3) What theoretical relationships are discerned by the analysis of data? The qualitative data were collected from interviews and classroom observations then were analyzed using grounded theory methods, specifically the constant comparative method. The participants in the study included four middle school science teachers, a technology and 50 classroom observation sessions in eighth and sixth grades and interview of 13 eighth grade teams. The results of study showed that for the implementation process, teachers spent more time on planning the integrated STEM instruction than on traditional instruction. They lacked prior experience in incorporating robotics into science teaching. The teachers did not revise their existing science curriculum; rather, they selected activities that fit into the science topics. The instructional approach used was student-centered. Integrated STEM instruction enabled students to apply science concepts to the project. Sixty percent of the students were motivated by the instructional approach and the nature of the activity; they were able to get immediate feedback while testing their robot, had the flexibility to work on any task on their own.