STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)In fall 2011, STEM was rolled out in several of our 5th grade classrooms throughout the district. Over the next several years, STEM elements will be phased into all our k-6 classrooms.
All Eden Prairie Schools’ curriculum meets state and district academic standards in all content areas. In other words, the critical mass of “what” we teach is common. What is unique about the STEM classrooms is “how” students learn this content.
Our STEM classrooms include the following four elements:
- Interdisciplinary approach merges the four disciplines of science, engineering, mathematics, and technology into a cohesive teaching and learning experience.
- Inquiry-based learning is a student-centered and teacher-guided instructional approach that teaches problem-solving and critical thinking skills through interdisciplinary content. Students acquire and analyze information, develop and support propositions, provide solutions, and design products that demonstrate their thinking and make their learning visible.
- Problem-based learning projects use a student-centered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively answer real world questions and solve problems and then reflect on their experiences.
- Community Focused Learning creates relevance by allowing students to work within our local and greater world communities to understand problems in our natural and human- made world. The identification of problems and working towards solutions is a critical learning component.
Project Lead the WayEden Prairie High School's Tech Ed offers the Project Lead the Way curriculum. Classes offered include Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics Engineering, and Architectural & Civil Engineering. Since the program is accredited though the University of Minnesota School of Science & Engineering, students have the opportunity to earn college credits for these classes.
- Introduction to Engineering Design: This course teaches problem-solving skills using a design development process. Part A of the class introduces students to elements of design and drafting techniques through the use of Autodesk Inventor solid modeling computer design software. Part B of the class is a continuation of part A, utilizing elements of model and product design. Solutions are created, analyzed and communicated using Autodesk Inventor solid modeling computer design software.
- Principles of Engineering: This course helps students understand the field of engineering/engineering technology. Exploring various technology systems and manufacturing processes help students learn how engineers and technicians use math, science and technology in an engineering problem solving process to benefit people. The course also includes concerns about social and political consequences of technological change.
- Digital Electronics Engineering: A Project Lead the Way course in applied logic that encompasses the application of electronic circuits and devices. Students use computer simulations to design, test, and actually construct digital circuitry and devices.
- Archetiectural & Civil Engineering: This course emphasizes the engineering discipline of architecture. In part A, students study architectural style and the role of the architect as well as use state of the art software to design floor plans, foundations, roof systems, elevations, cross sections, and energy systems. Part B of this course is a continuation of Architectural Engineering. This course emphasizes the field of Civil Engineering, at the same time stressing the interrelationship and dependence of both architecture and civil engineering fields. Students use state of the art software to solve real world problems and communicate solutions through hands-on projects and activities. Course content includes project planning, site planning, and structural engineering.