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Elementary STEM Certification Network Meeting September 24, 2013 MSDE Office of STEM Initiatives Kimberly Gantt George Newberry. Objectives for Today’s Meeting. As a result of today’s meeting, participants will walk away with: Part I :

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Elementary STEMCertification NetworkMeetingSeptember 24, 2013MSDE Office of STEM InitiativesKimberly GanttGeorge Newberry

objectives for today s meeting
Objectives for Today’s Meeting

As a result of today’s meeting, participants will walk away with:

Part I:

  • A brief overview of Maryland’s Vision for STEM Education
  • Expectations for elementary schools as outlined at the 2013 Educator Effectiveness Academy
  • A summary of LEAs’ proposed 2014 STEM Grant initiatives

Part II:

  • A brief look at STEM resources available to teachers
  • The opportunity to examine the template used in the development of STEM units, lessons, and lesson seeds

Part III:

  • A comparison of the traditional vs. STEM-Centric classroom learning environment


A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.

~ Denis E. Waitley, an American motivational speaker, writer, consultant, and best-selling author

maryland s vision for stem education
Maryland’s Vision for STEM Education

Maryland’s vision is to be a leader in STEM Education, preparing and inspiring generations of learners to meet the challenges of the global society through innovation, collaboration, and creative problem solving.


Expectation for STEM Education Beyond the EEAs

Expectation for 2013-14 and Beyond

EEA 2013

EEA 2012

EEA 2011

2013 educator effectiveness academy
2013 Educator Effectiveness Academy

Intense summer professional development for teams from every school in Maryland.

  • Principal
  • ELA representative
  • Mathematics representative
  • STEM representative
  • In 2013, an additional person was added representing a content area specified by the principal
2013 educator effectiveness academy1
2013 Educator Effectiveness Academy


1. Build internal capacity for full implementation of the Maryland

Common Core State Curriculum (CCSC), which includes STEM


  • Understand how the Maryland State STEM Standards of Practice (SOPs) can be incorporated across all disciplines and how they are aligned with college- and career-ready standards

2. Develop an understanding of the structure, content, and

resources (available in the RTTT online portal) that support

implementation of ELA, Mathematics, STEM, and Disciplinary


3. Develop a comprehensive, school-wide transition plan to guide

school staff in full implementation of the MD CCSC, STEM

Education, and the Teacher and Principal Evaluation (TPE) system.


Expectation for STEM Education Beyond the EEAs

Expectation for 2013-14 and Beyond

EEA 2013

= full implementation

EEA 2012

EEA 2011

two goals for achieving this expectation
Two Goals for Achieving this Expectation
  • Innovative, cutting-edge instruction in the classroom, leading to STEM proficiency for ALL students
  • Specialized courses, curriculum, programs, etc., offered in school to guide and nurture students, help them realize aptitudes and aspirations, and ultimately enter STEM career fields in post-secondary study
stem education expectations

All Students

  • All Courses
  • Students interested in
  • science, technology,
  • engineering, & mathematics.
  • Offered through specialized
  • programs, academies,
  • courses, etc.
STEM Education Expectations
expectations for full implementation
Expectations for Full Implementation
  • Teachers work together to create a STEM learning environment…
  • … in which all students in the school are provided with STEM learning experiences
expectations for full implementation1
Expectations for Full Implementation
  • Teachers work together to create a STEM learning environment …
    • PLC or PLC-like planning environment
    • Collaboration across content areas
    • Creation of inquiry-based, transdisciplinary lessons aligned with STEM Standards of Practice (SOPs)
    • Lessons/learning experiences address real-world problems or issues
  • … in which all students in the school are provided with STEM learning experiences
    • Opportunities to learnand integraterigorous content …
    • … in an environment that encourages students to address a real-world problem or issue through:
      • Interpretation and communication of information
      • Discovery
      • Engagement in logical reasoning
      • Collaboration as a TEAM
      • Strategic and appropriate application of technology
so what is this



implementing stem education
Implementing STEM Education

Implementing STEM Education should not disrupt, displace, or add on to curricular pacing.

