Most people are aware that STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Beyond this, most would be hard-pressed to elaborate its meaning and explain why the acronym has become so prevalent in our national conversations. Is STEM something we do, something we acquire, or something we learn?
Most would agree that our lives are inextricably influenced by the information and applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Our future dependence will increase dramatically in these areas. As such, we should recognize that our lives (and that of future generations) will be determined by an ever-increasing amount of information and applications of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This includes the field of medicine, too!
Let us be clear: how STEM affects each of us individually will vary from person to person. One need not learn something for each of the fields, but one must understand and appreciate why each is important. Jobs, careers, and professions and most endeavors will require knowledge in one or more of these fields. Because of this, the education of young children, adolescents, and teenagers must be redesigned and delivered to provide greater insights and information in these disciplines. As adults, we will require increased education and re-education to keep abreast of these disciplines' rapid changes.
STEM is not a commodity to be bought, sold, earned, or awarded. It is an awareness, recognition, and acceptance of reality. A symbol of a way forward with confidence and hope!
What is a STEM Advocate?
A STEM Advocate does one or more of the following:
Pursues solutions to problems that impact us locally, regionally, and or globally with a basis in one or more STEM disciplines.
Does whatever is necessary to teach children to read and problem solve. Learning at all levels requires a person to read and write proficiently and problem-solve using critical thinking skills. Such abilities are the foundation for all learning and innovation.
Promotes providing STEM experiences and opportunities to students of all backgrounds, starting as early as possible and continuing through graduation.
Promotes rigorous preparation of teachers, especially in mathematics and science in the elementary grades.
Promotes science specialists teachers in the elementary grades.
Promotes more rigorous certification requirements, including pre-service teaching experience.
Becoming a STEM advocate is easy! Use the link to join our STEM listserv (From the dropdown, select TEXAS ECOSYSTEM!) and receive the latest and greatest news about all things STEM. Feel free to share newsletters and email updates with your campus co-workers and district leaders.
Where can I find more EcosySTEM Resources?
The Texas Education Agency has developed tools to help districts engage with families through STEM Education programming and build awareness throughout the community by expanding learning beyond the classroom.