Integrated STEM Lessons as Model Eliciting Activities

MEAs – Teaching Outside the Box!

CPALMS is integrating STEM into lessons via a Model-Eliciting Activity, or MEA, approach. MEAs are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that reveal students’ thinking about the embedded concepts. MEAs resemble engineering problems because students work in teams to apply their knowledge of science and mathematics to solve open-ended, realistic problems, while considering constraints and tradeoffs and clearly documenting their thought process. MEAs follow a problem-based, student centered approach to learning, where students are encouraged to grapple with the problem while the teacher acts as a facilitator. The video on the right side provides an introduction to MEAs and teacher testimonials about using CPALMS MEAs in the classroom.

Although MEAs were originally developed as a research tool in K-12 mathematics education, MEAs have since been used successfully as teaching tools in a range of subject areas and grade levels. Students gain a deeper understanding of the content as specified in the aligned standards and increase their ability to effectively apply their knowledge of the content to solve an open-ended problem. Besides gaining content knowledge, MEAs foster the development of 21st century skills like communication, teamwork, technical analysis, and problem solving. Individual MEAs typically align to standards in multiple subject areas. These resources can be accessed in the CPALMS MEA Library.

CPALMS Integrated STEM MEA Lesson Development Program

We offer professional development on MEAs for Florida's K-12 educators. Our program is focused on providing high-quality professional development using a hands-on approach, where participants are supported in writing their own MEA lessons through timely and quality feedback, leading to publication of participants’ MEAs on CPALMS. Participants in the CPALMS Integrated STEM MEA Lesson Development Program will gain a thorough understanding of MEAs, how they are used, and learn techniques to write a high-quality, standards-aligned MEA lesson that integrates STEM disciplines. Major shifts in the standards for mathematics and English language arts are also covered in the training. A backwards design approach is used to guide MEA development, which starts with the desired results of teaching and ends with the teaching activities, ensuring close alignment to selected standards. Stipends are available for participants. Click here for more information and to submit an application.


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