The examples are organized into categories:

1. Increase students’ equitable access to STEM courses and experiences, including out-of-school programs, STEM-themed schools, and career pathways

Program funds could support dual or concurrent enrollment programs, early college high school models, or other methods to increase access to rigorous STEM courses and learning experiences that will enhance career and college readiness.

2. Support educators’ knowledge and expertise in STEM disciplines through recruitment, preparation, support, and retention strategies

Title II funds might be used to offer stipends to attract STEM educators to the profession. The same funds might also support professional learning opportunities, support new STEM-related course implementation by educators, or help educators effectively teach students with disabilities in STEM subjects.

3. Increase student access to materials and equipment needed to support inquiry-based pedagogy and active learning

These funds might be used to provide students with mobile devices to support STEM learning, purchase assistive technology devices for students with disabilities, or to update STEM-related labs and lab materials or other specialized learning spaces to support inquiry-based STEM or maker activities.

The letter also identifies STEM-specific components of the Every Student Succeeds Act, which President Obama signed into law in December 2015. Those components include:

  • Increasing access for students through grade 12 who are members of groups underrepresented in STEM fields
  • Supporting the participation of low-income students in nonprofit competitions related to STEM subjects
  • Providing hands-on learning and exposure to STEM subjects and supporting the use of field-based or service learning to enhance students’ understanding of the STEM subjects
  • Supporting the creation and enhancement of STEM-focused specialty schools
  • Facilitating the collaboration among school, after-school program, and informal program personnel to improve the integration of programming and instruction in STEM subjects
  • Integrating other academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM subject programs to increase participation in STEM subjects, improve attainment of skills related to STEM, and promote well-rounded education

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura