Frequently Asked Questions about STEM
1. What is STEM education?
STEM is an acronym that stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. All of Pasco’s STEM schools, including Delta High School, are purposefully designed to meet the projected needs of the 21st century workforce and to prepare all students to solve STEM problems, innovate new technologies, network with professional people around the globe, and to make informed decisions as members of an ever-shrinking world.
Through STEM education, students apply the principles of mathematics and science learned through hands-on and minds-on activities to the real world around them. STEM education fosters fun with a purpose, reasoning skills, curiosity, perseverance, and inquisitiveness.
Pasco’s vision for STEM learning is to ignite in our students and staff a passion for learning, a commitment to innovative thinking, and a desire to transform the global community.
2. What is the STEM movement?
The STEM movement is as old as public schooling. The STEM movement has typically experienced bursts of implementation as needed by our economy or in the interest of national security. Most Americans will remember the Sputnik era as a time when STEM education was heavily invested in in our nation’s schools. STEM has now resumed its place as a leading educational reform with the advent of the internet, a national focus on assessment, and an extremely urgent need for a vast number of STEM-educated people to enter the workforce as soon as possible. It is unlikely, given the current and projected future workforce needs, that the appetite for STEM in schools will decrease.
The highest-paying jobs in 2024 and beyond will be:
· STEM in nature.
· In protecting the internet.
· Software and computer programming-dependent.
· Focused on the poor health of aging Americans.
3. Why should I consider sending my child to a STEM school?
· STEM Education is completely inclusive of all learners.
· STEM Education provides a rigorous, relevant, and meaningful examination of current world problems.
· STEM Education promotes STEM literacy and inductive and deductive reasoning skills for all citizens.
· STEM Education is a movement to improve outcomes for all communities, but is especially beneficial to communities like ours.
· STEM Education offers opportunities for students to engage in experimental design, to engineer understanding through inquiry, and to suggest plausible solutions for real problems.
· STEM Education is a bridge between the public educational system and the world of 21st century work.
· STEM Education is focused on what learners are learning, not on what teachers are teaching.
· STEM Education is tailored to the individual needs of students and families living in a STEM-rich community.
4. Will transportation be provided by the district for students living further than 1 mile from the school?
5. What about the other subjects, especially music and art?
The modern study of music and art are synonymous with STEM. At our STEM school, we won’t just be painting; we’ll be making the paint. We will sing songs and we’ll be composing them with technological devices. Students will study artists, entrepreneurs, engineers, musicians, producers, designers, architects, and photographers whose works have transformed the global community. No one that is a celebrated artist or musician has been able to create great works without technology, engineering, or materials science. Conversely, the vast majority of celebrated scientists have been dependent on the creative, collaborative, and problem-solving skills that are integral to the arts.
Music and art look, sound, and feel different in a STEM school, but they will be critical to the learning of indispensable 21st century skills.
6. Why did we choose to build STEM schools for Pasco kids?
The Tri-Cities is a STEM community nested within Washington State, one of the most high-tech states in the United States. Our community is known worldwide for innovations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The foundations of our economy are in energy, conservation, agriculture, technological research, engineering design, and national defense.
Everyone in our community works directly for one of these industries or in an industry that supports or serves our STEM community. STEM schools in Pasco make sense because they closely mirror the real-world work happening in our midst.
We know that our nation’s future is linked to greater demands for innovation and technical competence, and as a result, we know that students must be highly competitive in an every-changing global economy. With STEM education in place, we believe that Pasco students will be more capable of attaining the STEM careers available in the Eastern Washington and beyond.
7. Why aren’t all Pasco schools STEM schools?
All schools in Pasco have STEM initiatives of some type underway. Teacher teams have been collaborating, for years in some cases, with local STEM leaders to provide innovative, exciting, and standards-based learning experiences for our students. Due to the nature of the new Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, more schools will be developing STEM curriculum and will continue to work hard to make every school day even more rigorous and relevant for all students.
8. What are the expectations for parents and families of STEM students?
Parents and families are an essential resource for the success of our STEM school and to each of its learners.
STEM parents and families are invited to donate approximately 60 hours per year to our school. Mathematician moms will be asked to consult with us on designing math experiences. Engineering uncles will be asked to help us build things. Scientist sisters will be given the opportunity to work on experiments with students. Artsy aunts will be invited to jury exhibits of student work. Designer dads will be asked to help us market our inventions.
9. Are there testing requirements for my child to get in to a STEM school?
Students that live within the attendance boundary will be attending our STEM elementary school.
10. What will be different about a STEM school, compared to a non-STEM school?
STEM schools will have more of the items on the left and less of the items on the right.
|How to think
||What to think
|Sound engineering and composition
||Traditional music program
|Full STEM immersion
|Materials science and design
||Traditional art programs
||Subjects taught separately
|Learning for life
||Learning for the standardized test