What is STEM?

What is STEM?

STEM Education is an approach to teaching and lifelong learning that emphasizes the natural interconnectedness of the four separate STEM disciplines. The common element of problem solving is emphasized across all STEM disciplines allowing students to discover, explore, and apply critical thinking skills as they learn.

What is a STEM Hub?

Oregon STEM Hubs are a Strategic Initiative overseen by Oregon’s STEM Investment Council and the Chief Education Office to increase student interest, preparation, and attainment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics for success in related degrees and careers. These regionally-focused, multi-sector partnerships unite schools, institutions of higher education, non-profits, businesses, civic leaders and communities to drive local STEM innovation and improvements at the systems-level, while also working to identify systemic barriers and co-construct solutions with communities most affected by the barriers. The STEM Hubs leverage local resouces and opportunities to bring STEM to students early and often, engaging them in and beyond the classroom. Hub borders are fluid, overlapping into surrounding communities and connected by multiple professional networks through which ideas and resources flow.  Regional STEM Hubs form a mutually supportive statewide network of hubs for implementation and dissemination of best practices.

Collective Impact Partnerships

The Theory of Action for the Regional STEM Hub strategy is based upon a collective impact partnership model where partnerships engage with multiple sectors in the community; eliminate locally defined inequities; use data for continuous improvement; and leverage community assets in efforts to improve practice and increase opportunities related to STEM education. Hubs align partner efforts towards a common agenda with a commitment to using relevant data for continuous improvement. Where regional programming gaps exist, STEM Hubs also implement strategies that include:

  • educator professional development around best practices in STEM instruction,
  • implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core,
  • increasing in and out of school hands-on STEM learning experiences for students, and
  • deepening student connections to the fast-growing STEM employment opportunities in the state of Oregon.