Dr. Mark Sanders, Professor Emeritus, Integrative STEM Education, Virginia Tech is a pioneer in integrative STEM (iSTEM) education. His iSTEM education research began with the Technology/ Science/Mathematics Integration Project funded by NSF (1991-1996). In 2003, he envisioned the unique Integrative STEM Education graduate program, which he and colleague John Wells established in 2005 at Virginia Tech. VT's iSTEM Ed Graduate Program (which offers both F2F and online courses) enrolls about 50 S, T, E, M, and elementary teachers / administrators, about half of whom are doctoral candidates.
There are many definitions of "STEM education" but only one for "Integrative STEM Education," which was developed and implemented by Sanders & Wells at Virginia Tech (2006-2010):
"Integrative STEM education refers to technological/engineering design-based learning approaches that intentionally integrate the concepts and practices of science and/or mathematics education with the concepts practices of technology and engineering education. Integrative STEM education may be enhanced through further integration with other school subjects, such as language arts, social studies, art, etc." (Sanders & Wells, 2006-2010).
In Sanders' words, "Integrative STEM education intentionally situates S, T, E, & M teaching & learning in the context of technological/engineering design activity. In contrast, most educators and politicians have (inappropriately) been using "STEM Education" when referring primarily (or solely) to math and science instruction, a practice that marginalizes the T&E components of integrative STEM education... to the detriment of STEM teaching and learning.
The following papers elaborating on Integrative STEM education are “must reads”: