The Office of STEM & Strategic Initiatives provides support and resources to schools, facilitating the design and implementation of high-quality, sustainable Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning environments, leading to effective STEM education for all students and accelerating students’ preparation for postsecondary success.
Core Belief Statement: “We Are Developing Tomorrow’s Innovators” by…
- Improving principal and teacher capacity to deliver high-quality, STEM-focused learning experiences and environments
- Improving STEM academic readiness
- Increasing interest and awareness of STEM topics and careers
- Improving STEM career preparation
- Create a pipeline and pool of highly-qualified STEM teachers
- Increase the percentage of minority students, specifically African-American, Latinos, and girls enrollment/participation in STEM courses
- Increase engagement and awareness of STEM and STEM-related fields
- Improve percentage of students meeting and exceeding performance expectations for standardized exams
- Increase percentage of students graduating with STEM credentials
- Increase matriculation in post-secondary education for STEM-related fields
- Increase the number of students prepared for jobs in STEM fields
Critical Components to Support High Quality STEM Education
We have identified the following critical components to supporting a high quality STEM education for students:
- Mission Driven Leadership: Leadership creates a pervasive STEM culture and pursues opportunities to enhance STEM learning and minimize competing initiatives.
- School Structures and Culture: School has structures in place (e.g. strong STEM culture is evident in student and staff behaviors, clear emphasis on 21st century skills, etc.) to support the goals of all 7 critical components.
- Institutional Capacity: School has high-quality teaching staff (STEM content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge) and exceptional facilities and supplies.
- Instructional Approach: Pedagogical strategies support STEM culture, practices, and mindset. Teachers enhance student learning through authentic performance assessments, project-based learning, standards-based instruction, technology integration, cooperative learning, personalization, and cross-curricular instruction.
- K-12 Programs of Study: Course content is rigorous at all levels and adheres to state and national standards. There is a strong STEM sequence, as well as strong engineering and computer science content.
- STEM Career Pathways: Formal and informal learning about STEM industries and professions occur both during school and beyond typical school day/week/year. In high school, these pathways connect to postsecondary STEM education and/or STEM careers.
- External Partnerships: Partnerships with STEM professionals and the community enrich learning opportunities for students. Partners may include business/industry, university/college, informal learning institutions.
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