We start our journey…. Asking the question “What IS STEM”? We each know what we think it is, and why WE are here. The message regarding what STEM is and what it means has been confusing at best…
Well, the answer is not that simple. It depends on who you are and your point of view. Some say that STEM is increasing student’s access to more science, technology, and math (sometimes engineering). Others will tell you that it is about INTEGRATING those subjects into one curriculum. The professional scientists and engineers will tell you that STEM is about increasing career awareness and getting students interested in such careers. While the governmental organizations and politicians focus on producing a work force ready for global competativeness by increasing STEM skills.
Two Siemen’s Fellows from last year’s Institute ran this project. They invited classrooms to join them in an international discussion on the energy crisis. 150 students from 5 schools in 3 different countries participated in the project and learned from each other.
In STEM Fellow Peggy Harding’s Math classes, students find direct relationships between science and math concepts and explain them using “Prezi” the “Prezis” have videos, slideshows and other technologies built into them.
When it all comes down to it, what ever your definition of STEM…. It is all about making learning REAL for students.
So, what are our goals this week? 1) Continue the discussion regarding the purpose and scope of STEM education. 2) Have Fellows make connections with other STEM educators that will help form a community 3) Provide STEM educators with skills and tools to help implement STEM in their classroom 4) Share ideas for advocating for STEM education in our local communitities.