There is an increasing need for educators at all levels to equip more students with problem-solving skills that better fit our changing work force. Students are largely unaware of many science-, technology-, engineering-, and math-related (STEM) careers. They often do not understand the importance of those careers or what skills are required to pursue them. Students are exposed to some of those skills if they take Career Technical Education (CTE) classes, but rarely do they see the connections in their core math classes. Math teachers have pointed to their dense curricula as making STEM integration impractical. A study of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M), however, reveals open doors for integration. There are specific Algebra I CCSS-M that can be met through STEM-oriented, problem-based learning (PBL). STEM PBL has the potential for increasing students' cognitive engagement while, at the same time, introducing interesting STEM careers. These connections need to be integrated in curricula aligned to the CCSS-M. In order to further develop and implement evolving STEM-PBL connections, there is a need for increased, ongoing dialog between educational leadership and representatives from the STEM working community. The end result can be that most US students will be exposed to a much broader range of STEM careers, STEM skills, and understand how the Algebra they learn is useful in the real world.
Walker, Lane H. and Sherman, Helene J.
"Common Core and STEM Opportunities,"
The Mathematics Enthusiast: Vol. 14
, Article 23.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umt.edu/tme/vol14/iss1/23