STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) seeks to incorporate practical, hands-on engineering and technology experiences into the traditional subjects of science and math. STEM promotes discovery, exploration, higher-level thinking, logical reasoning, collaboration and problem solving, both inside and outside the classroom.
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) defines the seven STEM standards of practice as:
- Learn and Apply Rigorous Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematic Content
- Integrate Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic Content
- Interpret and Communicate STEM Information
- Engage in Inquiry
- Engage in Logical Reasoning
- Collaborate as a STEM team
- Apply Technology Appropriately
At St Louis School, we follow an interdisciplinary approach where the MSDE standards are integrated into all subject areas, including Reading, Writing, Art, History, Social Studies, and so on. In addition to mastery of the core STEM areas, we believe students must gain effective reading and writing skills to successfully interpret and communicate. They must possess an understanding of historical data to accurately engage in inquiry and logical reasoning to plan steps for the future. They must also have an appreciation and understanding of the arts and culture in order to plan, create and collaborate on a successful design.
Teachers receive ongoing professional development to support the seamless integration of proven STEM education methods into the classroom. Teachers use interactive white boards, MIMIO Teach, Discovery Education tools, website resources like Khan Academy, and more. St Louis School Explorers Club supports our STEM initiative by offering students exciting opportunities to discover ways in which science, technology, engineering and math apply beyond the classroom.
St. Louis School also offers opportunities like Cyber STEM Club (Grades 4 – 8) where students engage in extracurricular learning activities, including using LOGO-based language software to create video games, encode and decode messages using cryptographic algorithms, and more. St. Louis School also places a strong emphasis on the safe and ethical use of technology, as evidenced by our receipt of the 2012 C3 Award of Excellence (http://www.edtechpolicy.org/C32012/) at the University of Maryland in October.
St. Louis School is committed to helping students build their own connections between school, community, careers and the world by preparing them to succeed in a very competitive global economy.