STEM Education complements the continuum of content instruction that would occur during the school day.

Two approaches to implementation:

  • Projects and or themes that span multiple disciplines
  • Content-based infusion
projects or themes that span multiple disciplines
Projects or Themes that Span Multiple Disciplines

Teachers from multiple disciplines come together to plan and implement transdisciplinary STEM-Centric units.

professional learning communities plcs
Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
  • Interdisciplinary team of teacher
  • Common planning time or online asynchronous sessions
content based infusion
Content-Based Infusion
  • Content-specific teachers incorporate the STEM SOPs and Frameworks in their classroom
  • Content teachers develop transdisciplinary STEM-Centric lesssons
comparing and contrasting approaches to integrated curriculum




Comparing and Contrasting Approaches to Integrated Curriculum

Curriculum is organized around

standards-based themes.

Adapted From: Drake, M. S., & Burns, C. R. (2004). Meeting Standards Through Integrated Curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Curriculum is organized around the application of skills and concepts from different disciplines.

Technology Education


Skills and Concepts

World Language


Adapted From: Drake, M. S., & Burns, C. R. (2004). Meeting Standards Through Integrated Curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


Curriculum is student-centered and grounded in the real-world application of content.

Transdisciplinary curriculum complements multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches.


Real-Life Context

Physical Education

Student Questions & Concerns

English Language Arts


Adapted From: Drake, M. S., & Burns, C. R. (2004). Meeting Standards Through Integrated Curriculum. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

2014 stem grants
2014 STEM Grants


available to schools to support and expand

STEM programs and initiatives

what are leas proposing
What are LEAs Proposing?
  • Career awareness – taking students to sites; bringing professionals in
  • Mobile labs brought to schools to provide opportunities for hands-on investigations
  • Expand existing STEM programs downward to include PreK-2
  • Create “model STEM schools” focusing on STEM-Arts Integration, Robotics, STEM Health and Wellness
  • PD on development of a STEM-Centric curriculum
  • Infusion of EiE
  • Enhancing EiE units into STEM-Centric lessons
  • Refine and improve existing problem-based/transdisciplinary STEM modules
  • PD on STEM-Centric pedagogy and best instructional practices
  • Development of model lessons showing the natural connections between NGSS and STEM
  • Create of district-wide PLC for STEM Education
  • Develop and expand “STEM Content Block” for grades 3-5
  • Design an “E-STEM” Program (Elementary-STEM) around the engineering design process, Primary Talent Development, STEM Standards of Practice, and NGSS
  • Creation of school-based and countywide competitions
what are leas proposing1
What are LEAs Proposing?
  • Develop and expand after-school STEM models
  • Acquire web-based products such as Defined STEM and Achieve 3000
  • PD on how to target and support underrepresented populations so that STEM is accessible to all students
  • PD aimed at development of informed STEM education leaders in every elementary school to ultimately form a PreK-12 pipeline that is aligned with and supports middle and high school STEM initiatives
  • Participate in webinars; attend conferences
  • Build educator capacity through PD and school-based PLCs
  • Purchase of technology for use at the elementary level (i-Pads, microscopes, data acquisition technology,
  • STEM for All!, STEMing It Up! STEM Connector Network
  • Partnering with businesses and higher ed to provide ongoing PD in the planning and teaching of rich, transdisciplinary STEM units and lessons
  • Collaborate for vertical planning
  • Create capstone projects for students in grade 5
  • Create a video log of PD, lesson development, and implementation of units and projects
master teacher reflection

What is the progress in your district to [fully] integrate STEM at the elementary level?

How have the EEAs impacted your progress toward integration of STEM?

Can you highlight a school in your LEA that is promoting STEM integration?



