The national emphasis on STEM fields, and the growing number of opportunities forecast for future job markets, provide the impetus to have a thoughtful districtwide strategy. What initiatives are in place to launch or expand your work in STEM? What grade levels are affected by your program? Are supports in place for your staff to create the right atmosphere to motivate and build student interest—particularly in the areas of technology and engineering? The Community Training and Assistance Center (CTAC) can help by conducting a detailed review of your current efforts and collaboratively constructing a comprehensive STEM initiative.
CTAC focuses on a range of critical elements that are customized to fit the local context of each district:
- Engaging key stakeholder groups in design and implementation from the early grades, where the interest and educational spark are nurtured, through high school where coordination of content and learning strategies is vital across departments and the community
- Addressing and integrating key phases: program design, professional development and leadership development, curriculum design, personalized learning strategies and community outreach
- Building broad-based constituencies of support, involving the educational community, agencies and companies, to foster students’ interests and skills
- Creating a measurement system to monitor and gauge the effectiveness of the initiative. Then, analyzing the data to improve the ability of the district and partners to make informed adjustments based on evidence
Intense National Focus
The national interest in STEM is intensifying and the need is paramount to prepare future professionals for opportunities in these fields. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (2012) commissioned a study to address the need and move the needle. Read the study, Engage to Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.