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Simplifying STEM [PreK-5]

Simplifying STEM [PreK-5]
Four Equitable Practices to Inspire Meaningful Learning

with Julie A. Sicks-Panus and Tracy Young

January 2024 | 184 pages | Corwin

Start, focus, or extend your integrated STEM education journey with an authentic interdisciplinary perspective!

In response to calls for active STEM learning that builds students’ agency and sense of belonging, teachers and leaders are being encouraged more and more to equitably implement integrated STEM instruction. This practical guidebook is designed to help educators create integrated STEM learning experiences that are inclusive for all students and allows them to experience STEM as scientists, innovators, mathematicians, creators, engineers, and technology experts!

Addressing the STEM status quo and promoting inclusiveness in STEM fields, the authors center their work around the Equity-Oriented Conceptual Framework for STEM Literacy, which provides high-quality integrated strategies to connect students' lived experiences to STEM learning. Simplifying STEM provides a ground-breaking model of the four Integrated STEM Practices (ISPs) to ensure coherent and aligned teaching across disciplines through authentic opportunities to meaningfully engage students.

Learn how to simplify STEM with these four equitable practices to inspire deep learning

  • Use critical and creative thinking to seek solutions
  • Collaborate and use appropriate tools to engage in iterative design
  • Communicate solutions based on evidence and data
  • Recognize and use structures in real-world systems

Including a STEM planning guide as well as instructional strategies and assessments for standard alignment, this is an essential resource for any educator seeking to empower their students with meaningful STEM learning experiences. The book includes an online implementation toolkit to give educators opportunities for powerful professional development built on collaboration and connection.

The Power of Integrated STEM Practices: Inspiring Scholars to Innovate, Collaborate, and Think Critically K-5
Chapter 1: STEM Disciplines as Mutually Supportive
Chapter 2: ISP 1-Use critical and creative thinking to seek solutions
Chapter 3: ISP 2-Collaborate and use appropriate tools to engage in iterative Design
Chapter 4: ISP 3 Communicate solutions based on evidence and data
Chapter 5: ISP 4-Recognize and use structures in real-world systems
Chapter 6: Reimagining Existing STEM Tasks
Chapter 7: The Heart and the Spirit

Simplifying STEM, PreK–5 addresses the challenge of persistent inequities in STEM education with an approach to teaching that draws strength from
the complex ways in which identities, culture, and context intersect in the classroom and our world. Weaving theory and practice with rich classroom
examples, this book unpacks with beautiful clarity inclusive and equitable approaches that value, cultivate, and leverage diverse perspectives and experiences so that meaningful learning is available for all!

Cathery Yeh
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

If you’ve been told that there either aren’t enough or too many integrated STEM resources for practitioners, know that Simplifying STEM, PreK–5 offers real-world examples that are complex yet accessible to all audiences. With “try this” teacher and scholar actions, the authors take novices to experts on an intellectual journey in STEM spaces. They weave information that further explains STEM in today’s context that makes the reader excited to imagine as well as try something creative.

Andrea Borowczak
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

Simplifying STEM, PreK–5: Four Equitable Practices to Inspire Meaningful Learning provides a framework for teaching Integrated STEM Practices. It
includes vignettes to show teachers how to integrate them into their lessons with grade-appropriate connections. I appreciate how the “So you’ve been told . . .” statements and “Reality Check!” responses throughout the chapters address many misconceptions and ideas educators confront.

Robert Q. Berry III
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Simplifying STEM seeks to de-center whiteness and disrupt the STEM status quo. Readers are provided practical examples and essential strategies that can be used in their respective environments to create inclusive STEM environments that give all scholars opportunities to be successful.

Kristopher J. Childs
K Childs Solutions
Winter Garden, FL

The authors of this text bring attention to the growing need of equity-centered STEM education that rightfully positions children and learners as the impetus for integrative STEM. As a former teacher and current educational researcher, I am deeply impressed by the suggestions and tasks that are offered in this text. All STEM teachers both new and veterans, need to read this book. It offers a critical examination of our practices and offers implementable suggestions to ensure that every student develops a sense of belonging in STEM.

Daniel Edelen
Georgia State University
Decatur, GA

A must-read to ensure equity and engagement for all elementary STEM learners. This book provides step-by-step, easy to implement strategies to encourage critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Virginia R. Jones
Past President, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
South Boston, VA

Christa Jackson

Dr. Christa Jackson, a former elementary and middle school mathematics and science teacher, is a Professor of Mathematics, Science, and STEMEducation at Saint Louis University. She is the Founder and Director of the Institute for STEM Collaboration, Outreach, Research, and Education(iSCORE), where she focuses on transforming the STEM community one mind at a time through fostering scholars’ STEM literacy development,STEM identities, and STEM sense of belonging. Dr. Jackson researches the development, use, and implementation of integrated STEM curriculum as well as understands the influence... More About Author

Thomas Roberts

Dr. Thomas Roberts, a former elementary school teacher, is an Associate Professor and co-program coordinator of the Inclusive PreK–5 Education Program at Bowling Green State University, where he teaches STEM education and mathematics education courses. He received his doctorate in Education Sciences specializing in STEM Education from the University of Kentucky. Dr. Roberts’s research explores students’ perceptions of STEM learning environments and ways to increase the effectiveness of teachers’ instructional practices so that all students have the opportunity to participate... More About Author

Cathrine Maiorca

Dr. Cathrine Maiorca, a former high school mathematics teacher, is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Oklahoma State University, where she teaches courses in mathematics education and STEM education. She received her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Mathematics Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dr. Maiorca’s research interests include model-elicitingactivities, effective STEM teaching and learning practices for every student, integrated STEM education in formal and informal settings, preservice teachers, and students’... More About Author

Kristin L. Cook

Dr. Kristin L. Cook, a former high school science teacher, is a Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Bellarmine University. She received her doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction specializing in Science Education and Environmental Sciences from Indiana University. Dr. Cook teaches courses in K–12 science methods and STEAM Education. In addition to teaching initial certification and advanced graduate classes, Dr. Cook serves as a professional developer and consultant for K–12 STEAM-focused school reform and project and problem-based learning development. Dr. Cook is actively involved in federal grants and research... More About Author

Sarah B. Bush

Dr. Sarah B. Bush, a former middle school mathematics teacher, is a Professor of K–12 STEM Education and the Lockheed Martin Eminent Scholar Chair at the University of Central Florida. At the University of Central Florida, she is the Director of the Lockheed Martin/UCF Mathematics and Science Academy and is a program co-coordinator of the Mathematics Education PhD track. She teaches primarily graduate courses in mathematics education. She is a prolific writer who has authored 13 books and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Bush recently completed a term (2019–2022) as a member of the National Council of Teachers of... More About Author

Margaret Mohr-Schroeder

Dr. Margaret Mohr-Schroeder, is a Professor of STEM Education and Senior Associate Dean in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky (UK). She received her doctorate in curriculum and instruction specializing in mathematics and science education from Texas A&M University. Since her arrival at UK in 2006, she has been involved in over $17 million in federal and state funding, helping to expand research and broaden participation in STEM Education. She is a coeditor of the first Handbook of Research on STEM Education and coeditor of STEM 2.0. Herresearch interests... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071917053