The purpose of this blog is to explore Louisiana's strategy and capacity for advancing STEM education, careers, and workforce for all. Louisiana has its own array of STEM assets, strengths and approaches in place - thus this site is designed to discover these strategies and activities. Not just a PK12 issue - all stakeholders, higher education, workforce development, economic development, business & industry, are welcome to participate. Hopefully the site will pose and answer questions that will ultimately help guide and focus diverse partners in this effort.

PK-12 STEM

Attributes of a STEM Educated Student

·      Problem-solvers—able to frame problems as puzzles and then able to apply understanding and learning to these novel situations

·      Innovators—able to power to pursue independent and original investigation using the design process

·      Inventors—able to recognize the needs of the world and creatively design and implement solutions

·      Self-reliant—able to set own agendas, develop and gain self-confidence and work within time specified time frames

·      Logical thinkers—using the logic offered by calculus (and found in 60% of all professions world-wide), is able to make the kinds of connections to affect an understanding of natural phenomena

·      Technologically literate—able to understand the nature of the technology, master the skills needed and apply it appropriately

·      Participatory—takes advantage of STEM learning opportunities in/out of school

·      Relates-able to relate their own culture and history to their learning

Attributes of a STEM School

Culture
o  STEM Literacy - a priority for ALL students with all learning styles and backgrounds and is culturally relevant
o  A culture of questioning, creativity and possibility pervades the school
o  Opportunities for postsecondary credit and/or certification
o  Coursework aligned to state workforce clusters

Students
o  Learning communities are utilized
o  Plan for student support and success
o  Opportunities for participation in STEM activities and outreach programs

Curriculum
o"Design process" drives the STEM instruction throughout the school  (Process by which a person gains insight into a problem, determines alternative pathways, and assesses the likelihood of success between solution sets)
o  All curriculum materials STEM in nature (trans-disciplinary) and support not supplant
o  Emphasis on technology and engineering in science and mathematics courses
o  Rigorous 4-year STEM course pathway that is aligned, standards-based and offers opportunities for advanced credit.
o  Testing of students formative and most often performance based

Teachers
o  Deep understanding of the subject domain and 21st century pedagogy
o  PD is job-embedded, use classroom materials, integrate STEM across the curriculum and is constructivist in nature

Alliances
o  Strategic partnerships are formed with parents, higher education, and community businesses.


Proven to motivate student interest in STEM and STEM Careers

·         Experiential and project-based learning in the classroom

·         Cross-disciplinary approach to STEM

·         Learning communities

·        Outreach (Sponsored by higher education, local businesses and other non-academic entities all of which expose students to career and postsecondary possibilities.)

o   Mentoring and internships

o   STEM-focused afterschool programs

o   Math and science competitions, like robotics



References

Jan Morrison  http://tiesteach.org/
Dorinda Galant  https://www.mheonline.com/glencoemath/pdf/stem_education.pdf


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