sTEm Puzzles Cultivate Problem-Based Learning At The Elementary Level
Speessen’s approach is simple. Her motto “the faster we fail, the sooner we succeed” adopted from the television show “Design Squad” is somewhat of a reverse engineering strategy. In that, to derive a solution and/or come to a reasonable conclusion, students undergo a step-by-step process whereby they talk about the things they do know, to get to the things they don’t know. Speessen hopes somewhere during the process students will be able to connect and bridge the dots, deconstruct the problem, understand, analyze and perhaps come to some form of solution, or at least a solution they are able to defend. The idea is a deviation from an answer-driven, traditional classroom form of learning/teaching to a more analytical skill-building tactic—one that promotes problem-based learning and higher level thinking skills.