Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (2024)

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Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (1)

ExploreLearning Gizmos simulations are used in classrooms in every state in the U.S. and more than 80 countries worldwide. Qatar Science & Technology Secondary School (QSTSS), is a prestigious governmental institution in Doha, Qatar, catering specifically to high-achieving Qatari male students in levels 9-12. The school first learned about Gizmos while researching interactive resources and simulations to complement their curriculum, which emphasizes scientific inquiry and STEM subjects.

Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (2)

Integrating Gizmos at QSTSS

Dr. Rani Altoum and the staff at QSTSS, renowned for its emphasis on science and technology education, wanted to try Gizmos with their students because of the interactive nature and comprehensive array of concepts. “We were drawn to Gizmos because they provide hands-on experiences that align well with our curriculum, fostering student engagement and deeper understanding of STEM concepts. Additionally, the ability to customize and adapt simulations to suit our teaching objectives was a key factor in wanting to try Gizmos with our students,” he said.

Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (3)

Improvements in student engagement and understanding

“Firstly, there has been a noticeable improvement in student engagement and understanding of mathematical and scientific concepts since integrating Gizmos into our lessons,” said Dr. Altoum. “We have conducted assessments and gathered feedback from students, which consistently highlight the effectiveness of Gizmos in enhancing their learning experiences. Many students have expressed that the interactive simulations provided by Gizmos have made complex topics more accessible and easier to understand.”

Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (4)

Adoption of Gizmos lesson plans in math and science

These insights influenced individual classroom strategies and the school's overall approach to teaching math and science. “Teachers have incorporated Gizmos into their lesson plans more regularly, utilizing the simulations to facilitateinquiry-based learning and hands-on experimentation. Additionally, our school has recognized the value of Gizmos in promoting STEM education and has invested in further professional development to ensure all teachers are proficient in using the platform effectively,” said Dr. Altoum.

Versatile uses of Gizmos in the classroom

Gizmos is a versatile tool supporting various instructional strategies and learning modalities. Dr. Altoum said that teachers utilize Gizmos in a variety of ways to enhance student learning both inside and outside the classroom, including:

  • Station Activities- Gizmos can be incorporated into station-based learning models where students rotate through different activities. Teachers may set up Gizmos stations to allow students to explore specific concepts independently or in small groups.
  • In-Class Work- Gizmos are often used during class time as part of interactive lessons or demonstrations. Teachers may guide students through simulations to illustrate key concepts, facilitate discussions, or conduct experiments.

Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (5)

"Gizmos have provided my students with hands-on experiences that deepen their understanding of complex concepts. It's amazing to see how engaged and enthusiastic they are during Gizmos activities, and I've noticed a significant improvement in their learning outcomes as a result," said a teacher at QSTSS.

The interactive simulations align with curriculum goals and allow students to explore and experiment with STEM concepts dynamically and engagingly. “Moreover, the customizable nature of Gizmos enables us to cater to diverse learning styles and abilities, ensuring that all students can actively participate and succeed,” said Dr. Altoum.

Student and teacher experiences with Gizmos

Teachers have noticed more enthusiasm from students about exploring mathematical and scientific concepts through Gizmos. One specific example is the topic of fractions in math. “Previously, some students struggled to grasp the concept, but with Gizmos' visual and interactive representations, they have gained a much clearer understanding. The hands-on nature of Gizmos has transformed abstract concepts into tangible, relatable experiences, making difficult topics more accessible and easier to comprehend for students,” said Dr. Altoum.

Students notice a positive difference, too.As one student said, "I love using Gizmos because they make learning math and science fun and easy to understand. The simulations help me visualize concepts that were once difficult to grasp, and I feel more confident in my abilities as a result."

Favorite teacher and student Gizmos

Both teachers and students have identified several favorite Gizmos due to their engaging and practical instructional design. Dr. Altoum explained the reasons why these are some of the favorites among teachers and students:

Cell Structure Gizmo

Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (6)

Cell Structure- This Gizmo allows students to explore the structure and function of different types of cells, providing interactive models and simulations that enhance their understanding of cell biology concepts.

Pendulum Clock Gizmo

Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (7)

Pendulum Clock- Students enjoy experimenting with this Gizmo to explore the principles of pendulum motion and oscillation. It provides interactive controls to adjust parameters such as pendulum length and amplitude, allowing hands-on exploration of pendulum behavior.

Food Chain Gizmo

Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (8)

Food Chain- This Gizmo allows students to construct and manipulate food chains and food webs, exploring concepts such as energy flow and trophic levels in ecosystems. It provides interactive models and animations that make complex ecological concepts accessible and engaging.

Waves Gizmo

Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (9)

Waves- Students appreciate this Gizmo for its visual representations of wave interference phenomena. It allows them to explore concepts such as constructive and destructive interference through interactive simulations and experiments.

The impact of STEM Cases

STEM Cases are also highlights for staff and students because they facilitate a deeper understanding of complex scientific concepts through real-world application and problem-solving scenarios. ExploreLearning STEM Cases foster student-centered learning, allowing students to take ownership of their learning and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a supportive and engaging environment.

Interdisciplinary learning

Students experience the interdisciplinary nature of STEM fields by integrating concepts from multiple disciplines into one immersive learning experience. Dr. Altoum noted that this interdisciplinary approach strengthens students' understanding of individual subjects and prepares them for the interconnected challenges they will face in future STEM careers.

Empowering students in STEM

“The value of STEM Cases simulations offered by Gizmos cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Altoum. “They serve as a catalyst for sparking curiosity, fostering collaboration, and empowering students to become confident and proficient in STEM disciplines.”

“Gizmos have exceeded my expectations in terms of providing engaging and interactive simulations that effectively support our curriculum objectives,” said Dr. Altoum. “The simulations have proven to be versatile and customizable, allowing me to tailor them to the specific needs of my students and teaching goals. One aspect that pleasantly surprised me was the depth of content available within each simulation, providing ample opportunities for exploration and inquiry-based learning. Overall, Gizmos have been a valuable addition to our teaching toolkit, enhancing student learning experiences in STEM subjects.”

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Success Story: QSTSS Transforms STEM Educat... | ExploreLearning (2024)
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