“STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that removes traditional barriers separating the four disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and integrates them into real-world, rigorous, and relevant learning experiences for students.”
- STEM Lesson Essentials by Jo Anne Vasquez and Michael Comer (pg. 4)
STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. It is an approach to education that strives to remove the traditional lines of subject areas. Students undertake real-world learning activities that incorporates the skills and knowledge of multiple subject areas.
According to Jo Anne Vasquez’s article, STEM: Beyond the Acronym, STEM education should involve the application of skills and knowledge to complete authentic tasks and the use of the engineering design process to create products and solutions. The article also included The Inclined Plane of STEM Integration chart that showcases the different levels of STEM integration.
The first level, Multidisciplinary, connects multiple subject areas through a common theme. However the set of skills and knowledge of each subject are taught separately from one another. The Interdisciplinary level involves more collaboration from teachers to develop curriculum where skills and knowledge of multiple subject areas are “interconnected and interdependent.” The ideal level of STEM integration is called Transdisciplinary. This level consists of project-based or problem-based learning that connects multiple subject areas through a driving question (an inspiring, open-ended question that involves the use of targeted skills and knowledge for it to be answered). This driving question leads students to create a solution that incorporates the skills and knowledge of multiple subject areas.
EXAMPLE STEM SCHOOL: HIGH TECH HIGH
STEM SPECIALIST EXPECTATIONS
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