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      Send Us Resources!

      Do you have a report, white paper, case study that the task force should know about? Use the link here to send it directly to us. We appreciate you helping us be thorough in our work.

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      Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM)

      STEM Education integrates science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through cohesive and active teaching and learning approaches. The CA STEM Task Force developed the following definition of STEM education:

      K-12 STEM education encompasses the processes of critical thinking, analysis, and collaboration in which students integrate the processes and concepts in real world contexts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, fostering the development of STEM skills and competencies for college, career, and life.

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      Tom Torlakson's, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction, interview at the California STEM Summit 2012 in San Diego where he was asked "How will next-generation Math and Science standards affect California STEM education?" Text transcript of Tom Torlakson’s video.

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      The Four STEM Disciplines Described

      Science is the study of the natural world, including the laws of nature associated with physics, chemistry, and biology and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts, and conventions associated with these disciplines. Science is both a body of knowledge that has been accumulated over time and a process—scientific inquiry—that generates new knowledge. Knowledge from science informs the engineering design process. (NGSS for California Public Schools, K-12)

      Technology, while not a discipline in the strictest sense, comprises the entire system of people and organizations, knowledge, processes, and devices that go into creating and operating technological artifacts, as well as the artifacts themselves. Throughout history, humans have created technology to satisfy their wants and needs. Much of modern technology is a product of science and engineering, and technological tools are used in both fields. (Empowering Learning – A Blueprint for California Education Technology 2014-2017)

      Engineering is both a body of knowledge—about the design and creation of human-made products—and a process for solving problems. This process is design under constraint. One constraint in engineering design is the laws of nature, or science. Other constraints include time, money, available materials, ergonomics, environmental regulations, manufacturability, and reparability. Engineering utilizes concepts from science and mathematics as well as technological tools.

      Mathematics is the study of patterns and relationships among quantities, numbers, and space. Unlike in science, where empirical evidence is sought to warrant or overthrow claims, claims in mathematics are warranted through logical arguments based on foundational assumptions. The local arguments themselves are part of mathematics along with the claims. As in science, knowledge in mathematics continues to grow, but unlike in science, knowledge in mathematics is not overturned, unless the foundational assumptions are transformed. Specific conceptual categories of K-12 mathematics include numbers and arithmetic, algebra, functions, geometry, and statistics and probability. Mathematics is used in science, engineering, and technology.

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      The LCAP Toolkit for STEM Advocates was developed by California STEM Learning Network (CSLNet) in partnership with The Lawrence Hall of Science at the Univ. of California, Berkeley. The toolkit is designed to help districts strengthen supports for science and STEM education as they develop their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP). Go to the CSLNet website to download the toolkit resources at http://www.cslnet.org/what-we-do/policy-advocacy/local-control-accountability-plan/

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