We want to focus on how STEM–that is, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math–skills can form the core of a curriculum that covers all of the core subjects.Yes, that includes even social studies and language arts!
As noted in this blog post by staff at Portland, Oregon’s Concordia University, the old attitudes that say that STEM skills and language arts are totally distinct from each other are simply outmoded. To quote the article, “the two fit nicely together, building upon and reinforcing the combined skills and content of each”. This post offers an array of helpful and inspiring links, including a helpful illustration, created by Stanford University, that shows how traditional STEM skills naturally overlap with language arts curriculum.
And the National Council for Social Studies echoes this assessment with regard to Stem and social studies curricula. In his article, Executive Director Lawrence Paska calls attention to the fact that both STEM and social studies are designed to bring together multiple disciplines into a new way of understanding the world around us: “When partnered together, “STEM” and “social studies” enable us to ask deeper questions and propose sharper conclusions based on a wide body of evidence.”
At Star Academy, we are focused on delivering a standards-based program that carries a STEM focus throughout the students’ day–from science and math to english and social studies–through engaging, kinesthetic, project-based instruction. We know from experience that this approach can have a dramatic impact on even disengaged, academically vulnerable students.
We look forward to sharing more new ideas in our next issue.