TeenLife Blog

Supporting teen success, one post at a time

Author: Mark Plummer

Mark Plummer-profile-picture

Mark is a science writer teacher and tutor of over 8 years experience and currently lives in the UK. Before teaching Mark worked in the charity / not for profit sector as a fund raiser, administrator and communications assistant.

Posted Dec. 23, 2014, 10 a.m. by Mark Plummer | View Comments
How to Engage Students in STEM

Every teacher and education professional knows that students often get bored in the classroom. The reasons for boredom are as complex and interrelated as they are valid. A student can be bored because they just don’t understand or they are disinterested in the subject. The trick is to know how to engage students based on established interests and what they have previously learned. Make Things Teaching STEM subjects involves discussing and learning a fair bit of theory, which should be supported by hands-on experience at every opportunity. The next best option is to get students into pairs or small groups ...

Posted Nov. 24, 2014, 10 a.m. by Mark Plummer | View Comments
The Importance of Sleep to STEM

Adolescence is characterised by changes in the chemistry and organisation of the brain, which have profound consequences for overall cognitive development. Any teacher will stand by the truism that many students simply are not motivated in the classroom and just don’t want to be there. One reason is lack of sleep. Sleep is Essential There is a rapidly growing corpus of research that asserts that the sleep circadian rhythm changes as throughout adolescence and remains in place once we reach adulthood. For teenagers, the physiological transitions that occur from puberty onwards result in a situation in which it is preferable ...

Posted Nov. 18, 2014, 10 a.m. by Mark Plummer | View Comments
Why Learning About All Things STEM is Important

As educators we are asked the question “why is learning about science and how scientific knowledge is obtained important?” The question is generally asked when students are struggling with a difficult theory or concept, especially if said concept involves mathematics. The textbook answer is to assert the importance and relevance by using platitudes such as “science is all around us” or “because science is the only method by which you can truly understand how the world works” and the classic, even if you are not pursuing a career in science, “understanding science will give you a decent foundation for success ...

Posted Nov. 10, 2014, 9:20 a.m. by Mark Plummer | View Comments
Teaching Science and Overcoming Misconceptions

From a student’s perspective, one barrier to understanding and getting to grips with STEM subjects is misunderstood exposition on the part of a teacher or instructor. As professional educators we must pay constant attention to not only what we say or present, but also to how we say and present it. The reason is crystal clear: a concept that may be self-evident or even obvious to us, will likely appear in opposite terms to those whose education we have taken a responsibility to enhance. From an educator’s perspective, students have a responsibility to engage with the subject, especially if they ...