STEM: A Deep Definition

March 3, 2016

Driving Question: What makes a STEM School?

by Steve Zipkes

What makes a STEM school? That is the question that is most often asked. I have literally sat on so many panels (K12,Higher Ed, political, policy, and industry), participated in meetings from the White House to the schoolhouse, been active in research think tanks and included in numerous case studies to define what STEM is and what makes a STEM school and we are still asking this question. Although some are attempting to answer this question by justifying the literal acronym for the taxonomy of STEM, I believe this is too simplistic and takes away from the true mission and meaning of STEM.

Because this blog gives me the chance, I will use my 10 years as a highly successful, inclusive, whole STEM school practitioner to present my answer to this question. I have told the beginning of this story thousands of times, but it bares repeating now as another STEM story is filling the ears of some and attempting a new, exclusive definition in an attempt to hoist selective STEM schools as the Gold Standard for STEM. As a passionate STEM proponent for ALL. I take issue with this attempt to define STEM as good only for the affluent and already successful student. This post will explain why. Read more here.