Thursday Plenary: Integrated STEM: Focusing on culturally-relevant Earth System Science
Central to integrated STEM is the use of real world problems as a context for learning to provide motivation and purpose for student learning. While research shows that engaging students in learning through authentic engineering design problems improves student interest in STEM, care needs to be taken that these real world problems generate interest and motivation for all students. Given the lack of diversity within many of the STEM fields, it is important that these real world problems that are personally motivating and connect STEM to students' lived experiences to increase STEM interest for students traditionally under-represented in STEM. Unfortunately, STEM activities tend to focus on the male-oriented, technical aspects of engineering, reinforcing STEM as a white male domain. Research shows that under-represented students are more motivated by projects with a communal goal orientation, focused on societal issues such as health, the environment, and social justice as opposed to more traditional projects such as designing cars and rockets. As such, earth science provides an important context for real world problems that allow integrated STEM to promote more diverse interest in STEM.
This event is sponsored by NAGT's Teacher Education Division. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by the plenary speaker and the sponsor are independent and do not necessarily reflect the views of one another.