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STEM learning aims to “foster connections among people, settings, and practices” (Penuel, Lee, & Bevan, 2014, p. 2).  In fact, fostering diversity in STEM education promotes equity by (a) expanding access to STEM learning opportunities; (b) brokering continuing opportunities for participation in STEM learning opportunities; and (c) helping young people appropriate STEM practices to address issues they feel matter to their personal lives or communities (Penuel, Lee, & Bevan, 2014, p. 1).  This includes leveraging Read More
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  STEM foundational thinking is important for integrating content areas in a transdisciplinary approach to public education.  The foundational thinking skills that students learn through STEM education will help them throughout their education careers and beyond.  Specifically in the Elementary grade levels, Elementary-school students are most likely to gain STEM foundational thinking when they have opportunities to engage in in-depth investigations of phenomena around them worthy of their knowledge and understanding (Katz & Chard, 2000).  Read More
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As long as there has been education, from the ancient Egyptians’ library built by Ashurbanipal, the king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (685-627 BCE), to Confucius during the Zhou Dynasty (551-479 BCE), to Hippocrates (c. 460-370 BCE), Socrates (c. 470-399 BCE), and Aristotle (c. 384-322 BCE), there has been debate about how it should be organized, managed, who it should be for, and how knowledge should be disseminated to people (Tokuhama-Espinosa, 2011).  Educators and critics have Read More
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STEM Identities

Research indicates that very few students view themselves as STEM learners when investigating a question or problem in their community.  Whereas previous research indicates a lack of diversity in STEM education and careers and specific schools structures that support successful STEM integration, there is a greater need to research what elementary school structures support students of color in STEM curricular areas.  When researching mathematics education in working class Latina/o communities, Marta Civil (2014) feels that Read More
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STEM Showcase

As a district STEM and Innovation coach, I have the fortunate opportunity to visit and see all things STEM.  So often, as teachers, we are only aware of our own classroom and what is happening within our own school building.  I would like to change that.  Periodically, I will be showcasing innovative things that are happening in our school district in what I am calling STEM Showcase.  For this first installment, I have a guest post Read More
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  There have been a few things on my mind recently.  The first one deals with the above quote.   I have always admired Steve Jobs, but when I finished reading his biography, his drive to be innovative and create something the world has never seen, infected me.  I completely agree with the fact that we exist to do something.  Jobs felt that it was to do something great.  I am feeling a loss of purpose, Read More
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I was ten years old.  Fifth grade.  I remember going out on the field for recess .  It was an incredibly windy day that afternoon; the kind of wind where you could almost lean forward into the gusts and you didn’t fall down.  Buster Keaton style.  I got this crazy idea that I would attempt to stop the wind.  I grabbed two sticks from the ground and climbed to the top of a large hill Read More
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STEM is all about collaboration.  Collaborative learning experiences where students and teachers are working alongside one another toward solving real-world, grand problems that invite both play and risk (US Department of Education).  So, what exactly is collaboration? Collaboration is “when members of an inclusive learning community work together as equals to assist students to succeed in the classroom” (Powell). Friend and Cook (1992, pp. 6-28) explain that collaboration has six defining characteristics: (a) collaboration is Read More
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  I recently watched the breakfast club again.  Man, I love that movie!  Lately, however, I have been seeing things through a different lens.  As I was watching Alison, Claire, Bender, Brian, and Andrew painfully sacrificing their Saturday for detention, I began thinking about expectations.  Specifically, lowered expectations.  Of course, this theme is reinforced at the end of the movie when Brian agrees to write the essay that the school’s disciplinary principal, Mr. Vernon, Mr. Read More
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  I love this video blog (vlog) post about having a seemingly impossible idea, and then working to make it happen.  The best part of having a Moonshot idea is not in the fulfillment of the idea, although that would be amazing!), but in the process of working toward something challenging.  Innovating against the tide of conformity and complacency.  The company Solve for X has embedded this philosophy into their company:   We’re a moonshot Read More
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