What is a STEM educator?
STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. A STEM educator is a teacher or other professional who prepares students to seek opportunities that are related to fields of study that involve mathematics, science, technology, and engineering. This can include teaching in those areas as well as finding careers in those fields. In schools, STEM educators will often be the teachers of mathematics, engineering, science. Ideally, learning in the STEM disciplines happens through applied learning experience and activities that involve an integration of two or more of these fields. Thus, students may learn both math and science as ways to understand a natural phenomenon like hurricanes or human-made situations like the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. STEM educators concentrate on project-based learning and work toward problem-solving and problem-posing, which can involve knowledge and activities that cross the STEM disciplines, so students and teachers work together, often learning across different content areas. The School of Education at the University of Cincinnati prepares STEM teachers to design, implement, and assess classroom activities that include project and problem-based learning, and involve deep inquiry, critical thinking, and multiple forms of communication and assessment.
How can UC’s School of Education help you to be a STEM educator?
We can help you become an Ohio STEM teacher with an initial license at the Secondary (grades 7-12) and Middle Level (grades 4-9). Specifically our Secondary program prepares teacher candidates to teach Integrated Mathematics, the Life Sciences, Chemistry, Physics, or Earth and Space Science. In the Middle Childhood Education program, we prepare candidates to teach in two subject areas, and either one of those two may be science or mathematics. In these initial licensing programs we work with Colleges across the University to help candidates develop their knowledge of the STEM discipline or disciplines of their choice as well as support them while they learn to implement a variety of STEM teaching strategies.
For teachers who are already licensed, the School of Education has specific programs that further develop teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogical approaches within a single STEM content area or within an interdisciplinary learning approach. Practicing teachers can select from an array of mathematics, science and technology courses that include conducting research on student learning and best practices for teaching the STEM disciplines. Instruction and practice models in STEM education engage teachers and students in new pedagogical approaches designed specifically for learning in the STEM disciplines.
The School of Education is proud to be the educational partner for Clever Crazes for Kids. Clever Crazes is a fun game website that introduces elementary students to facts and concepts consistent with the standards endorsed by the National Science Educators Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science STEM Benchmarks. The Clever Crazes for Kids website is a perfect supplement for the classroom. Working withClever Crazes for Kids, the School of Education is designing standards-based STEM content that is engaging and informative. Recent research points to the multiple benefits of pairing learning with games. This is the “edu-tainment” children will experience when playing Clever Crazes for Kids. In addition, participants have the opportunity to earn points toward real rewards providing extra motivation to learn while having fun. Clever Crazes for Kids brings to homes and classrooms new and exciting ways to encourage young people to think about fitness, healthy eating, sustainability and self esteem. All of which are part of the interconnected web of wellness—healthy planet, healthy relationships, and healthy individuals—that makes us strong. And strong minds are built on healthy and energetic bodies!