STEM (SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, MATH) LEARNING: A GUIDE TO IMPLEMENTING STEM EDUCATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Robert Morris University (UNITED STATES)
Industry leaders and educators agree that we need to address STEM subject areas in order to maintain and strengthen the role of the country as an economic and technological leader. In some form, our students are already learning about STEM in subject areas. My intent is to use this paper to provide a brief, simple overview of what I perceive to be the key topics and some strategies for enhancing STEM connections at the university level.
Elementary school students see the connectivity between the different educational disciplines quite naturally. Since most of their structured learning takes place in the same room, it is easy for them to make the link between ELA, Math, Science, and Social Science. This connection is much harder to maintain once young people start their secondary education. And, it becomes almost impossible when students are at the university level due to the focus on the major course of study.
Ever since the advent of the Technology Education program it has been the perfect vehicle to bring together the disciplines of Science, Math, and English Language Arts.
In a relatively short time period (8-9 weeks) during a few of their college level courses students can enhance their understanding of Science and Math concepts and, most importantly, understand the relevance of these subjects by using their knowledge in the context of exploring the things they use and rely upon every day.
This provides an ideal opportunity to utilize differentiated learning techniques, use multiple methods to cover concepts, and allow students to practice using the higher order thinking skills that will make such a difference to them throughout their lifetime learning.