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What is STEM?
                 


 
Major reports over the last few years have brought the need for comprehensive STEM education - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - into clear focus for educators at all levels.  President Obama has championed the cause, and many states have renewed energy in developing comprehensive plans for improving the delivery of STEM education to students.  These reports all point to the need for quality STEM education. 

With all the acronyms that determine hundreds of different areas of education, it is easy to confuse them all. Since 2001, the letters STEM have been a normal part of educational vocabulary.
 
The acronym STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This program was started by Judith A. Ramaley, the former director of the National Science Foundation’s education and human-resources division. This approach to education is designed to revolutionize the teaching of subject areas such as mathematics and science by incorporating technology and engineering into regular curriculum by creating a “meta-discipline.”

There is more; STEM Education attempts to transform the typical teacher-centered classroom by encouraging a curriculum that is driven by problem-solving, discovery, exploratory learning, and require students to actively engage a situation in order to find its solution.
STEM Practices
SCIENCE
ENGINEERING
TECHNOLOGY
MATHEMATICS
Ask questions
Define problems
Become aware of the web of technological systems on which society depends
Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them
Develop and use models
Develop and use models
Model with mathematics
Plan and carry out investigations
Plan and carry out investigations
Learn how to use new technologies as they become available
Use appropriate tools strategically
Analyze and interpret data
Analyze and interpret data
Attend to precision
Use mathematics and computational thinking
Use mathematics and computational thinking
Recognize the role that technology plays in the advancement of science and engineering
Reason abstractly and quantitatively
Construct explanations
Design solutions
Look for and make use of structure
Engage in argument from evidence
Engage in argument from evidence
Make informed decisions about technology given its relationship to society and the environment
Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others
Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information
Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information
Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning
Sources of the STEM Practices
Practices of Science & Engineering in Next Generation Science Standards
Practices of Science & Engineering in Next Generation Science Standards
Mathematical Practices from the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics
Adapted from STEM Lesson Essentials Grades 3-8 (Vasquez, Sneider, & Comer) 2013
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