STEM Proficient Students:. STEM proficient students are able to answer complex questions, investigate global issues, and develop solutions for challenges and real-world problems while applying the rigor of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content. STEM proficient students are logical thinkers who are technologically, scientifically, and mathematically literate.
"STEM education is for all students. Our goal is to increase the STEM proficiency of Maryland's students by helping them develop knowledge and skills that will prepare them for post-secondary study and careers in STEM."
–Donna Clem, Coordinator for the Office of STEM Initiatives
The development of STEM proficient students begins in elementary schools. In the elementary grades, students apply the rigor of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content and the STEM Standards of Practice while engaged in learning activities that investigate the natural world. Students explore technology and engineering solutions and appropriately apply the concepts of mathematics in order to understand and address real life issues and solve problems or challenges. As students progress through elementary school they will begin to independently integrate the STEM Standards of Practice. They will understand how to apply the roles and views of STEM career professionals and analyze real world STEM issues, problems, or challenges as they incorporate STEM content, skills, and practices and other disciplines such as social studies, performing arts, health, and creative movement.
By the end of fifth grade, students will master grade level science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content, practices, and processes, integrate STEM contents with other disciplines, answer complex questions, investigate global issues, solve real world problems, and meet real world challenges while engaging in meaningful, purposeful, and relevant hands-on inquiry-based, problem-based and/or project-based learning experiences.