Common Questions

QUESTION: What does STEM education look like?
ANSWER: STEM is not a project owned by a curriculum guru, a vendor or a 2011 SIT goal. It is an imperative cultural shift in what a total school is about. Promotes a K-12 philosophy of full-STEM literacy for all students.

What STEM is not:

What STEM should be:

QUESTION: What actions are required for STEM program sustainability?
Context: The current economy is causing a reduction in federal funding to k-12 education, states are reducing state aide to k-12 education and local schools are reducing programs
ANSWER: (1) Schools must have a better understanding of what STEM is and what resources they have (tools, machines, processes, materials, people, capital ,energy time and information), that can work towards a viable STEM result driven initiative. (2) Get out of the thinking that STEM can be bought. Systems and products do need to be brought in YES, but a STEM line item that gets checked off in the 2012 budget is neither systemic nor productive. An unfunded mandate by the government has a better chance of survival, but may easily be as counter-productive in the long haul. (3) Need to train and re-certify teachers like industry continually has to in order to survive. Successful Engineers can no longer come out of college with a cubical mentality. They need to perform almost immediately. STEM Teachers need to model this too. No longer can a teacher come into education with a "this is my room" mentality. They have moved from a sage on the stage to a guide on the side style of instruction over the years, but now they need to be a community resource broker for learning as well.

QUESTION: The STEM Academy curriculum is national standards based, i.e. Common Core, ITEEA, ABET, NCTM and NRC (Science) is mapping available to state standards?
ANSWER: State standards are predicated upon the national standards foundation and crosswalks have already been performed for most states.

QUESTION: What is the contract obligation by the school following the initial implementation schedule?
ANSWER: Schools own the curriculum and can update the program at their discretion.

QUESTION: Can a school take the first step toward STEM literacy by beginning with a single course?
ANSWER: Beginning September 1, 2011 schools can participate in the STEM Jump Start Program and begin with the implementation of a single course.

QUESTION: What are the instructor training requirements?
ANSWER: Instructors are required to attend a (4) day STEM Instructor Orientation Training and have the option of attending STEM Instructor Training Boot Camp at one of our university partner sites in the summer.

QUESTION: Who performs the instructor training for The STEM Academy?
ANSWER: Current STEM Education Administrative (District and School Level) Leaders and STEM Educators. Instructors are prepared for Monday morning and administrators are empowered with the capacity to generate student outcomes reports for continuous program improvement planning based upon researchable, actionable data.

QUESTION: Are STEM instructor mentoring programs available?
ANSWER: Yes. The STEM Academy offers school the option of having one of our academic leadership team mentor instructors in the classroom with real students.

QUESTION: Must the school purchase the curriculum supporting student activity resources if they already own a like or similar resource?
ANSWER: No. If a qualified substitute resource is already on campus the student activity resource can be removed from the schedule to include the associated cost.

QUESTION: The curriculum delivery and student outcomes management system resided inside of a proprietary Learning Management System. Are student outcomes automatically reported to The STEM Academy?
ANSWER: No. Each school partner site controls and maintains their student outcome data. If a school partner site is interested in comparing with other sites across the country or participate in a national study they will voluntarily report the student outcome data.

QUESTION: Can The STEM Academy curriculum be utilized for a distance learning or online program?
ANSWER: The STEM Academy curriculum is intended to be instructor led in a classroom, however the online curriculum delivery and student assessment inside of our Learning Management System can immediately be utilized for distance learning or online programs.

QUESTION: Can we create our own localized district or state Professional Learning Community inside of your Learning Management System?
ANSWER: Yes. Each school site can be connected to our National Professional Learning Community and or create a local PLC.

QUESTION: Are grants available?
ANSWER: Yes. Contact a representative to find out what is currently available. The STEM Academy as a 501c3 engages corporations with the intent of soliciting funding support from which 100% is dedicated to supporting curriculum implementation at the school level. Preference for financially under-represented schools.