STEM Focused Science
Andrews Academy is one of the first elementary schools in the area to incorporate a STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curriculum that is aligned with The Next Generation Science Standards.
By becoming a Stem-focused school, our goal is to prepare our students for 21st century careers, to be competitive globally, and to evolve and change with our ever changing world.
What is STEM education?
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In a STEM-centric classroom, teachers function as facilitators of learning. Students are guided to engage in questioning, problem solving, collaboration, and hands-on learning activities while addressing real life issues. Teachers guide students through the problem solving process and plan projects that lead to mastery of content. STEM proficient students are able to answer complex questions, investigate global issues, and develop solutions for real world challenges while applying the rigor of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content. STEM proficient students learn to become logical thinkers, effective communicators, and technologically, scientifically, and mathematically literate.
Why is STEM education important?
Experts predict that by 2018, there will be 1.2 million job openings in STEM related fields in the U.S. However, only 200,000 graduates will have the skills to fill these jobs. Today's world requires our work force to possess strong skills in critical thinking and the ability to work collaboratively. STEM education programs prepare students for these challenges. STEM education increases student engagement by transforming the typical teacher-centered classroom through greater emphasis on student-centered curriculum that is driven by problem solving, discovery, and exploratory learning.
Andrews Academy Science Specialists utilize STEMscopes, an online research-based curriculum, to provide a framework of standards and practices. This program is aligned with The Next Generation Science Standards or "NGSS", which are a new set of internationally bench-marked science standards for K-12 science education. These standards were developed by a group of scientists and science educators over the course of two years.
Our science curriculum includes investigations, hands-on activities/prompts, engineering challenges, expanded learning, interdisciplinary connections, multi-media options, a digital interface, and enrichment opportunities. All students benefit from integrated STEM education. The hand-on nature of STEM instruction increases the likelihood of success among students of all learning styles and abilities. Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies are still core components of our curriculum. Reading and literacy skills are the building blocks to all learning, and therefore are integral to a successful STEM program.