Maryland unveils STEM Strategic Plan, tools to spark innovation


— The Maryland State Department of Education announced a new strategic plan for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education and has launched a new website designed to kindle innovation in classrooms throughout the state.

The STEM Strategic Plan, presented to the Maryland State Board of Education, pinpoints five focus areas: professional learning, STEM resources, equity, Student STEM learning experiences and communications. By equipping educators with skills and tools for teaching and providing high quality resources that support teaching, improved STEM programs in public schools can lay the foundation for success for both students and the State.

“Better STEM programs in our schools represent an investment in our children and provide important preparation for their future success,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. “This plan is a map to the future, and our school systems are already moving forward.”

STEM education is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of science, technology, engineering and math.

“Overall, STEM occupations are projected to grow at a faster rate than the average for all occupations,” a report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found earlier this year. “And wages in these occupations were generally higher than the median for all occupations in May 2013.”

Pivotal to MSDE’s plan is its new STEM website, which provides context and resources for schools and school systems as they build out their own STEM strategies. The site not only provides the goals and objectives for STEM, but also practical ideas on how to make it work.