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Simplifying STEM [PreK-5]

Simplifying STEM [PreK-5]
Four Equitable Practices to Inspire Meaningful Learning

with Julie A. Sicks-Panus and Tracy Young

March 2024 | 184 pages | Corwin

Start, focus, or extend your integrated STEM education journey with an authentic interdisciplinary perspective!

In response to calls for active STEM learning that builds students’ agency and sense of belonging, teachers and leaders are being encouraged more and more to equitably implement integrated STEM instruction. This practical guidebook is designed to help educators create integrated STEM learning experiences that are inclusive for all students and allows them to experience STEM as scientists, innovators, mathematicians, creators, engineers, and technology experts!

Addressing the STEM status quo and promoting inclusiveness in STEM fields, the authors center their work around the Equity-Oriented Conceptual Framework for STEM Literacy, which provides high-quality integrated strategies to connect students' lived experiences to STEM learning. Simplifying STEM provides a ground-breaking model of the four Integrated STEM Practices (ISPs) to ensure coherent and aligned teaching across disciplines through authentic opportunities to meaningfully engage students.

Learn how to simplify STEM with these four equitable practices to inspire deep learning

  • Use critical and creative thinking to seek solutions
  • Collaborate and use appropriate tools to engage in iterative design
  • Communicate solutions based on evidence and data
  • Recognize and use structures in real-world systems

Including a STEM planning guide as well as instructional strategies and assessments for standard alignment, this is an essential resource for any educator seeking to empower their students with meaningful STEM learning experiences. The book includes an online implementation toolkit to give educators opportunities for powerful professional development built on collaboration and connection.

The Power of Integrated STEM Practices: Inspiring Scholars to Innovate, Collaborate, and Think Critically K-5
Chapter 1: STEM Disciplines as Mutually Supportive
Chapter 2: ISP 1-Use critical and creative thinking to seek solutions
Chapter 3: ISP 2-Collaborate and use appropriate tools to engage in iterative Design
Chapter 4: ISP 3 Communicate solutions based on evidence and data
Chapter 5: ISP 4-Recognize and use structures in real-world systems
Chapter 6: Reimagining Existing STEM Tasks
Chapter 7: The Heart and the Spirit

Simplifying STEM, PreK–5 addresses the challenge of persistent inequities in STEM education with an approach to teaching that draws strength from
the complex ways in which identities, culture, and context intersect in the classroom and our world. Weaving theory and practice with rich classroom
examples, this book unpacks with beautiful clarity inclusive and equitable approaches that value, cultivate, and leverage diverse perspectives and experiences so that meaningful learning is available for all!

Cathery Yeh
The University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX

If you’ve been told that there either aren’t enough or too many integrated STEM resources for practitioners, know that Simplifying STEM, PreK–5 offers real-world examples that are complex yet accessible to all audiences. With “try this” teacher and scholar actions, the authors take novices to experts on an intellectual journey in STEM spaces. They weave information that further explains STEM in today’s context that makes the reader excited to imagine as well as try something creative.

Andrea Borowczak
University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL

Simplifying STEM, PreK–5: Four Equitable Practices to Inspire Meaningful Learning provides a framework for teaching Integrated STEM Practices. It
includes vignettes to show teachers how to integrate them into their lessons with grade-appropriate connections. I appreciate how the “So you’ve been told . . .” statements and “Reality Check!” responses throughout the chapters address many misconceptions and ideas educators confront.

Robert Q. Berry III
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

Simplifying STEM seeks to de-center whiteness and disrupt the STEM status quo. Readers are provided practical examples and essential strategies that can be used in their respective environments to create inclusive STEM environments that give all scholars opportunities to be successful.

Kristopher J. Childs
K Childs Solutions
Winter Garden, FL

The authors of this text bring attention to the growing need of equity-centered STEM education that rightfully positions children and learners as the impetus for integrative STEM. As a former teacher and current educational researcher, I am deeply impressed by the suggestions and tasks that are offered in this text. All STEM teachers both new and veterans, need to read this book. It offers a critical examination of our practices and offers implementable suggestions to ensure that every student develops a sense of belonging in STEM.

Daniel Edelen
Georgia State University
Decatur, GA

A must-read to ensure equity and engagement for all elementary STEM learners. This book provides step-by-step, easy to implement strategies to encourage critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Virginia R. Jones
Past President, International Technology and Engineering Educators Association
South Boston, VA

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ISBN: 9781071917053