Bringing STEM into Counseling

What’s an instant way to get buy-in from teachers for counseling lessons? Tie in your topics to their curriculum! Afterall, SEL skills are vital for all areas of life. While it may seem easy to blend these topics with what your teachers are covering in ELA, math and science feel a little more tricky! But like all areas of life, empathy, collaboration, and communication skills are vital to STEM design! Keep reading to find out how I collaborate to incorporate STEM in counseling.

Want buy-in from teachers for counseling lessons? Tie in your topics to their curriculum! Find out how I collaborate to blend STEM in counseling.

STEM in Counseling

Need for Collaboration & Communication

Collaboration and communication skills are vital for the team STEM design process! As students are working together, they’re generating and modifying ideas, they’re building off of each other’s ideas, and it can be easy to step on toes. Clearly communicating, actively listening, and honoring one another’s ideas are a must for team progress. Teach students about communication styles, how to show others they are listening, and how to respond appropriately to peers’ ideas.

Offering constructive feedback is also an essential skill when working in a team on a design project. This can sound like,

  • That’s a creative idea. What if we did that first part and then did this for the second part?
  • Thanks for sharing your ideas. I tried that in my first trial and here’s what happened… What if we tried this instead?
  • What I hear you saying is… in my notes, I have this information. Let’s look over this again before we move on.

Need for Empathy

As creators design and innovate new products, devices, and resources, taking time to understand the needs and situations of others should drive the process! Teaching students to consider someone’s point of view, needs, and barriers can help them to gain a better understanding not only of the need for design and innovation but also grow their empathy. Ask questions like:

  • What is this person going through?
  • What is it like to be this person?
  • What barriers does this person face that is preventing him from accessing his environment?
  • What can I do to remove these barriers for this person?
Empathy in STEM: Use these empathy and STEM task cards to help students identify barriers that others face and use this information to create innovations that create access for everyone! These empathy activities are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling activities, counselor-science partnerships, or homeschool STEM activities! STEM in counseling, STEM activities, STEM task cards that are perfect for elementary school counseling. -Counselor Keri

Activities

To bring this all together in STEM counseling lessons, I present students with scenarios of others who have some sort of barrier or difficulty. Students first empathize with the person and gain a better understanding of the barriers the person is facing. Then, they hypothesize how they can remove these barriers. Once the students understand the why of their design, the innovation starts!

Empathy in STEM: Use these empathy and STEM task cards to help students identify barriers that others face and use this information to create innovations that create access for everyone! These empathy activities are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling activities, counselor-science partnerships, or homeschool STEM activities! STEM in counseling, STEM activities, STEM task cards that are perfect for elementary school counseling. -Counselor Keri

Students can move through the engineering design process by understanding the needs of the person, researching the problem, imagining possibilities, designing, planning, building, testing, and redesigning! This is great for counselors in the specials rotation who can do longer-term projects if you want to see the full design process through. It’s also perfect for 1- or 2-part lessons or centers where students will simply build a model of their designs with Legos or something similar.


STEM in Counseling

Have you teamed up with your teachers to blend your curriculum? What topics do you work together on?

Get these STEM in Counseling Activity Cards here.

Empathy in STEM: Use these empathy and STEM task cards to help students identify barriers that others face and use this information to create innovations that create access for everyone! These empathy activities are perfect for classroom guidance lessons, small group counseling activities, counselor-science partnerships, or homeschool STEM activities! STEM in counseling, STEM activities, STEM task cards that are perfect for elementary school counseling. -Counselor Keri

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