What is STEM?

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13 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 7 μήνες)

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White Males,
69%
Native
Americans, 1%
Hispanics, 3%
Blacks, 3%
Women, 24%
Women
Blacks
Hispanics
Native Americans
White Males
S
TEM 101:


What is STEM?


Taken separately, the four STEM subjects are defined by the National Research Council as:


1.

Science

is the study of the natural world, including the laws of nature associated with physics,
chemistry, and biology and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts, or
conventions associated with these disciplines.

2.

Technology

comprises the en
tire system of people and organizations, knowledge, processes,
and devices that go into creating and operating technological artifacts, as well as the artifacts
themselves.

(the creation, adaption and use of everything from a crow bar to a hand lens to th
e
space

station, computer software

technology is the creation and use of tools
)

3.

Engineering

is a body of knowledge about the design and creation of products and a process for
solving problems. Engineering utilizes concepts in science and mathematics and technological
tools.

(e.g. often focused on applying science and technology to make our lives

better, easier or
more effi
cient and might include “artifacts”

ranging from paperclips to robotic systems designed
to build cars)

Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been.


Theodore von Kármán

4.

Mathematics

is the study of patterns and relationships among quantities, numbers, and shapes.
Mathematics includes theoretical mathematics and applied mathematics.


Why the
Emphasis on STEM?


There is a great deal of concern that if the United States does not do a better job of preparing and
encouraging all students for STEM related careers that we will lose our ability to compete globally. This
emphasis is most currently re
flected in the Obama administration’s “Change the Equation” initiative
(see:
http://www.changetheequation.org/

). This push toward improving STEM education at the K
-
12
level is being largely driven by in
ternational and national tests in science and math. Educators will often
refer to TIMSS or NAEP scores. TIMSS stands for
Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study

and NAEP refers to the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Data sugge
sts
while students in
the
United States

score above international average, we are

falling behind in math and science
education when compa
red to countries like Russia, China, England, Singapore and the gap between US
students and top achievers is more prono
unced at 8th grade than at 4
th

grade (
summary below or
see

all

current data at:
http://nces.ed.gov/timss/results07.asp
).


Moreover, women and minorities are extremely underrepresented in STEM related

career fields:







Women and Minorities in STEM
-
Related Fields

National Science Foundation (2002).
Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in
Science and Engineering.
Arlington, VA: NSF, Division of Science Resources Statistics.



Summary of TIMMS 2007 DATA:

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) assessment has been given every
four years since 1995. In 2007 the TIMSS science achievement scores of fourth graders included 36
countries. According to TIMMS
data, a score of 500 is considered the average or mean.

In 2007, US fourth graders scored an average of 539 in science which was higher than 25 of 35 other
countries. The fourth grade students scored below four Asian countries.

US fourth grade students’
scores show no detectable gains in science achievement compared to scores
in 1995.

In 2007, US fourth grade students’ scores were lower scores than in 1995. (e.g. 4
th

graders scored 542 in
1995; 4
th

graders scored 539 in 2007)

In 2007 eighth graders score
d an average of 520 in science achievement which was higher than 35 of 47
countries. The eighth grade students scored below nine other countries.

US eighth grade students’ scores show no detectable change compared to scores in 1995.

In 2007 US eighth grad
e students’ science achievement scores were 520 compared to 513 in 1995.
(NCES, 2009)

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics.


http://nces.ed.gov/timss/results07_science07.asp