The morning started with a 4AM alarm but I was at the NSTA STEM conference in Atlantic City, NJ by noon. I walked in late to the Forum on STEM chaired by Michael Heinz (Science Coordinator, State of New Jersey) and regretted not getting there earlier. The talk was STEM. It was so great to be with people speaking my language. Does anyone else feel like a desert-walker, waiting for someone to understand?
It was so exciting to hear how authenticity is the key to STEM education. Mr. Heinz explained how the Common Core Standards will help start the ball rolling. On the walls of Room 305-306 hung the words of the future.
Then I attended the presentation by Donna Clem. She is the STEM coordinator from Maryland. Donna exclaimed like a welcome dinner bell, “Education is changing. It’s all changing.” She was referring to how we are on the cusp of an educational shift. Maryland, because of its Race to the Top funding, is rolling out the carpet for the rest of the nation.
Ms. Clem heads up the STEM initiative. She and her staff have been working furiously to develop definitions, mission statements, frameworks, and finally lessons in an effort to create STEM standards. Her presentation shared in too few moments, the months of blood, sweat, and tears endured by teachers, state leadership, and businesses as they worked to set standards for STEM education. It is all so exciting.