What does quality STEM teaching and learning look like? Where can teachers find resources or great examples of classroom practice? How can families or communities help raise student achievement in science?
A number of states have established STEM education networks to tackle such questions. Now Battelle, the world’s largest independent research and development organization, has bundled a baker’s dozen of those statewide networks into an online STEM source for everyone from parents to policymakers.
STEMx, as the new network is called, provides a platform for sharing techniques and tools developed in 13 states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington — across a wide variety of stakeholders, including K–12, the business community, and government. Eric Fingerhut, Battelle’s vice president for education & STEM learning, called STEMx “a game-changer in education.” The goal: accelerate the growth of policies, practices, and partnerships needed to improve STEM teaching and learning.
The fledgling collaboration has yet to develop much of a teacher-friendly interface. Still, STEMx has more than 100 tools and other resources in its network, including a short STEM education quality framework assessment to guide teachers in the STEM instructional design process.
Meanwhile, Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, took a contrarian view in a June 19 Education Week blog called “STEM: Why it Makes No Sense.”
“Countries that are producing more people with top science, technology, engineering, and math skills don’t have STEM programs,” he noted. “They have education systems that work.”