The specific area of concentration and theme will be Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) aligned with inquiry-based instruction. The inquiry-based instruction will prepare students to ask questions, conduct investigations, and communicate their findings to the community around them. The inquiry-based education lends itself to content areas by supporting the students’ ability to connect curriculum across the disciplines. The STEM focus will push students to have a rigorous understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, while integrating their learning in all discipline areas. The literacy support and growth in alignment with STEM themes will come primarily from the incorporation of non-fiction text analysis and exposure. Beginning in sixth grade, students will be exposed to engineering and science principles that will continue to grow over the course of their education and STEM careers. All core and specials classes will utilize the integrated approach to STEM and inquiry-based education. The STEM Pathway will focus upon career and higher education opportunities in science, including the biomedical sciences, chemistry, environmental studies, and engineering fields; such as, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, and civil engineering, to name a few, and math-related careers.
Culturally Relevant Pedagogy
As an interdistrict magnet pathway, STEM 6-12 is inherently designed to reduce the achievement gap among disparate populations and reduce racial, ethnic, and economic isolation of students. STEM 6-12 believes in the value of an education that is truly responsive to individual students’ needs and talents. Multicultural curriculum rooted in culturally relevant pedagogy, conflict resolution, cooperative learning, heterogeneous ability groupings, and staff development activities will:
Culturally Responsive/Relevant Pedagogy is defined by the following aspects:
- prevent resegregation within the school
- counter stereotypes and other biases; and
- facilitate more positive interactions among diverse groups of students and between staff and students, staff and parents.
- Teachers who are highly aware of their own beliefs, attitudes, and biases and those of others
- Students who are empowered to use their own cultural characteristics, experiences, and perspectives for academic success.
- Curriculum that engages and affirms both students’ and teachers’ identities, cultural and experiential reference points, and world views in the process of learning.