STEM projects and the development of SEL (emotional intelligence) skills are not incompatible. SEL skills extend and expand learning by promoting deep thinking and critical thinking skills through reflection, problem-solving and social application, amongst many other skills.
In reality, STEM projects and SEL should be best friends—just like the children that engage in the activities. J
5 tips for aligning STEM projects and SEL skills:
- Focus on collaboration as much as BUILDING.
- Have students work in small groups vs alone or independently.
- Begin each project with explicit instruction on empathy or listening to others or curiosity.
- Be a teacher facilitator by NOT jumping in to solve problems. Prepare guided questions in advance.
- Include a time for “reflection on failures” (for the development of self-awareness and building Growth Mindset).
Looking to integrate STEM and SEl…and Don’t know how? : https://naaweb.org/professional-development/item/501-looking-to-integrate-stem-and-sel-and-don-t-know-how
Connecting STEM with Social and Emotional learning in Elementary Education: https://www.learntechlib.org/primary/p/182681/