Enough with the silos!
STEM is at the core of almost all jobs, including the content areas but also the skills that a person gains from STEM such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and resilience to name a few. However, teaching in K-12 occurs in silos and STEM is most often taught only in science. Schools may have robotic programs, maker spaces, and coding programs, yet these are often electives or after-school programs. This creates inequality because not all students have access to or can participate in these opportunities. There is a lot of buzz about providing equity and access for all students to achieve. When we separate in-school and out-of-school programming, we create a deeper divide. The work that is required must deepen educators’ conceptual understanding of how to align standards, tailor curricula to meet the needs of all their students, and embed the essential skills necessary for students to compete in academia and the workplace. By breaking down the silos and developing integrative STEM across all content areas, English, Art, History, and STEM subjects, students are then able to understand their learning by seeing how the subjects interconnect and can be applied to real-world problems. This can help prepare them for future careers in fields such as robotics, renewable energy, and biotechnology, which require a strong foundation in STEM.