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STEM Education for the

21st Century
Adding Branches to the Tree
ERB Annual Conference - 10.15.09
What is STEM?
 An educational perspective that integrates
science, technology, engineering and
 Seeks to include an interdisciplinary focus
on history, literacy and art
What is the state of science
education in the US?
4th Grade 8th Grade

Science 2003 536 527

Science 2007 539 530

Math 2003 518 504

Math 2007 529 508

TIMSS Conclusions
 Science and math scores decrease
between 4th and 8th grade
 Science and math scores have increased
a bit between 2003-2007
 We are still above average!
PISA 2006
 United States score: 489
 Statistically significantly below the ECD
 Just below Latvia and Iceland
 Just above Slovakia and Spain
PISA 2006
 Assesses student performance
 Collects information on student attitudes
toward science
 Approaches to learning and the learning
PISA 2006
PISA 2006

 STEM Literacy as a Curriculum Aim

Another Perspective

 There are great STEM teachers doing

great STEM things in our schools.
 This is what we need to champion.
What is a 21st Century Learner?
QuickTimeª and a
are needed to see this picture.
The Key Question

 Howdo we connect our “21st Century

Learners” with curriculum objectives to
produce “STEM Literate” citizens?
What We Need

 Committed and supportive administrators

 Passionate and empowered teachers
 Motivated and enthusiastic students
Here is your challenge.
Connect your faculty to STEM
Steps to Success
 Match faculty professional goals to STEM
 Match goals to professional development
 Introduce new faculty to STEM objectives
 Create professional learning communities
 Provide in-house training
 Develop STEM curriculum teams
Connect STEM disciplines to each
Steps to Success
 Common language in mathematics and
science in all divisions
 Common calculators and language
 Cross-course projects
 Team taught STEM courses
 Cross-discipline integration
Connect STEM disciplines to other
Steps to Success
 History of science & mathematics
 Ethical issues in science and technology
 Engineering, art and design
 Science literacy
 Technology literacy
 Financial literacy
 Access to journals, books, manuals
Connect your students to the real
Steps to Success
 Collaborative projects
 Authentic learning and practical
 Weekend Weather Forecast
 Physics and Social Justice
 Using local parks and museums as
learning experiences
Connect your students to kinesthetic
learning opportunities
Steps to Success
 STEM Center for Lower School
 STEM Learning and Literacy Centers
 Invention Convention
 Bridge Building
 Roller Coaster Design and Construction
 Tech Team and AV Clubs
Connect your students to researchers
Steps to Success
 Women in STEM Luncheon
 STEM Internship Program
 STEM Research Program
 STEM Blog
 Visits to research facilities, dialogues with
 Online collaborative projects
Connect to your parents and alumnae
Steps to Success
 STEM Events for Parents and Students
 RoboExpo
 Robotics Event for Parents
 Alumnae and Parents as Guest Speakers
Connect to new opportunities
Steps to Success
 Mindstorms
 Scratch Programming
 Ruby Programming
 Alice Programming
 Fathom
 Geometer’s Sketchpad
 Autograph
Connect your students to Web 2.0
Steps to Success
 Blogs, wikis, online discussion
 Cell phone projects
 Your students’ technology tools
 Vodcasts and podcasts
 Mobile computing initiatives
 Have your students do it, have your
teachers do it
Are you up to the challenge?
Stories of Success
 OakcliffElementary School, Doraville, GA
 Small Fry to Go AfterSchool science
 Authentic, interdisciplinary hands-on,
project-based learning
 Academic perfomance exceeds state
standards in math, science and reading
Stories of Success
 Lynn English High School, Lynn MA
 Students are self-directed learners
 All students complete algebra, geometry,
electives as college prep or honors
 Interdisciplinary approach with
Biotechnology, Computer-Aided Design
Stories of Success
 Atlanta Girls’ School, Atlanta, GA
 iSTEM program
 Infuses STEM curriculum with grade-level
appropriate technology
 Programming and Apps for iPod Touch
 Stanford’s iPhone Application
Programming class
Stories of Success
 Hathaway Brown, Shaker Heights, OH
 Science Research & Engineering Program
 Students conduct cutting edge research
 Linking with supervising professionals
 Enrollment: 25 to 30% of school
Stories of Success
 Use of low cost opportunities and
 Local and regional professional
development for faculty
 Identifying and integrating replicable
programs that reflect best practices

 What challenges do you face in your

 What successes have you had?