STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is important because it pervades every part of our lives. According to the U. S. Department of Commerce, STEM occupations are growing at 17%, while other occupations are growing at 9.8%. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy and enables the next generation of innovators. So why aren’t we all doing it? Implementing change can be hard, especially with all other initiatives schools have going.
We know creating more opportunities for STEM And STEAM with our students will better prepare them for the future, but where do you even start, especially when funding becomes a major stumbling block? According to an article by Dr. Jo Anne Vasquez written for the MIND Research Institute, starting small and building up implementation is the first step in the transition. Dr. Vasquez suggests, “Implementing a STEM program, like any new approach, is all about changing the system. First, you have to get everybody on the same page about the operational definition of STEM and what STEM teaching and learning should look like. Bring STEM lessons for teachers to try. Then have teachers work as a team to see where those natural connections in their standards are and where they might be creative about designing lessons."
Oklahoma's financial picture is fragmented right now. Hurricane Harvey is wreaking havoc on the commodities markets, and previously established values are not necessarily holding true right now.
We all have those people who say, ‘Well, back in my day…’ and then begin to tell you how it was in the good old days or the bad old days. We are working in a unique time and place in Oklahoma history; I believe we have probably seen more changes to budget allocations in the past three years than probably in any three-year period of history. This has truly been a wild ride and not in a fun way.
If you’re spending any of your summer time to learn and develop new skills, I have some excellent news for you! We have a new free course available courtesy of Odysseyware. I had the pleasure of being part of the Odysseyware Advisory Council this past year. It was a great experience, and I was so happy to be able to share feedback from our member schools with their team.
State Aid allocations showed an increase from $3,032.20 to $3,419.80 per WADM, and there are a few things to consider when evaluating the increase's effect: