STEM and Project Based Learning
STEM education means more than just the subject areas the acronym represents or a learning theme. Traditional STEM, a curriculum focused solely on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, has garnered a great amount of attention recently. At TAF@Saghalie, we believe a good STEM education is also about teaching student scholars the processes utilized in those fields and establishing a culture of inquiry and problem-solving. This is done through careful design of projects as well as cultivating opportunities for students to engage with STEM professionals and activities, both on and off-campus.
Academic content from all areas - science, mathematics, social sciences, and the fine, performing and language arts - is integrated into projects and instruction that require students to:
- Explore and establish relationships among content areas
- Learn to ask the right questions
- Analyze the answers
- Discern and distill what matters; and
- Apply their understanding to real problems
Ultimately, our aim is that our scholars become STEM literate. STEM literacy is the ability to understand and apply concepts and content from science, technology, engineering, and math along with humanities and arts to identify and solve challenges or problems that cannot be solved by any one disciplinary approach.
STEM literacy enables students to apply 21st-century skills such as collaboration, knowledge construction, self-regulation, problem-solving, innovation, information technology, and communication to improve the social, economic, and environmental conditions of their local and global community.
Project Based Learning
Project-based learning allows scholars to experience a process of inquiry in response to a "real-world" question, problem, or challenge. Projects are purposefully planned, integrating multiple subject areas that help scholars to learn key academic content in a more holistic way. Collaboration, communication, and critical thinking are key skills that are practiced as students create authentic products and presentations, allowing teachers an alternative approach to assess what students know and are able to do.