There’s a bright future for students who are interested in careers in STEM, an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Additionally, STEM professionals who hold advanced degrees in their fields, like a master’s or doctoral degree, have been reported to earn $20,000 or more than counterparts who hold similar degrees in non-STEM fields. Even for workers not in a STEM field, college-educated workers who have completed some sort of STEM lessons and training often earn more than those who have not. Over 95 percent of speech-language pathologists are women, and 75 percent of health-related jobs are held by women as well. The STEM benchmark, comprised of both math and science scores, is 26.
In 2015, fewer than 50 percent of high-poverty high schools offered any physics courses, according to ACT. Less than 80 percent of teachers who responded to the survey believed students in high-poverty schools had the necessary education materials available. If a lesson is focused on engineering, a teacher could instruct students to build a replica of something that exists or operates outside the classroom. Referring back to the toothpick tower example earlier, if a teacher doesn’t clearly state that the tower must be built with as few toothpicks as possible or that it needs to reach a certain height, students might misunderstand the objectives and not perform to expectations. ASCD recommends teachers set clear learning goals, provide scales and rubrics, track student progress, and celebrate student success.
A goal of a STEM lesson plan is to try and spark a new interest in this field or subject among students. Taking breaks in between STEM lessons and activities can help students recharge while staying excited about a particular subject. With extensive curriculum aides and resources as well as engaging content, the Smithsonian Science Education Center is an exemplary, robust resource that can help teachers better provide strong STEM education to students. For example, searching biology lessons for grade nine yields eighteen helpful results that teachers can use.