Scene from Investation Saves the Day from Your Fiscal Superhero Challenge

STEAM Digital Storytelling Projects

Welcome to the STEAM multi-verse of digital storytelling projects that challenges your students to immerse themselves in new, inquiry-driven ways. Here you will find projects that challenge students to write radio dramas about chemical calamities; craft PSAs about local eco systems under duress; dramatize mathematical word problems to stump their classmates; and invent caped superheroes who use science, engineering, and math to save the day.

In this collection you will find over 50 different digital storytelling projects — Challenges, we call them — that demand that your students collaborate to:

  • Research the content deeply;
  • Create a story around that content, be it a comedy, game show, dramatic scene, podcast, mockumentary, newscast, pitch video, … the list goes on;
  • Develop that story for digital production, which includes script writing, storyboarding, location scouting, casting, rehearsing, and planning, planning, and more planning; and
  • Produce the digital story — always targeting a running time of under 4 minutes — adding music and sound effects to the final edited piece.

These projects are about Knowledge Creation. They are about STEAM, as filtered through original storytelling, with students finding ways to excavate the depths of STEAM content using words, imagery, sound, and music.

Honestly, it’s a touch of real alchemy, …in your STEAM classroom.

Two Free STEAM Projects

Every Meridian Stories project follows the same curricular template. From detailed processes to evaluation rubrics to Standards correlations, take a look at how this all works with these two free projects.

Inclined to Measure

The Project: A building in your town is being torn down (termites!) and then re-built to the same cubic footage specifications. Your team has been asked to pitch the town council on the creation of a new building design and a new function for the new building. There are five steps to this process: 1) select a real building to replace; 2) using a team-built inclinometer, take the measurements of the height of the building; 3) using traditional means, gather other pertinent measurements, to arrive at the total square footage specifications; 4) design a new building to fit onto that building footprint (more or less) that utilizes exactly the same square footage as the original building, but looks different. Middle Schools can create a 2–D model; high schools a 3-D model (note: You DON’T need to design the interior – just focus on the exterior); 5) brainstorm a new purpose for the building …a process in which we encourage teams to indulge in far-fetched fun: an ice cream testing facility? A Minecraft Museum? It’s up to you. In the end, prepare your video pitch for your proposed use and design of the space to the town council. The pitch must include your team’s use of an inclinometer; the building’s final measurements; a model of the new design; and, finally, your team’s argument for the new function of the building.

Create a Creature Storyboard

The Project: Over time, organisms accumulate differences through changes in their DNA. Some changes lead to no difference in ability to survive, others decrease survival, and others increase likelihood of survival. These differences can be observed through appearance, analysis of DNA, fossil record evidence, and comparison between organisms that share a common ancestor. In this challenge, you get to create a creature which must be fictional and original. The fictional creature does not have to have survived in our time period. The set-up is this: you and your team are a team of scientists from the Museum of Natural History that made this astonishing discovery, and are issuing a special report detailing your discovery of the creature and its importance. To give the news of this discovery the greatest possible impact, you and your team will create a fully produced storyboard that describes the creature: its daily life, its predators, and its history. Remember you are scientists, and within this story you want to communicate the process of natural selection, how genetic variation occurs, and how a species evolves over time. Include mention of common ancestors and closest living relative. Your Create A Creature Storyboard should include narration, images, music, and/or sound effects. The story must be in your own language, and you must indicate your sources.