The Current STEM Movement – There's A Lot More To It Than A One-Time Result!

RE@L logo_Corp_color_RGB-high-REZThere are dozens of prestigious articles being published and presentations given about “successful STEM experiences” in our schools. Many of them report effective teaching and learning experiences for all those involved. It’s overwhelming! What do we do to make STEM happen for us?

SCWhile these reports are worthy of our consideration, each fails to address how a comprehensive Systemic Change can occur across the thousands of schools who are considering adopting the STEM curriculum. The fact remains that STEM publishers and providers, to be successful, must find a way to make Systemic Change happen.

Unknown-1Many of these STEM reports are worthy of consideration. Still, the sum of these singular case studies do not augur well for the systemic changes needed. Focusing on a singular “project,” and then summing up all the projects does not provide a road map to Systemic Change. As the researchers will tell you, success with A may not lead to success with B.

imagesIn fairness, many projects focus on new models which do produce a good STEM learning experience, but for a very limited number of students.  Far too often their focus is solely on students who are identified as “talented” in science and mathematics. These learners are already successfully finding their way through our K12 system, and on a STEM-oriented college degree and career path.

The looming question for us is: What about students who are good students, motivated to learn, but may not demonstrate upper quartile performance in higher level STEM courses? These kids are a far more populous sector of our K12 population. What are the STEM opportunities for them? Even more pointedly, where are the STEM opportunities for our girls?

Here are the key questions:

  • How can we successfully generalize the STEM experience?
  • How do we replicate what we’ve learned over 14,000 locally-controlled school districts?
  • Where is our total STEM plan to create a curriculum for the larger population of STEM-interested students,?
  • What about those who might prefer a community college, or choose vocational education, and still want a STEM career?
  • Does our Systemic Plan for STEM include them, as well?

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There is only one answer to these question, and that is, they must.

We, at RE@L, are committed to putting the right tools and necessary support in the hands of the teachers to make STEM happen for all capable students. STEM has an ambitious agenda for those with STEM ambitions.

At RE@L we are helping:

  • create more “scientists” and keeping the U.S. competitive with the world’s country leaders  who have highly-selective education systems;
  • equalize the number of  girls choosing STEM courses and women in STEM-related positions;
  • raise the “test scores” of American students to compete with higher international scores;
  • reduce the many inequities across schools in the U.S.;
  • make success happen in over 15,000 locally controlled school districts and thousands more private, parochial and charter schools.

systemicThe answer is we need Systemic Change in all our schools. We need to find ways to make a STEM curriculum happen in affordable and do-able manner.

The answer is NOT placing millions of mobile technology devices in K12 schools without a systemic plan to use them effectively. This now-popular path will not produce the STEM results we are seeking. The burden for change will fall in the already filled lap of the unprepared teacher. Yes, teachers need tools. They need a planned curriculum. They need helpers. They need resources. They need a collaborative team to share what works and what still needs working on.

Who can help? RE@L can!

Here’s our primary focus at RE@L: STEM must be made accessible for many more students. A STEM network of online portals must be put in place to enable our teachers to remain the primary leader of the STEM learning experience.

In summary:

  1. RE@L already has a systemic plan for STEM curriculum.
  2. RE@L software addresses the needs of all learners interested in a STEM education and career.
  3. RE@L has the resources and network to help each STEM teacher be effective in delivering the required instruction.
  4. RE@L has the solutions that will result in far more than a “one-time, one-site result” of effectiveness. 

real website homepage banner9RE@L and STEM can lead K12 to a RE@L-STEM solution that brings Systemic Change to our schools.

RE@L products are tested to meet the needs of EACH learner and EACH teacher.

Now, that’s what we call RE@L Systemic Change!

 

Please send your questions or comments tocomments@realexperiencesatlife.com

For more information on RE@L, visit our website by clicking on the Blue Mobile Globe below:

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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.