As we meet at an intersection of technological advancement and female empowerment in society, it is now more apparent than ever that young women’s interest in STEM subjects, and subsequent exposure to STEM careers are initially fostered by the K-12 educators they come into contact with.
However, it is no secret that educators face challenges implementing STEM curriculum standards in their classrooms, just as students face challenges in learning the material effectively. According to the National Girls Collaborative Project’s annual report on the State of Girls and Women in Stem, “Girls/young women and boys/young men do not significantly differ in their abilities in mathematics and science, but do differ in their interest, confidence, and sense of belonging in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).” So, how can educators shift the narrative from “I can’t” to “I can” in young women's minds, as this is not a problem rooted in cognitive abilities but instead a lack of representation?
The answer to this question is that female students need to begin interacting with STEM curriculum at an early age so that they already have the skills for STEM careers in their toolkit before the idea of “I can’t” comes to their minds.
Luckily, Defined Learning provides diverse and abundant standards-based lesson plans for K-12 students and even career prep for those who see a future in STEM. Below are five courses that cater to the needs of early childhood education professionals and come ready with a course playbook, a task plan, and a book catalog:
This course is designed to focus on both the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) and the CSTA (Computer Science Teachers Association) Standards for Students. Each of the tasks highlight computational thinking practices, encouraging students to frame problems in ways that inspire inquiry, problem-solving and innovative design. The tasks empower learners to take an active role in choosing, achieving, and demonstrating competency using technology applications in the learning process.
This course encourages students to apply what they are learning in the classroom to explore concepts and content associated with the Earth and the systems and processes that shape the Earth and impact humans through a Project Based Learning approach. Students will also have the opportunity to work through performance tasks associated with stars and the solar system.
In this unit, students will gather information and potentially make observations about situations that people may want to change. They will need to investigate the problem and create a solution that solves the problem brought forward. These tasks can include the development of drawings, models, and other solutions that may also include the testing of the solution to gather more information.
This course covers math topics commonly covered in Kindergarten and Grade 1. These tasks encourage students to apply the math concepts they are learning in the classroom to real-world problems, challenges, and issues.
This course encourages students to apply what they are learning in the classroom and to explore the foundational principles of physical science through a Project Based Learning approach. Throughout this course, students will discover relationships between physical science and real-world situations.
Forces and Interactions
Waves: Light and Sound
Structure and Properties of Matter
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