The Language of STEM

IMG_1732I’ve written a number of times about the language skills needed and used in STEM education. As speech language therapists we often work in subjects that people don’t typically connect with language. I had a middle school student with a language learning disability and I worked primarily on math and science assignments with her, working through vocabulary, describing what worked and what didn’t in solving problems, and explaining the processes. Students are required to be able to explain how they got to an answer, showing understanding of the concepts involved.

Today I was again reminded of the link for my 5 year-old who is my builder. Sam disappears and reappears with the most amazing structures. Today he showed me his bike made from Zoob. He corrected IMG_1736me that it was a motorcycle! He suddenly stopped to make a revision, “I need a stand,” and made a kick stand to hold the bike up. Then he looked at me and said, “I’m going to make a man.” Working through problem solving, trial and error and adding a person to his bike all tap into language skills as kids drive the play in this open-ended activity.

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