A Common Definition of STEM
“STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise, enabling the development of STEM literacy and the ability to compete in the new economy (Tsupros, 2009).”
STEM School Community:
The STEM Initiative Schools will provide students with an interdisciplinary education incorporating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. The approach for teaching and learning is student-centered, problem-based, with Common Core State (CCSS) and Next Generation Science (NGSS) Standards as the framework. Each grade level will design student learning experiences where students are given authentic, real world questions or problems that they explore while working through their content lessons. These units are multi-disciplinary. Core content subject areas, technology, and engineering practices and ideas will be utilized in the solution to the problem(s) presented.
Students will develop 21st-Century skills and use technology to test their ideas and thinking: to form questions about the world around them, propose possible solutions, develop research and information fluency; to predict, analyze and explain real world phenomena: to collaborate with each other and others around the world: and to communicate and creatively express their thinking.
An effective and talented staff at a STEM school is crucial to building capacity around STEM Education. Beyond required coursework and certification, the faculty within the STEM Initiative Schools will be expected to be members of a Professional Learning Community (PLC) that will focus on sharing practices, analyzing data, targeting interventions, and creating a culture of collaboration to ensure professional growth and student learning.