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ERIC Number: EJ1152467
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
A STEM Exploration with Gears
Deis, Timothy; Julius, Julie
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v22 n8 p495-499 Apr 2017
Science, engineering, and mathematics are fields that many students see as separate entities. But if these fields are combined with technology, they become STEM. This investigation provides a context and allows students to explore mathematics, science, and engineering within that context. It requires students to model with mathematics and find mathematical structure within the manipulative that they are using. Students will not only discover mathematical and scientific ideas about each subject but also explore the advantage of using those concepts. These subjects are not separate strands but are connected and support one another. Although the investigation can be modified to present the material as an integrated STEM lesson, students were asked to explore the technology from three different perspectives: as a mathematician, as a scientist, and as an engineer. In each role, students explored the technology while acting as a research scientist and as a research mathematician. They then used what they learned in their research before becoming an engineer. The lesson was designed to allow students to understand the type of research done by a scientist and mathematician and how that research is then applied by an engineer. Each field requires communication, not only within the team but also with other teams. After the teams complete their research, they must also be able to present their findings and write up the results. The investigation is presented in three phases: Science, Mathematics, and Engineering. In this lesson, a set of toy gears of various sizes was implemented to connect the fields of mathematics, science, and engineering. This investigation was created for three fifth-grade classes that ranged from 24 to 27 students. [Four activity sheets and solutions accompany the online version of this department at Online solutions are available to NCTM members only.]
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-9840; Fax: 703-476-2570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 5
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A