If a doctor, lawyer, or dentist had 40 people in his office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn't want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer, or dentist, without assistance, had to treat them all with professional excellence for nine months, then he might have some conception of the classroom teacher's job.~ Donald D. Quinn, an aspiring commercial artist and cartoonist in Chicago

resource portal
Resource Portal


The only active STEM link at this time is “Inventions to the Rescue.” Click here to bring up a reviewed and edited sample STEM lesson.

inventions to the rescue grade 3
Inventions to the Rescue, Grade 3

Animals at the zoo are always on the move! But what happens when they need to move from their exhibit. How do zoo caretakers transport the animals when vehicles can no longer help?

During this unit the students use the design process engineers use when they are trying to solve a real-world problem with criteria and constraints. Students will use a similar process to create a model of a system that could be used to move animals from one exhibit to another. The students will apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and social studies to address the criteria and constraints of the problem.

inventions to the rescue
Inventions to the Rescue …

… is a STEM-centric, thematic unit that provides students the opportunity to apply their understanding of forces and motion to design a system for transporting objects over various terrains. In the real-world, zoo caretakers need to move animals within the zoo for various reasons. Traditional vehicles cannot always fit into some buildings or exhibits or travel on smaller pathways. Consequently, something else needs to be used if the animal is too heavy or too large to carry. The students will address this problem by designing and building a model of a system for transporting an animal. In this unit, students:

  • explore the effect of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object over various terrains
  • use content knowledge of mathematics (measurement), science (forces and motion), visual arts (artistic process), and social studies (geographical characteristics) to address the criteria and constraints of the problem
  • employ practices from mathematics, engineering, and science to design, build, and test a model of the system. (The engineering design process flows throughout the entire unit so that the students have the opportunity to work through the process as it fits within each lesson.)
  • use text in various formats to build and bridge understanding of content
  • communicate findings verbally and in writing through the construction of the model
inventions to the rescue1
Inventions to the Rescue


  • Real-world context
  • Process starts with question or problem
  • Transdisciplinary approach to lesson development
  • Alignment to content standards for science, art, mathematics, and social studies
  • Use of Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions
  • Use of Engineering Design Process
  • Alignment with and connections to the MD STEM Standards of Practice (SOPs)
  • Career connections
stem centric unit and lesson template

This document is designed to aid educators in designing STEM-Centric units and lessons for any discipline. The items in the template describe the components of STEM-Centric units and lessons. STEM lessons follow the 5E instructional model

template for stem unit and lesson development
Template for STEM Unit and Lesson Development

This is the template we are using to develop STEM-Centric units and lessons.

master teacher reflection1

How are these resources being used in your district and in other districts you participated with at the EEAs?

network reflection

How can the resources shared contribute to the preparation of in-service and pre-service teachers to effectively integrate STEM at the elementary level?



One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., a physician who also achieved fame as a writer and one of the best regarded American poets of the 19th century

traditional vs stem centric classrooms
Traditional vs. STEM-Centric Classrooms

How does all of this look in the classroom?

What are the expectations …

… for instruction?

… for students?

…. for teachers?

… for administrators?

a tale of two classrooms
A Tale of Two Classrooms

Mrs. Ford’s Class

Mrs. Jones’ Class

pedagogy teacher students
Pedagogy…. Teacher.... Students….

… are actively engaged in questioning, problem solving, and hands-on activities.

… collaborates with educators in other disciplines to develop integrated lessons.

… is project- / problem-based, inquiry-based, or challenged-based.


Attributes of a STEM-Centric

Learning Environment


STEM-Centric Lesson

and Unit Checklist

network reflections

What is your process for identifying meaningful STEM integration?

How can the resources we shared today contribute to the preparation of pre-service and in-service teachers to effectively integrate STEM at the elementary level?

msde office of stem initiatives
MSDE Office of STEM Initiatives

Contact Us:

Phone: 410-767-0380 (Kimberly); 410-767-0441 (George)Fax: 410-333-1146Email:

George Newberry

Kimberly Gantt