By Teachers, For Teachers
While some have argued that the recent surge of attention to Science Technology and Engineering (STEM) education is misguided, it's clear that Obama and Duncan have made this area a priority. One of the latest results of this new push can be seen in the form of new STEM-focused schools.
In my home state of North Carolina, Bill Gate's New Schools Project has partnered with the NC STEM Community Collaborative to break ground on 14 high schools that emphasize science and technology instruction. The flagship school, NC State University STEM Early College High School, is slated to open in August and will offer a unique learning program funded in part by industry and higher education organizations.
The new instructional program will include problem-based math courses and the "Modeling Instruction" hands-on science curriculum from the University of Arizona. Integrated subjects will be the norm, including geography and science connected using GIS and GPS technologies, and engineering and algebra fused through a focus on building structures.
Students from the new schools will have unique opportunities to collaborate and share the results of their projects with other members of the STEM Network. Students will earn college credit for the latter years of their high school education, allowing for them to begin taking advanced college courses early in their post-secondary education.
In the next stages of this project, the STEM school model will be used to overhaul several underperforming elementary and middle schools in the area which will join the network and share in the collaborative benefits.
As a model for STEM education in the 21st century, the STEM Early College High School represents the beginning of a change in the way that we educate our students. Their emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math will encourage more students, particularly girls, to pursue careers in these fields. America's economic future is dependent on initiatives like these.
What is your opinion on the STEM model for education? Share in the comments section!