STEM Educators Academy Research Brief | Resource Guide
In order to solve the problems of an increasingly complex future, we need to help our young people innovate effectively and creatively. Communities can address this challenge by fostering critical-thinking, problem-solving and collaboration skills and empowering tomorrow’s workforce to be effective leaders and enthusiastic scientists. Learning science, technology, engineering and math skills is a lot like learning a new language: in order to build their fluency, young people need opportunities to practice their STEM skills in immersive, hands-on ways both in and out of the classroom. ExpandED Schools launched the STEM Educators Academy to offer young people such immersive learning experiences through programs that combine classroom and “real world” learning opportunities. We do this by blending the time and talents of classroom science teachers, community educators of after-school programs and experts at premiere science institutions.
This paper reports on the promising findings of our STEM Educators Academy, an ExpandED Schools initiative where classroom teachers and after-school educators engage in joint professional development at premiere science institutions and then work together back at their schools to teach maker-design projects that spark student interest and cultivate curiosity in STEM subjects.