What is one of the most important qualities of a good scientist or engineer? Communication, discussion, and of course reflection! Sometimes, all you need are some good reflection questions to get the ball rolling during a STEM challenge or project. Your kiddos may be hesitant to discuss what they have done, but reflection is an important part of the design process. These printable reflection questions for students are perfect to use with your next STEM project.
STEM CHALLENGE REFLECTION QUESTIONS
ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS
Engineers often follow a design process. There are different design processes but each one includes the same basic steps to identify and solve problems.
An example of the process is “ask, imagine, plan, create, and improve”. This process is flexible and may be completed in any order. Learn more about the Engineering Design Process.
An important piece of either the engineering design process and the best science and engineering practices is COMMUNICATION!
Communicating results, explaining prototypes and design features, and sharing struggles and successes are all things kids can do as part of a STEM challenge.
Additionally, communication skills are extremely important to strengthen a growth mindset, assist in teamwork or group activities, and promote success later on in life.
Using the following Reflection Questions after a STEM challenge or project is the perfect way to help encourage the development of communication skills.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
Use these reflection questions below with your kids after they have completed a STEM challenge. It will encourage discussion of the results and increase critical thinking skills. These questions or prompts will help to promote meaningful discussions individually and in groups.
1. What were some of the challenges you discovered along the way?
2. What worked well and what did not work well?
3. What part of your model or prototype do you really like? Explain why.
4. What part of your model or prototype needs improvement? Explain why.
5. What other materials would you like to use if you could do this challenge again?
6. What would you do differently next time?
7. What parts of your model or prototype are similar to the real-world version?
ENGINEERING BOOKS FOR KIDS
Check out this fantastic list of engineering books that are teacher approved and get ready to spark curiosity and exploration!
Even if you don’t have a ton of time to both read one of these books and try a challenge, you can absolutely apply the questions to the story and the main character of the story. Your kids can help the main character(s) find additional solutions or work through challenges.
Think like an engineer! Talk like an engineer! Act like an engineer! Get kids started with a vocabulary list that introduces some awesome engineering terms. Make sure to include them in your next engineering challenge or project.
FUN ENGINEERING PROJECTS TO TRY
Now that you have some great STEM questions for reflection, go ahead and try one of these 12 fantastic engineering projects! Each one has printable instructions to help you get started.
There are two ways you can go about it. Follow the step-by-step instructions if you need more guidance or present the engineering theme as a challenge and see what your kiddos come up with as a solution! I bet you’ll find these challenges work with a wide variety of ages!