STEM - what does it stand for, why is there such a push for 'STEM Education' and what does it mean for classroom instruction.
For those of you interested in more information about STEM, we've provided some helpful links with more information and resources that will give you a better understanding of STEM.
First, a basic description of STEM:
S - Science
T - Technology
E - Engineering
M - Mathematics
There is also other acronyms, such as STREAM, STEAM, where R represents reading and A represents art. The idea behind all of these is that students should be learning in a 'real-world', connected way, where these subjects are integrated and students engage in problem-solving learning that requires the use of all these content areas. It's an integrative and applied approach, so that students are learning the skills they need to go into science, engineering, mathematics, and technology fields and be competent problem-solvers.
The purpose of STEM (and any other acronyms) is, according to the U.S. Department of education:
"In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM." (from https://www.ed.gov/stem)
Below are some links to articles and information about STEM that we used to help start the conversation.
U.S. Government - purpose and description of STEM https://www.ed.gov/stem There are many links within this page to more resources and supports for Teachers and schools From LiveScience - a nice description of STEM, some of the education policy behind the STEM initiative and what STEM looks like at the varying grade levels https://www.livescience.com/43296-what-is-stem-education.html From Teach.com, an overview of STEM and a listing of several STEM initiatives and links to resources https://teach.com/what/teachers-know/stem-education/ The STEM Coalition - an advocacy group http://www.stemedcoalition.org/ Information from NACME with an engineering focus on STEM http://www.nacme.org/information National Science Foundation - resources and information all related to STEM https://nsf.gov/nsb/sei/edTool
Hopefully, these links will give you a good start towards both understanding STEM and finding supports for STEM teaching/learning.
Thanks for listening and be sure to tune in for future podcasts. Don't forget to send us feedback and suggestions for future topics. We are still just beginning this journey, still working on sound issues (hopefully by Ep 5 we will have this ironed out!!), and still exploring this podcast universe - bear with us!!