ISSUE DATE: November 4, 2020

Now, more than ever, STEM needs to be at the core of learning but, not STEM as a standalone, Integrated STEM. Districts and schools are faced with an unprecedented learning environment, in order to keep students engaged, content must connect across all subject areas. Students are often disinterested in school when they learn in an isolated and disjoined manner missing connections to crosscutting concepts and real-world applications. How do we move from a siloed approach to education to creating an Integrated STEM classroom, whether in person or virtual, that will prepare students as citizens for today and the workforce of tomorrow? Designing a professional development plan which focuses on “Integrated STEM”. The STEM Leadership Alliance and the STEM Happens Network (SHN) used the collective framework authored by Advance CTE, ASSM, CSSS, and ITEEA in 2018 that defines the principles of Integrated STEM. 

Principle 1:   Integrated STEM education should advance the learning of each individual STEM discipline

Principle 2:   Integrated STEM education should provide logical and authentic connections between and across the individual STEM disciplines

Principle 3:  Integrated STEM education should serve as a bridge to STEM careers

These principles drive how effective, integrated STEM education should be developed to ensure that ALL students have access to a high-quality education. The principles also provide opportunities for individual advancement within the individual STEM disciplines while also placing a premium on the connections between and across the disciplines. Quality instructional materials and resources are the foundation for a school, but human capital creates a learning environment, based on trans-disciplinary instruction that fosters critical thinking, innovation and 21st century skills. In addition, it is critical that integrated STEM education serve to provide equity and access while supporting all students in increasing their opportunities with respect to participation in future study and future careers in STEM.

For more information on the professional development opportunities for your school or district, please contact  

Learn more about the opportunities available to transform the learning environment from a single subject approach to a transdisciplinary methodology that transforms how students learn to better prepare students for the future.  As mentioned before, schools and school systems across the country teach STEM subjects in silos. As a result, math and science are not coordinated with technology and engineering engagement activities and learning, and STEM is not integrated across subject areas.

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