Supporting Excellence in STEM Programs and Teaching
The National Institute for STEM Education (NISE) certifies teachers, campuses, and districts in STEM
teaching using a competency-based, academic coach-led online learning platform in which educators
produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates proficiency across 15 STEM teacher actions.
STEM needs and opportunities in education and the workplace continue to expand exponentially in the United States. In the past 16 years, STEM jobs increased by 26 percent compared to six percent across all occupations. Meanwhile, the comparatively low rates of STEM graduates require U.S. employers to rely on skilled foreign workers. The reality to be confronted is that educators — and I include myself here — are not yet developing the workforce needed to fill our country’s STEM needs today or in the future. As a result, our graduates are not prepared to grasp the many STEM opportunities available to them.
At the same time, STEM occupations are, and will continue to be, among the top-paying positions in the nation. In 2013, workers in STEM occupations earned a median annual wage of $76,000 — compared to a median annual wage of $35,080 for all workers (Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Spring 2014.) The bottom line is: Career positions in STEM fields are plentiful, financially lucrative, and increasing at a much faster pace than other occupations, yet there are not enough American workers to fill them. Continue reading “Preparing Graduates to Meet STEM Needs and Opportunities”
Ever since the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE) opened it’s doors to teachers seeking STEM certification in June of 2016 they have seen many educators graduate and move on to provide a STEM classroom with a new set of tools.
“Since the beginning, our goal has been to help teachers develop a common understanding of STEM and, more specifically, to provide them with the resources, skills, and strategies they need to implement the STEM instruction in their classrooms,” said Whitney Dove, Manager of STEM Certification for NISE.
The 100th graduate, Anna Turner, a second- year fourth-grade teacher from Marrietta, Georgia spends her days teaching all subjects including science. Since STEM teaching requires more planning, Anna sought the help of her district’s key STEM team, a group of teachers who are experts and leaders in STEM preparation for their school and district. Continue reading “National Institute for STEM Education Hits 100th Graduate Milestone”
In ninth grade, I did a leaf collection project for my biology class. My grandfather, a science professor, and my dad, a medical doctor, helped me make sure that my specimens were correctly identified, prepared, mounted, and labeled. I remember painstakingly typing out the genus and species’ names, capitalizing the genus, and using lowercase for the species’ names. I remember thinking the rule quite odd, but followed it nonetheless. I was very proud of that project, and handed it in with a sigh of relief, knowing I had done my very best work. A few weeks later, the teacher handed my project back to me with every single name of every single species circled in red, and a giant “-5 points” scrawled across each page. I remember fighting back tears and approaching my teacher. “What did I do wrong?” I asked. “Well, you didn’t capitalize the species’ names!” she barked back. Continue reading “What’s in a Grade?”
One of the most enjoyable investigations that I recently observed was during science time in a pre-K classroom. After the teacher reminded students to wash their hands and not to squeeze the little creatures, the excitement built as each student was given a worm to study. The students, holding out their hands as if they were waiting for a prize, immediately began to smile and ask questions. Continue reading “Investigating Phenomena that Change Slowly”
Recently I had a conversation with my younger brother, who is the residential and commercial plumbing inspector for one of the large counties in northwest Ohio, about the time it takes to read and understand the complex codes and regulations associated with the construction industry. He shared that in his preparation for the numerous certification and recertification examinations associated with his role, his ability to read closely for details, discuss the application of the code, and retain the nuances of what he read was developed much later in his career. Continue reading “Literacy in Science and Scientific Literacy”