Course Number: CSC 533
Course Title: STEM and Makerspace Implementation in Elementary Schools and Classrooms
Course Instructor: Denise Taylor
According to Dr. Kenneth Wisson, neuroscientist and educational consultant, the amount of human knowledge on earth doubles every 5 years. That rate is increasing at such a rate that by the year 2020, it will double every 73 days! For example, Code powers our digital world. Every website, smartphone app, computer program, calculator and even simple appliance relies on code in order to operate. This makes coders the architects and builders of the digital age. What does this mean for our students? Currently, demand for STEM related job fields have shown the largest growth of any profession. Specifically, over the next 10 years it is estimated that there will be 1.4 million jobs in computer science related fields alone and only around 400,000 graduates qualified to do them. This demand for STEM professionals and shortage of applicants is expected to continue to grow, unless we find a way to interest more students in pursuing a STEM career. Research has shown that by fourth grade, over half of students either consider STEM related topics not for them or too hard. We need to change this perspective for our students. Our students live in a world where it is not enough to learn information, they must use it, analyze it, and create with it. That is where early STEM education comes in, it challenges students to think critically and take risks with unpredictable outcomes, while also providing opportunities to practice skills of communication and collaboration they will need for the 21st century. Introducing students to these skills early and providing our students with as many opportunities to practice these skills as possible will help them become successful in an ever changing job market.
Educators are tasked with interpreting Next Generation Science Standards, how to incorporate STEM into their instruction, and are also bombarded with an incredible amount of materials and products.
This course will help educators and administrators make sense of how to develop quality multi-faceted STEM lessons that are standards based and reflect best practices.
We won’t just show you how to develop STEM activities; we’ll also examine the why. We’ll focus on three important aspects: developing quality multi-faceted STEM lessons that are standards based and reflect best practices, facilitation, and materials strategies. We’ll also share some guiding principles and learning indicators we’ve developed that can help you integrate STEM into your elementary science program. Whether you’re new to STEM or just getting started, we hope this course will help you take the next step!
PLEASE NOTE: We’ll give you a few ways to get started; prompt you to share your own observations and experience as learners, designers and facilitators; and hopefully spark interesting conversations and discoveries along the way. While it’s not a requirement, we encourage you to take this class with a friend or colleague or meet with other people in your area: having support or doing activities with others.