STEM activities are an exceptional opportunity to practice social emotional learning.

SEL or Social Emotional Learning is defined as the process through which students acquire the ability to manage emotions, feel and show empathy for others, maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. 

According to CASEL (The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) SEL helps young people acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, and achieve personal and collective goals. It also shows them how to feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. CASEL adds that SEL is a lifelong process of learning how to better understand ourselves, connect with others, and work together to achieve goals and support our communities. 

With the right curriculum, STEM subjects can provide students with opportunities to develop foundational SEL skills including empathy, perseverance and collaboration. If students and future innovators can understand the problems people are facing, they can use the knowledge and STEM skills to discover solutions.

Educators can incorporate PBL + STEM activities to help students build SEL skills at all grade levels. The good news for this school year is that Social Emotional Learning can be prioritized while students explore STEM concepts in multiple learning environments including in person, hybrid, and distance learning.

PBL and STEM are tools for empowering learners and building SEL. Students grow academically and emotionally, solve problems, collaborate and succeed.

Planning to integrate STEM and SEL but don’t know how?