Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)

STEM education prepares students in competencies and skills in four disciplines (science, technology, engineering, and math). STEM teachers use sequences that build upon each other and (most often) are applied with real-world applications. STEM classrooms are project-based, hands-on and build a love of life-long learning. A simple observation of a STEM class illuminates how effective, creative, rigorous, and dynamic the learning and creative process can be. Students are encouraged and celebrated for being curious, asking questions, and making connections as to why the world exists as it does.

Project-based learning facilitates critical thinking, increases literacy, and prepares the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. STEM education plays a critical role in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leader of the global marketplace of the 21st century. Innovation leads to new ideas and entrepreneurship that sustain our economy.

The need for a focus on STEM education comes from the following concerns:

U.S. student achievement in mathematics and science is lagging behind students in much of Asia and Europe. International test scores tell us that in science U.S. eighth-graders were outperformed by eighth-grade students in Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong SAR, Estonia, Japan, Hungary, and Netherlands.

In math, U.S. eighth-graders were outperformed by their peers in 14 countries: Singapore, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong SAR, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Belgium, Netherlands, Estonia, Hungary, Malaysia, Latvia, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, and Australia.

The 2010 ACT College and Career Readiness report found only 29% of the tested 2010 graduates are considered college-ready in science and 43% are considered college-ready in math. It is clear that our students need better preparation in math and science in addition to social and emotional well-being.

Educational concepts and pedagogy (the methods in which students are taught) are slowly becoming more advanced, comprehensive, and technological as a result of the need for students to excel in the current employment market and from the research illuminating how students learn, critically think, and apply their knowledge. Such efforts are reflected in independent schools, private schools, charter schools, and some public schools. The Whitehouse website illustrates the mission, initiatives, and research being conducted in effort to change the way students interact and lead in science, math, engineering and technology. Furthermore, the conclusion by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology states that various initiatives are helping to achieve President Obama’s goal of training 100,000 excellent STEM teachers in the next decade. For a fascinating examination of where federal money is being spent on education and STEM initiatives, read The Federal STEM Education Portfolio.

According to the last decade of educational technology research, technology use supports and increases children’s skills in social, cognitive, language, math, science, and literacy realms, even in children as young as preschoolers. Are you curious as to how preschoolers could explore a day in STEM education?

visit  http://www.bostonchildrensmuseum.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/STEMGuide.pdf for an idea.

The videos below illustrate how smart-boards compliment the preschool classroom and how STEM can be a form of play and exploration.

More STEM information can be found at:

Back to Top