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STEM: What's STEM?

Digital Resources Exploration for the 2015 SDSL Boot Camp


You may see the term "STEAM". It's not a misspelling! Sometimes STEM education initiatives want to involve another important area of learning and development - art. By adding art into the curriculum, the design thinking encouraged in STEM finds another outlet. Science and art aren't permanently separated - you can do both!

If you want a dash of art with your STEM, go full STEAM ahead!

HomeRoom STEM Posts

HomeRoom is the official blog of the US Dept. of Education, and has an entire category for STEM-related posts. Here are the most recent:

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What is STEM?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

These four areas intersect to form the tools we can use to shape the world of tomorrow. STEM education focuses on design thinking, that is, using understanding of these four areas to understand and solve problems in innovative ways.

STEM education spans all ages, and isn't limited to scientists and engineers. In a world that relies more and more on technology and science, being able to understand new breakthroughs and possibilities expands horizons. 

"As a scientist or engineer... you will have the tools to do many wondrous things, which will, in large part, help save the world."

- US Energy Secrety Steven Chu

STEM is already a major part of the world we live in. Are you ready?

You mention "making" and "makers." What are those?

If you've ever watched a DIY show, done home repair, built a bookcase, or made a homemade flashlight, you've been a maker. The "maker movement" is simply a revival of DIY culture with a STEM emphasis. A report from The Open University in the UK puts it this way:

"Maker culture encourages informal, shared learning focused on the construction of artefacts ranging from robots and 3D-printed models to clothing and more traditional handicrafts. Maker culture emphasises experimentation, innovation, and the testing of theory through practical, self-directed tasks. It is characterised by playful learning and encourages both the acceptance of risk taking (learning by making mistakes) and rapid iterative development...It embraces a wide range of domains from the high-tech (electronics, programming, computer-aided design) to craft skills such as sewing, woodworking, and soldering. Maker culture encourages novel applications of technologies, and the exploration of interesections between traditionally separate domains and ways of working including metal-working, calligraphy, knitting, and computer programming."

Simply put, making and maker culture is a new way of looking at old practices of design and creation.

Imagine a project, take a risk, and make something.

Lots of info about makerspaces and libraries in this LiveBinder

Info Graphic

A fun info graphic you can imbed on your own webpage, or download and print. 

Why STEM Matters
Image compliments of Top Education Degrees
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