Previous month:
April 2013
Next month:
July 2013

June 2013

STEM and the "Next Generation Science Standards" (NGSS)

"The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) represent a commitment to integrate engineering design into the structure of science education by raising engineering design to the same level as scientific inquiry when teaching science disciplines at all levels, from kindergarten to grade 12."

STEM education in the media

PBS TV reports on a school in Maine where teachers have swapped traditional curriculum for an unusually comprehensive science curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving, with a little help from some robots. This is one of the best examples I've seen of "integrative STEM education" in the media.


We Are All Makers -- TED talk 


Fab Labs in the Schools -- 12 minute talk by Paulo Bilkstein


Chris Rogers -- Teaching STEM with a Camera and a Brick or Two


STEM Labs -- What do they look like?


What does a STEM lab look like?

Alternate names for a STEM lab are "Fab Lab" (short for Fabrication Laboratory), "Maker Space", "Hacker Space".


Fab Lab -- High School Fabrication Laboratory in California. Click on an image to enlarge. CLICK HERE to read the article.

Lab_1 Lab_2 Lab_3 Lab_5 Lab_6



Maker Space




"integrative STEM education" and Dr. Mark Sanders of Virginia Tech

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”:

Download Sanders.TERC Paper

Download Sanders.ISTEM.Ed.TTT.ISTEM.Ed.+Def

STEM Project Ideas & Events (not curriculum)

Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) developed by Purdue University. Get your students working in your community solving REAL engineering design challenges.

MAKE Magazine  is the magazine for the "Maker Community". Published quarterly, it is filled with ideas and inspiration. 

Maker Education Initiative The mission of the Maker Education Initiative is to create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts—and learning as a whole.  Database of 3,560 Science & Math activities. SMILE is collecting the best educational materials on the web and creating learning activities, tools, and services – all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in non-classroom settings.

STEM Curriculum Sources

Sources for STEM Curriculum

Engineerring By Design is a K-12 curriculum developed by the International Technology & Engineering Education Association (ITEEA)

Project Lead The Way (PLTW)

Engineering the Future is a high school curriculum from the Boston Museum of Science.

Design Squad Nation by PBS offers lots of free resources for teachers including activities and training.


As I come across more STEM curriculum models I'll add them to this page.