STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Across the K-12 spectrum, schools have been turning their focus towards the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math realms. U.S. students continue to lag in these fields when compared to other leading nations (read the recent New York Times article that discusses this national concern). Commonly referred to as the STEM fields, students at all levels and programs have increasing opportunities to explore topics in these fields due largely in part to the support and contributions of major science and engineering based organizations and corporations.
It is essential that leaders in the education field recognize that “almost all of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will require at least some background in STEM” (Change the Equation). Ideas and innovation are rampant in the schools – sit down at any first grade lunch table or hang out with any group of seventh graders on the courts and the ideas are creative and prolific. STEM projects give K-12 students a platform and a valid reason to explore their “random thoughts” and take them to the next level. Using concepts in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, students are provided the playing field to develop their ideas.
Refer to Change the Equation Why STEM? for additional statistics regarding the STEM fields low-rankings of U.S. students. This fact stands out, “17 nations – the number of industrialized nations whose high schoolers performed significantly better than U.S. students in math”. Science and engineering based jobs are one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States. We will clearly better prepare students to be competitive in today’s world by giving them practical, STEM-based assignments and activities in school now.
Bookmark the STEM School’s archive of STEM Education Articles and Opinions. This link provides a treasure trove of introspective insights into a variety of methods and practices for STEM fields. Read the U.S. News and World Report article, 6 Things you didn’t know about STEM Jobs and Students.Â This and other articles about STEM-based efforts are on the STEM Solutions resource page.
- STEM Connector – intensive collection of resources; make sure to sign up for the free newsletter; use the state list to find resources in your own state and make sure to peruse other states’ resources as they are extremely valuable
- PBS Teachers STEM Education Resource Center – start with the video and then enjoy this massive warehouse of ideas and resources; make sure to download the extensive list of activities as well
- National Science Foundation STEM Education – as can be expected from the NSF, there are plenty of support materials posted at this site; download and read the publication, Preparing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators: Identifying and Developing our Nation’s Human Capitol
- STEM Education – click any of the posts for additional insights into how teachers all over are using STEM
- The 50 Best Sources of Free STEM Education Online from Edudemic – great compilation; take a look through this list and give one a try today.
For high school students, they are ready to consider how STEM topics can benefit them as they begin to consider their emergence into the ‘real world. Send them to the iOn Future activity. Students must watch the two video clips, then read the Learning Guide for the game, and then go ahead and register for a free account and give the games a try. A vast range of careers are explored and students use the interactive activity to find out how they may or may not fit in various career paths. Follow up with the useful (and free) tool from My College Options. Students register for a free account and use the interactive activities to help them explore and filter their future occupational interests.
STEM projects provide K-12 students the opportunity to achieve the skills required to succeed in the modern, technologically-based and oftentimes challenging world.Â Students must hone the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and generate developments in science, engineering, and technology. As educators, we collectively are working to ensure that America becomes ranked as one of the leading nations in technological breakthroughs and scientific research through our youngest generation.Stephanie Tannenbaum Â Â Â Â
U.S. Students Still Lag Globally in Math and Science, Tests Show - New York Times
Change the Equation
STEM Education Articles and Opinions – STEM School
PBS Teachers STEM Education Resource Center
National Science Foundation STEM Education
The 50 Best Sources of Free STEM Education Online - Edudemic
My College Options