The interdisciplinary problem-based curriculum includes a focus on real world applications. (AdvancED STEM Indicator ST 1.6)
As stated in our school mission and beliefs, Fairforest Elementary School is a place where children come first, learning is a lifelong process, and we as educators continuously strive to provide our students with the most meaningful and engaging experiences that we can. As a result, our STEM-focused curriculum does not come ready-made or scripted for easy implementation; instead, our teachers have designed each unit, lesson, and experience with the unique needs of our students in mind.
Of course, our state standards drive the curriculum for each grade level. But it is our responsibility to determine the best ways to bring the mandated content to life for our students. In designing specific units, grade level teachers work together to decide on a subject area of focus, as well as the interdisciplinary connections that can be made. At Fairforest Elementary, integrated studies have consistently been a focus and a priority for many years. When our school began our STEM initiative in the 2014-2015 school year, we were ready to build upon the interdisciplinary curriculum that already existed, by introducing more opportunities for inquiry and more connections to real-world problems and the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The following artifacts are examples of these STEM-based, interdisciplinary units that have been designed by STEM educators at Fairforest Elementary School.
Fairforest Elementary School STEM Units by Grade Level