ABCs of STEM Education
Michele Hamer, Program Advisor
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ABCs of STEM Education
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What STEM Education Means for Teachers
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. To succeed in today's technology-driven world, students will need to receive a solid grounding in STEM subjects, beginning at the elementary school level. The overall purpose of STEM education is to integrate the specific topics of science, technology, engineering, and math into all subject areas and improve the quality of elementary education overall.
Through day-to-day learning that incorporates STEM subjects, teachers can inspire their students to become active and informed citizens in an ever-more complex world. The skills that students obtain from increased exposure to all elements of STEM education can be applied to any number of careers. Your students can rise to the challenges before them as critical thinkers and effective problem solvers.
STEM Career Growth
STEM careers are among the nation's fastest-growing fields. According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, employment in the STEM fields is expected to increase by 10 percent between 2008 and 2018, and, in some subspecialties, that growth is projected to be up to 30 percent.
Wheelock College is particularly committed to STEM education, as evidenced by our NASA-funded STEM Teacher Enhancement Project (STEP), which is designed to significantly improve math and science instruction among elementary school teachers. The seven STEP classes included in Wheelock's Educational Studies/STEM Education graduate degree program focus on math and science education, the two STEM subjects most relevant to elementary school students in grades 1-6.
Wheelock's STEP math courses will help you master concepts important for teaching elementary school mathematics in the areas of numbers and operations, patterns, functions, algebra, geometry and measurement, data, statistics, and probability. By taking STEP science courses, you will also be well equipped to teach elementary school science in the following areas: physical science (the nature of matter, forces and motion, ancient ideas of motion, Newtonian mechanics, and gravity) and life sciences (characteristics of living things, including the various structures and functions of plants and animals, and adaptations to the environment).
Unique Approach to STEM Education
A distinguishing feature of Wheelock's STEM Education degree program is its emphasis on content knowledge in addition to pedagogical knowledge. Our STEP courses in math and science feature rigorous assignments that will strengthen your math and science content knowledge and offer connections to classroom applications for diverse learners. The courses emphasize collaborative and interactive projects, the use of virtual and physical models, active exploration, demonstrations, and experiments.
Through Wheelock's focus on civic engagement and social justice, the College is uniquely positioned to provide you with a perspective on education that is both academically rigorous and mindful of the increasing diversity of today's students. Wheelock's STEM education program—which can be completed in as little as 20 months—prepares educators like you with the knowledge and confidence to inspire a new generation of students seeking to make a difference in the world.