What is STEM at Union?

 

STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We focus on these areas together not only because the skills and knowledge in each discipline are essential for student success, but also because these fields are deeply intertwined in the real world and in how students learn most effectively. STEM is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with hands-on, problem-based learning.

Economic growth in the 21st century will be driven by our graduates' abilities to create ideas and translate them into innovative products and services.  At Union Elementary, the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is a critical component for preparing students for college, career and life.  Inquiry and research skills are sharpened by:

*Bi-weekly scheduled visits to the STEMComputer Lab where all K-5th grade students are taught the basics of a computer/keyboard so that they are comfortable & familiar with them come time for computer testing.

*Bi-weekly scheduled activities in the STEM Education Collaboratory (STEMLab) where all K-5th grade students engage in real world experiences through hands-on laboratory and coursework.

*Project-Based Learning throughout instruction with expanded focus on all areas of STEM.  Faculty and students learn the Engineering Design Process (EIE) through a year-long collaboration. 

*World of Engineering events such as 3rd grade Science Fair.  STEM Maker Stations, STEM Clubs, Engineering Open House for parents, STEM Career Day, Invention Convention competition, and the Kindergarten STEM stations.

*Farm to School Gardening which provides cross-curricular learning experiences through our school garden and greenhouse.

*STEM-Focus Friday is a weekly STEM related activity that happens within the classroom and is teacher led.  All of the supplies needed for the activity are put together by our Focus Friday Coordinator and delivered to the classrooms. 

These are just a few of the ways that STEM is incorporated into our daily lives at Union.  Many other activities happen within the classroom that may not be listed.