STEM --> STEAM --> STREAM Education
Early in the 21st Century, The National Science Foundation (NSF) coined the term STEM for learning based on the idea that science, technology, engineering and math are interrelated and should be taught in an integrated way. Integrated STEM learning is becoming a requirement for K-12 educators to create the kind of workforce needed in the United States as well as globally for the future. On the main page of STEM Education News (http:// www.stemeducationnews.com) this interesting statistic is presented: “By 2018 there will be 1.2 million job openings in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields…The job market is demanding students to increase their knowledge in STEM fields…”.
Not long after STEM took hold, the original concept became altered to include an “A” for the Arts and an “R” for Reading. These additions call for the purposeful integration of the arts and reading standards to enhance student learning, critical thinking and problem solving. To this end, instruction in the Pleasant Valley School district is focused on the infusion of STEM and STEAM related learning for all students grades K-12.
Currently, the PVSD K-12 STREAM Alignment Team is collaborating on the fulfillment of a 3-5 year Action Plan focused on equal access of this type of integrated learning and critical thinking for all of students guided by the following Vision Statement:
We believe STREAM education in the Pleasant Valley School District offers authentic, collaborative learning experiences designed to develop innovative and creative, forward thinking individuals who are prepared to meet the challenges of a multi-dimensional Global society.