When I say that I teach at a STEM academy, most people aren’t quite sure what that means. I may explain to them that the acronym stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, but all that causes them to do is to scratch their heads and wonder where English fits in.
If I bring up Project-Based Learning, usually only health science majors have a ready understanding of what this entails.
Many sites exist to explain more about STEM and PBL as well as offering support for those of us public school educators blazing this trail. Rather than give you sites to read (really, so very many exist!) I thought I’d show you a couple of videos that might make you understand the premise, practice, and pedagogy behind it. I’d be glad to answer your questions as best as I can. (Or provide a link.)
(Don’t you love how both videos show the speakers with duck faces before you press play?)
How does our culture’s recent gravitation to heavy testing and teaching to the test fit into this kind of teaching? I think the result will be something like this: