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STEM Curriculum and Implementation Guidelines


The definition of STEM used by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) includes “life and physical science, engineering, mathematics, and information technology occupations." [1]

ESSA establishes the definition of a STEM-Specialty School as “a school, or dedicated program within a school, that engages students in rigorous, relevant, and integrated learning experiences focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including computer science.” [2]

Every school in NH should strive to meet this definition.

The core K-12 STEM domains and recommended guiding documents are:

STEM is highly interconnected with other areas:

Social sciences (quantitative, e.g. economics) are included in the BLS definition of STEM. In K12, social sciences are grouped with the broader "social studies." Considerations of social and economic impacts of science and technology are also part of a well-rounded STEM education. See also: C3 Framework for Social Studies.

Components of our English Language Arts standards are highly relevant, particularly those that address informational text and literacy in science and technical subjects. See also: NH College & Career Ready English Language Arts Standards.

The Arts are closely related to STEM / STEAM education. Arts processes are highly applicable in STEM, and some content explicitly overlaps (e.g. architecture, media arts). See also: National Core Arts Standards.

Information / Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy is related to but distinct from Computer Science. The crux of this distinction is that ICT Literacy (a.k.a. Digital Literacy or Computer Literacy) refers to the general use of computers and programs (e.g.: using productivity software, performing an Internet search, creating a digital presentation), whereas Computer Science is “the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society” [3]. See also: ISTE Standards for Students.

Note on Comprehensive Technology / CTE:

Comprehensive technology includes technologies in these domains: medical, agricultural / biotech, energy / power, information / communication, transportation, manufacturing, and construction. Introductory knowledge of these technologies should be integrated into a STEM program in the core domains above. Addressing comprehensive technologies in greater depth depends greatly on the resources available to individual schools and is typically the purview of regional CTE centers. See also: ITEEA Standards for Technological Literacy.

[1] http://www.bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-3/an-overview-of-employment.htm

[2] http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/every_student_succeeds_act_-_conference_report.pdf Acrobat Reader

[3] https://k12cs.org/defining-computer-science/

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