STEM Storylines in Elementary (K-5)
Our STEM Storylines for elementary school are a fun way to engage students in problem-solving and sense-making around interesting phenomena in the real world. Each storyline unit is geared to support experiences around a topical bundle of NGSS standards and launches students on mission to solve a problem through tinkering, investigating, argumentation, and communicating of ideas and concepts. Our units follow the framework of project-based learning and strive to empower students to become impactful STEM leaders in their world. While many units are created to support teachers in Southwest Washington with meaningful repurposing of FOSS materials, most elements of each storyline can be used in classrooms without lab materials.
Our units are developed by ESD 112 in collaboration with STEM teacher leaders and local partners in our region. Our work has also been supported by partnerships and grants with WA OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Education), Washington STEM, and through grants provided by Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature to support advancement of Climate Science and NGSS-aligned reformation in STEM education. We are grateful for the continuous support of our partners and the amazing STEM innovators in our region!
What’s for Lunch?
In this NGSS-aligned STEM storyline, students explore the physical and nutritional properties of different foods and engineer a healthy and yummy snack for their friends and families. This unit aids students in mastering the 5th grade Physical Science performance expectations for Structure and Properties of Matter (5-PS-1-1, 5-PS1-2, 5-PS1-3, and 5-PS-1-4).
Save our Turtles!
Set your students on a mission to help save the western pond turtles by first studying the ecosystems in which they thrive, and then designing solutions to help this species survive. This unit focuses on the NGSS Performance Expectations Bundle for 5th Grade Life Science (5-PS-3-1, 5-LS1-1, 5-LS2-1).
Why Won’t Our Blueberries Grow?
This NGSS-aligned STEM storyline, students embark on a mission to help preserve the Western Pond Turtle from extinction! Students study the ecosystem in which this endangered species thrives and come up with a plan to help reduce negative human impact on their survival! Students master the NGSS Life Science bundle for Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems (PEs 5-PS3-1, 5-LS1-1, and 5-LS2-1).
Where Did the Beach Go?
This NGSS-aligned STEM storyline unit strives to help students explore the 2nd grade NGSS standards bundle Earth’s Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth (2-ESS1-1, 2-ESS2-1, 2-ESS2-2, & 2-ESS2-3). Students make sense of the phenomenon of beach erosion and design a solution to help the residents of North Cove, WA.
Patterns in the Sky
This NGSS-aligned integrated storyline unit strives to help students explore the 1st grade NGSS standards bundle Space Systems: Patterns in the Sky (1ESS1-1 and 1-ESS1-2). Students learn about how changes in the sky affect the behavior and survival of different animals.
Inspired by Nature
This NGSS-aligned STEM Storyline helps students understand the concept of biomimicry and how humans can use the traits and behaviors of plants and animals to create solutions to many human-related problems. The unit addresses NGSS Life Science performance expectations (1-LS1-1, 1-LS1-2, 1-LS3-1).