Harbor School STEM Lab and Soft Skills - Harbor School

Harbor School STEM Lab and Soft Skills

building soft skills with STEM Lab

STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, and math) initiatives prepare students for the coursework and careers of the future.

 There’s no question that technology plays a role in every job and every home. But soft skills— how well-equipped students are to make the right decisions and solve problems — are equally important. Working on projects in the Harbor STEM Lab helps students integrate STEM with soft skills by fostering and reinforcing essential concepts such as:

Communication Building

?Whether sharing ideas or findings or explaining topics, the ability to get their message across effectively is vital for students. STEM lessons ask students to communicate through their own creativity by building, designing and problem solving through technology.

Collaboration Activities

?In STEM-based lessons, students continue to work with their classmates towards a common goal. Every student is involved and engaged, so no one is left behind. Collaborative activities allow each student to contribute and shine. Students practice working as a team, listening to one another, and seeing each other’s point of view. When the entire class accomplishes a task, everyone celebrates their success.

Development of Critical Thinking

STEM lessons also require students to use analytical and critical-thinking skills to look for patterns, make predictions in ways that they might not have used before. Students learn to make decisions not just based on what they think or feel, but by creating and inventing based on their interests. This outlet allows them another avenue to display their strengths and think critically about a wide number of topics.


Sometimes, solving a problem requires looking at it from a different perspective. In the STEM Lab, students practice and nurture this skill by working on open-ended assignments. In these scenarios, there may be multiple ways to solve the problem successfully, and students use their creativity to come up with their own solutions. 

Informational Literacy

Not all information sources are equal: some are authoritative and reliable, but some can provide false information. Information literacy is the ability to identify what information is needed, understand how the information is organized, identify the best sources of information for a given need, locate those sources, and evaluate those sources critically. STEM lessons challenge students to separate verifiable facts from fiction.

Adaptability by Understanding Failures to Success

TEM lessons help students embrace the idea that it’s OK to fail multiple times before they succeed, or that there is no right or wrong answer all along. It’s like a game where students can restart and try again as many times as they need to be successful.

Building 21st Century Skills

Integrating soft skills such as problem-solving, collaboration, communication, adaptability, information literacy and critical thinking into STEM allows students to apply the knowledge they acquire in school to real-world problems and situations. With many ways to invent, solve, and innovate, Harbor’s STEM Lab provides learners with the tools to help them develop into critical-thinking collaborators who can think abstractly and approach problems from multiple angles to find practical solutions.

erik glazer principal harbor school

Harbor School a private special education school in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Our mission at Harbor School is to help all of our special needs students with learning, social, language, behavioral, and other disabilities. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student reach their full potential.

We would be more than happy to discuss your child's specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.544.9394, or request a tour at Harbor School in Eatontown, NJ. We are located just minutes off of the Garden State Parkway at exit 105 and conveniently located off of Route 35 and Route 36 in Monmouth County, NJ.

Erik Glazner, 
Principal-Harbor School, Eatontown, NJ