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
STEM education in middle school builds upon the foundational skills developed by students throughout elementary school. STEM essential skills and knowledge are further developed through guided instruction by the middle school teacher. Teachers facilitate learning activities that intentionally allow for middle school students to analyze and integrate content from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to investigate global issues, answer complex questions, and develop solutions for challenges and real world problems. Middle school students will ask relevant questions, conduct research, refine questions based on research, and develop new questions that are relevant to understanding problems, global issues, or challenges. Teachers will also facilitate learning activities that allow middle school students to refine critical thinking skills by applying scientific investigation and the engineering design process. By the end of eighth grade, students will be able to independently synthesize multi-disciplinary content to answer complex questions, investigate global issues, and develop solutions for challenges and real world problems.
Maryland STEM: Innovation today to meet tomorrow's global challenges.
Maryland State STEM Standards of Practice Framework Grades K-5
STEM Education Glossary
What are the Maryland State STEM Standards of Practice Frameworks and Instructional Guides?The Maryland State STEM Standards of Practice Frameworks identify essential skills and knowledge of STEM proficient students for each STEM Standards of Practice. The Instructional Guides includes instructional notes and examples which provide clarification for educators.
How will the Frameworks and Instructional Guides be used?The Maryland State STEM Standards of Practice cross all grade levels and disciplines. Instruction in STEM education is a shared responsibility within a school. Therefore, all classroom teachers, supporting teaching staff, and special area teachers can use the Maryland State STEM Standards of Practice Frameworks to engage students in STEM activities and tasks that develop STEM proficiency. Students should be given the opportunity to practice the essential skills and knowledge described while learning content. Implementation could occur through projects/themes that span multiple disciplines or through appropriate content-based infusion.
How were the Frameworks and Instructional Guides developed?In 2012 the Office of STEM Initiatives convened multidisciplinary design teams consisting of Maryland educators representing grades K-12 and higher education. The design teams identified what students should know and do to demonstrate proficiency with each STEM Standard of Practice by the end of grades K, 2, 5, 8, and 12. The Maryland State Department of Education staff and other stakeholders reviewed and refined the work of the design team. The Frameworks and Instructional Guides represent the culminating work of the design team and other stakeholders in identifying the essential skills and knowledge of STEM proficient students.
How does the Frameworks and Instructional Guides link to content standards (e.g. — Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards)?The Maryland State STEM Standards of Practice Frameworks and Instructional Guides identify parallels among different content standards such as Standards for Mathematical Practices, Scientific and Engineering Practices, Common Core English Language Arts Standards, Maryland Technology Education State Curriculum, School Library Media Standards, and other Maryland State Curriculum Standards.
Unit Seed — Unit seeds are ideas that can be used to build a unit. They are designed to generate evidence of student understanding and give teachers ideas for developing their own activities. Unit seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.
STEM Centric — The development or modification of units, lessons, or activities to incorporate the STEM Standards of Practice and reflect the definition of STEM Education.
Sample Units, Lessons, and Unit Seeds
Transdisciplinary — the organization of curriculum and instruction around student questions, where concepts and skills are developed through real-life context (Drake and Burns, 2004).
STEM education is active and focuses on a student-centered learning environment. Students engage in questioning, problem solving, collaboration, and hands-on activities while they address real life issues. In STEM education, teachers function as classroom facilitators. They guide students through the problem-solving process and plan projects that lead to mastery of content and STEM proficiency. 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 in a seamless fashion. STEM proficient students are logical thinkers, effective communicators and are technologically, scientifically, and mathematically literate.
Resources for Project-Based Learning
Resources for Problem-Based Learning
Resources for Inquiry-Based Learning
Resources for Challenge-Based Learning
STEM education is…
STEM education is a part of the Educator Effectiveness Academies that MSDE conducts through the Race to the Top grant. These Academies allow STEM educators throughout the state receive professional development aimed at improving STEM education in elementary, middle, and high schools.
The 2011 Educator Effectiveness Academies provided educators an awareness of the necessity to prepare students to enter the national and global STEM workforce. The participants were engaged in activities focused on the why, what, and how of Maryland STEM education. Activities included an analysis of the national STEM crisis, and hands-on inquiry-based lessons that included standards matching. Participants developed and shared sample STEM lessons. Additionally, the participants discussed strategies for the development of STEM Professional Learning Communities to increase collaboration between stakeholders.
The focus of the 2012 Educator Effectiveness Academies was on the Maryland State STEM Standards of Practice, STEM frameworks, and STEM instructional guides. Participants engaged in activities that allow them to develop an understanding of how to use these documents with content standards. Additionally, participants developed and shared STEM centric lesson seeds and learned how to create a STEM centric learning environment.
Educator Effectiveness Academy Resources
Additional Professional Development Resources