From STEM to STEMS^2: Broadening Participation & Perspective
STEMS² is an education construct that integrates science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with the social sciences and sense of place (S²). The construct was developed via work on an ESEA Title II award and an NSF Noyce Capacity Building award. At the heart of STEMS² is a network of individuals and community partners who seek to foster student engagement and achievement via real-world application of interdisciplinary content knowledge that supports the social emotional development required for community and civic engagement in addition to promoting skills related to college and career readiness. STEMS² is a place and culture-based construct that is composed of three parts: theory, pedagogy and a growing network. STEMS² theory integrates four major bodies of literature: 1) STEM education, 2) cultural-based and multicultural education, 3) sense of place and place-based education, and 4) indigenous education. STEMS² pedagogy is grounded in five pillars that result in our embracing of the ‘ōlelo no‘eau [Hawaiian proverb]of Ma ka hana ‘ike – through doing one learns. The five pillars are A‘o [reciprocal teaching and learning], Makawalu [eight eyes] represents the need to see real world problems and solutions through multiple lenses, many angles and multiple ways of knowing at the same time, Mo‘olelo [stories, history], Sense of Place and Advocacy.The STEMS² network is made up of formal and informal pk-20 educators and community partners from around the world who share a passion for building integrated educational spaces that connect community, culture and place.
NSF Awards: 1660781, 6101646