Why S.T.E.M. at Frey?

At Frey Elementary School our mission is to lay the foundation for success. It is clearly evident that the jobs of tomorrow are rooted in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields. In order to ensure the success of our students we want to lay a solid STEM foundation.

Why STEM in elementary school?

STEM—or science, technology, engineering and math—has become a big buzzword in educational circles in the last few years.  However, our classrooms have not yet realized this potential as evidenced by a 2008 report, where in which the United States ranked 28th worldwide in math literacy and 24th in science literacy.  Combine that with the fact that in US Department of Commerce research, workers in STEM fields earn 26% more than their counterparts and the job growth rate for STEM-related jobs is almost double that of non-stem occupations, and it’s easy to see that STEM education is essential for our future economy not to mention to our kids’ future success.

By giving our kids the tools they need to succeed in STEM, we are giving them a huge leg up as they enter the job market.  But when we think STEM, we think middle school and high school, robotics and chemistry—not first graders and the sand table.

Too often, STEM education begins with a disjoined introduction to engineering and technology concepts starting in middle school.  And while any exposure to STEM is good, research studies on STEM education has shown that kids who experience STEM early through hands-on learning are the ones who will be best equipped to develop a strong understanding of STEM concepts as they get older.

So how can STEM be part of the classroom every day? The standards are there:  with the advent of The Common Core along with the new Next Generation Science Standards, teachers have access to solid, research-based curricular guidelines for STEM education.