Why You Should Photograph STEM Prototypes
1. They Work HARD on Their STEM Projects
If you have ever tried a STEM challenge with your kids, you know that they are proud of their hard work (and rightly so). Sometimes, though, due to size, construction, or materials, a completed prototype just can’t stay assembled. You will no doubt hear, “But I don’t want to take it apart/throw it out/recycle it!”
It’s best to let your students know ahead of time when their prototype can’t stay in the classroom or go home with the student. Some kids just can’t handle the disappointment if they aren’t informed at the start that their creation won’t last forever. Don’t worry though, I have a simple and very effective solution! Most kids can be quite easily soothed to know that their creation can live forever in their heads with a simple photograph. I know this won’t work 100% of the time, but it really does seem to work just about that.
Reason #1. Preserve their hard work by capturing a photo!
Worth a Thousand Words
While the frustration and disappointment is real, nothing quite captures the moment like a photograph. In this digital world we live in, photographs you can hold are even more special than they used to be, and are sure to please even the most reluctant STEM challenge disassembler.
2. Easy Peasy STEM Photos
You might be thinking that taking photographs sounds nice, but it is just too much effort. Who wants to remember to get out the camera or smartphone, take the photos, and then have them printed? While digital photos can be wonderful, especially if you have a designated STEM photographer for your class website, nothing quite beats a picture that can be displayed proudly at a desk or on a home refrigerator.
Reason #2. Taking photos is EASY! There is really no excuse to not take a photo in this day and age!
STEM Recording Sheet
I have created a STEM recording page/graphic organizer with a section to display photos from an instant camera. Please click the image below if you’d like to download and use it.
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Reverse Engineer or Re-Make
This final reason to take photos in STEM class is one you just have to try out. After projects are complete and photos have been taken, other students can try to recreate the prototype from the notes and photo. While it’s not always possible, it sure is fun to try! Students who wish to try and re-make their design another time will have an easier time remembering their prototype by looking at the picture.
Try an Instant Camera
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or Keep it Digital!
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Kathleen Houlihan is a leader in workforce innovation and she is the Founder of an agency that reimagines talent acquisition and optimizes the system for candidates and employers. Her company, Dream2Career, provides human-centric ROI solutions that filter-in candidates who exceed expectations in the workplace.