What is STEM?
Science, Technology, Engineering and Math
21st Century STEM is not simply about an acronym of its respective core subject matter parts; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s a different way of thinking about what, how and why we teach and students learn. Quality 21st Century STEM instructional practices must be deliberately designed. When content areas are interwoven seamlessly, learners will not notice the transition from one content area to the next. Students are able to make relevant real world connections during authentic learning experiences. Effective 21st Century STEM focused curricular practices blur the lines between individual core content areas and better prepare students for work and life in the real world.
21st Century STEM focused learning environments require a shift in the way the written, taught and tested curriculum are designed and implemented. Interdisciplinary, authentic, real world learning experiences must fully engage students to help them realize, conceptualize and understand and value the interconnectedness key concepts and skills. No longer will the answer to that old question, “Why do I need to know this?” be obscure. STEM education will provide the answers to this question.
ALL students should have the opportunity to experience highly relevant, real-world, inquiry and project based learning opportunities. Effective 21st Century STEM focused educational practices will enhance student learning as content is no longer taught in a singular traditional content-based silo. Authentic STEM teaching and learning experiences inspire student curiosity and creativity, deepen levels of understanding and skills and increase levels of interest and passion for a world and future immersed in STEM.