What is STEM?
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education often has been called a meta-discipline, the "creation of a discipline based on the integration of other disciplinary knowledge into a new ‘whole’. STEM education offers students one of the best opportunities to make sense of the world holistically, rather than in bits and pieces. STEM education removes the traditional barriers erected between the four disciplines, by integrating them into one cohesive teaching and learning paradigm. STEM education is an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with it the ability to compete in the new economy.
The goal of STEM education is to help students become:
· Problem-solvers – able to define questions and problems, design investigations to gather data, collect and organize data, draw conclusions, and then apply understandings to new and novel situations.
· Innovators – creatively use science, mathematics, and technology concepts and principles by applying them to the engineering design process.
· Inventors – recognize the needs of the world and creatively design, test, redesign, and then implement solutions (engineering process).
· Self-reliant – able to use initiative and self-motivation to set agendas, develop and gain self-confidence, and work within time specified time frames.
· Logical thinkers – able to apply rational and logical thought processes of science, mathematics, and engineering design to innovation and invention.
· Technologically literate - understand and explain the nature of technology, develop the skills needed, and apply technology appropriately.
©Hays Blaine Lantz, Jr., Ed.D., 2009 Page 3