Parents and public school teachers widely recognize the importance of learning STEM skills in today’s technologically active business and living environment. The need for an understanding of technology and the skills to use it well has permeated the workplace, and recent revolutions in home automation point to its growth into private life as well. To prepare young learners for a world where these observations are increasingly true, schools and community organizations need active, hands-on learning that takes STEM based learning out of the textbook and puts it into the kinds of contexts it appears in as part of the everyday world.
On top of having a well-rounded curriculum, STEM learning initiatives also need to be consistent throughout a child’s school years. That gets easier when you find a teaching and learning system that is designed to deliver core competencies and sills to students at every level: elementary, middle, and high schools. When you do find such a system, it will provide students with the fundamental concepts they need to understand early, and the hands on activities help students to process the information and see how concepts fit together to create new ideas and new technologies.
By working with a system designed to support students through every level of learning, a district’s teachers are able to count on students to know not only the prerequisite concepts for each lesson, but also the practical activities that support and precede the day’s lesson. That makes new projects easier to approach and helps students focus on learning the skills instead of learning a new learning process.
Common Core Compatible
As your district hunts for the right STEM based learning system to build into its curriculum, it is also important to make sure that your top choices are fully compatible with the Common Career Technical Core and Next Generation Science Standards. By finding learning systems whose units are already built around these standards, you empower your teachers to focus less on how they will make sure their plans fulfill all the criteria necessary for STEM learning standards. Instead, they can focus on the day to day needs of their students, nurturing their learning process as they work to acquire the core skills that have become a necessary part of preparing for the working world.
Technology Outside of STEM
Last but not least, the best STEM initiatives are those that demonstrate how science and technology are becoming more and more integral to daily activities in every profession and every walk of life. Projects that include multimedia presentations and that encourage students to learn the skills that make them power users of resources built for administrative, creative, medical, and legal personnel help to prepare all learners with the core skills they need, not just the ones who are interested in working within the STEM fields themselves.
When your school system or community organization needs to find the STEM learning program that covers Common Core concepts with supportive, hands-on activities, remember that the best choice is the one that is built to support learning at every level, building on its own fundamental concepts and inviting learners to connect new knowledge to their existing command of earlier lessons.