Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What is STEM?

Here are answers to some questions commonly asked about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Education.

There is a lot of talk and buzz around the term STEM.  but, what exactly is it?

There are many definitions of the term S.T.E.M.   Simply stated, STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where academic concepts are paired with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between lessons learned in school to work and community applications.  It is takes learning to the next level, in which students do not simply learn concepts but demonstrate and apply theory to application.  (Tsupros, 2009).  S.T.E. M.  programs turn a typical classroom into one that is dynamic and driven by problem-solving, discovery and investigative learning.

Why is STEM so important to today’s science educator and science classroom?

Since the publication of   Rising above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Future (National Academies Press, 2005), the need and demand for jobs that require specific S.T.E. M. skills has increased exponentially. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics project job growth of 22% in S.T.E.M related occupations in the next ten years.  S.T.E.M. education provides the foundation for today's students to become the workforce of tomorrow. 

Where do I find S.T.E.M.  Related Funding Sources? 
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: Extensive information on all aspects of the Recovery Act that pertain to education
  • Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged: Title I provides financial assistance to LEAs and schools with high numbers or high percentages of disadvantaged children to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.
  • Enhancing Education through Technology (EETT): Title IID provides funding specifically for technology so that students become technologically literate and teachers learn how to integrate technology into curriculum.
  • The Foundation Center: Directory of private philanthropic and grant making foundations
  • Grant Wrangler: A free grant and award listing service for K-12 teachers, schools and students.
  • Grants.gov 
How Can I Learn More About STEM Education? Check out the organizations below to learn even more about STEM education!

  • American Chemical Society
  • Education Development Center
  • Hands On Science Partnership
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
  • NSTA
  • The Science Olympiad