Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) has been identified as a high priority in the United States, and there is a consistent shortage of highly qualified STEM teachers around the country. The STEM for Educators program prepares individuals to be skilled teachers and educational leaders in this high-demand area. Different program options exist that focus on different grade levels and educational settings.
Across all options, graduates of the program will be highly competitive for teaching positions and will be well-prepared to excel in the classroom. An overarching goal of the STEM for Educators program is to help students understand how each of the STEM fields is relevant for addressing problems in the real world. Education in STEM is much more than developing conceptual knowledge of science and mathematics. While knowledge is key, even more important are the skills necessary to use that knowledge to address problems in the real world.
Across all program options, students in the STEM for Educators program will take a common core of STEM courses. Those courses are project-based, hands-on, and emphasize the deep relationships between the STEM fields. Students who complete those courses will not only deepen their STEM knowledge and skills, but will also be well-prepared to implement innovative STEM lessons in their careers.
STEM for Educators Major
Students in the STEM for Educators Major can choose one of three options based on their career interests.
Option 1: STEM for PreK-6th Grade Educators
This option is designed for those seeking to be teachers in the elementary grades. Students in this option will also complete a degree in Early Childhood or Elementary Education and be eligible for a teaching license for those grade levels.
Option 2: STEM for Middle School Science Educators
This option is designed for those seeking to be science teachers at the middle school level. Students in this option will also complete a degree in Secondary Education and graduates will be eligible for a middle school science teaching license.
Option 3: STEM for Informal Educators
This option is designed for individuals seeking to pursue a career in educational settings beyond formal schooling. Those settings include science centers, nature centers, parks, museums, and more. Students in this option will develop a broad base of content knowledge across STEM fields, will develop an understanding of educational principles, and will apply those skills during an internship experience in an informal educational setting.
STEM for Educators Minor
The minor is designed for any students seeking to expand their capabilities as STEM educators. The minor is based around the core set of STEM courses and will develop students’ STEM education skills while also helping students distinguish themselves in their future careers.
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This degree prepares students to bring STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) concepts into elementary- and middle-school classrooms as well as settings such as museums, nature centers, libraries, government agencies, or community-based organizations. Students can double major in education to obtain teacher certification either in pre-kindergarten through 6th grade or middle school science, or choose a STEM for informal educators option to work in settings outside the classroom. If you’re interested in teaching STEM in the classroom, read more about the need for teachers in this area.
The degree will develop students' abilities to be effective communicators and teachers of STEM, whether in formal or informal educational settings. This includes the skills needed to communicate STEM concepts to learners, the ability to engage learners in meaningful and productive instructional activities, and skills needed to help learners understand how STEM is crucial in today's society.