- Community Schools
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - but there is a lot more to it than this. STEM has three key components: its content (what is taught), its processes (how it is taught) and its dispositions (characteristics required and cultivated by participating in STEM education).
STEM of course focuses on science, technology, engineering and math. A key component, however, is that STEM is an integrated approach in which students explore and use 2, 3 or all 4 of these content areas at the same time.
How STEM is taught is as important as what is taught. STEM learning is very active and hands-on. It is problem and inquiry-based with an emphasis on longer-term project-based learning. Authenticity and relevancy of the learning experience promotes a high-level of student engagement, and keeps the learning truly student-centered.
As do IB learners, STEM learners cultivate certain dispostions or traits in order to be successful. This STEM learner profile is almost identical to the IB learner profile and includes persistence, curiousity, respectfulness, effort, the ability to work well with others, and a desire for continual improvement.
Clearly, STEM fits in easily with IB education. STEM is not intended to replace IB at Alpine; it will enhance it by reinforcing those critical components of IB learning, among others the learner profile, integrated and project-based learning, global awareness, and a positive attitude towards learning.
STEM in the St. Vrain Valley School District emphasizes design thinking, a unique approach that unifies and sharpens our implementation of STEM. Design thinking is a process which empowers students to be creative and successful problem-solvers. This is a transdisciplinary skill that will remain with students throughout their lifetimes.
Call or stop by to schedule a tour and see IB and STEM integration in action