S.T.E.M. is an acronym that stands for the four main disciplines known as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. You may have heard the call to push STEM education in schools. Let me let you in on a little secret- putting these four letters together does not do anything magical in education or in schools.
The magic happens when we expose students to great science experiences that allow them to ask questions and design investigations to find answers to their questions (whether through descriptive, historical, or experimental research investigations). In their quest for answers, students will more than likely have to use math to describe their results and guess what-technology will be the tool that either allows them to capture or organize the data. When it naturally fits, engineering design opportunities come off of great science experiences. Engineers take the best of what scientists produce and ask what can it be used for-how can it solve a problem, or need, or desire.
The answer is not in adding more into an already huge list of standards. The answer lies in designing learning experiences that tap into children’s natural curiosities and allow them to become scientists or engineers.