What is STEM?
STEM is the acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. STEM provides a blended learning approach where students are taught computational thinking, real-world problem solving, and how to apply scientific methods to everyday life. STEM is taught from elementary through high school levels.
“In the 21st century, scientific and technological innovations have become increasingly important as we face the benefits and challenges of both globalization and a knowledge-based economy. To succeed in this new information-based and highly technological society, students need to develop their capabilities in STEM to levels much beyond what was considered acceptable in the past.” (National Science Foundation)
Fostering an interest in STEM can extend from the school curriculum and into the home through STEM toys, STEM projects, and STEM activities.
STEM vs STEAM
STEAM includes the arts as part of an integrative approach to education. STEM courses and the arts complement each other to achieve more thorough and cohesive comprehension in the classroom. STEM/STEAM educational programs provide interdisciplinary instruction. Students can use these skills in school and later in life.
STEAM experiences require that two or more standards from science, technology, engineering, math, and the arts are taught and assessed through each other. An emphasis on process-based learning, collaboration, and inquiry are at the core of the STEAM approach. Utilizing the integrity of the arts themselves is essential to an authentic STEAM initiative.
Benefits to students in STEM/STEAM programs:
- Public school STEM programs offer students an advantage over classical education models by emphasizing and including the value of technology education in today’s world.
- STEM technology in the classroom allows for superior teaching. In federally-endorsed research, instructional technologies prove to produce greater achievement and higher self-esteem among students than more traditional teaching methods, with favorable cost-benefit ratios.
- One of the most significant benefits of STEM/ STEAM programs is that they foster a love of learning.
Northside ISD STEM Solar Car Races
For 25 years, Northside ISD students have been built solar-powered cars to race in the Solar Cars competition.
Solar Cars is an after-school science enrichment program offered to 4th and 5th grade students. Students build engineering skills as they work in teams to design and build a working solar car model. Students apply science, creativity, and grit to complete the exciting engineering task. The students receive a solar panel and an electric motor, and they build their car around those two components.
Ron Rhoads and NISD board member, Bobby Blount, Jr., volunteer with the races and to help this program succeed.
STEM & STEAM NEWS
SAISD Students Experience Bioscience Students from Davis Middle School in San Antonio ISD took a field trip this fall to the VelocityTX Innovation Center to