- Curriculum specialists and teachers are overhauling the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) curriculum for the Tracy Unified School District (TUSD) in California this summer, as they look to weave these subjects into English language arts (ELA) lessons, wrote EdSource.
- Part of a five-year program, the new curriculum will encapsulate the California Next Generation Science Standards to bring science, engineering, writing and presentation skills together. All students, starting with pre-K through 5th grade and then 6th-12th next year, will participate in the lessons. District leaders expect standardized scores will go up for math, science and English language arts, and hope to attract more girls and students of color to Advanced Placement and International Baccalaurate courses.
- To ensure teachers have enough time to get up to speed with the new curriculum, lessons for 5th grade won’t start until five weeks after the new school year begins.
Incorporating STEM subjects into other courses, including ELA, is a growing trend in U.S. schools, noted EdSource. Merging these subjects has led to terms that better describe how the former disparate subjects now connect, such as referring to computer programming skills as coding language and literacy. Coding is just one example of a skill that can bridge multiple areas of curriculum, working its way into lessons from chemistry to women’s history.
Districts looking to expand the way they bring STEM and ELA together into curriculum can check out the California STEM Network or access the Next Generation Science Standards to find examples of lessons that incorporate the standards, beginning with 1st grade.