"As a state, we have a moral obligation to all of our students — not just the top 5 or 10 percent — to offer the STEM skills that will be required in every 21st-century career. STEM Works will expand the opportunities for more students to explore careers in STEM fields."

William L. Walker, Jr.
Arkansas Department of Career Education Director

What is STEM?

The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) supports the Center on Instruction definition of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education as, "an interdisciplinary approach to learning where rigorous academic concepts are coupled with real-world lessons as students apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between school, community, work, and the global enterprise enabling the development of STEM literacy and with the ability to compete in the new economy."

ADE, in partnership with Teacher Created Materials and AETN and ArkansasIDEAS, has developed an evidence-based classroom STEM education resource program to support educators in K-12 classrooms. These resources specifically focus on classroom-level instructional strategies, materials, and assessments. This program will directly assist teachers in learning practical, standards-based strategies that support the seven STEM Foundations.

Each STEM foundation provides a full-length, studio session video that includes selections from the educator's classroom footage. There is also the option to view each classroom lesson in its entirety. The associated materials needed to carry out the lessons, including detailed lesson plans, have also been provided for download.

Please feel free to use the following resources as you utilize the STEM website. The video provides a brief explanation of the ArkansasIDEAS STEM project and can be used alone or with the corresponding PowerPoint presentation.

STEM Foundations

Foundation 1: Academic Language Proficiency

In this foundation, Eugenia Mora-Flores, Ph.D. increases students' knowledge of Tier Two and Tier Three vocabulary words through instruction in various content areas. In kindergarten, students learn about scientists' observations, in fifth grade, adding fractions with unlike denominators, and in a high school dance class, Newton's Third Law of Motion.

Foundation 2: Critical and Close Reading of Nonfiction Text

In this foundation, Ms. Lisa Callahan teaches students to use Close Reading Structure in different subject areas and uses various instructional strategies to support them. In the fourth grade lesson the students learn about the water cycle as she implements Coding the Text and the Gradual Release of Responsibility Model. Ms. Callahan leads a sixth grade class in a math lesson about determining the best central tendency through Jigsawing and the use of Semantic Word Maps. Finally, she and a class of ninth graders explore Non-Newtonian Fluid and Newton's Law of Viscosity by employing Read, Retell, and Record.

Foundation 3: Writing Across the Content Areas

In this foundation, Ms. Kimberly Stockton's focus is on writing to learn and learning to write in different disciplines and various writing genres. In the first grade lesson, the class learns and writes about germs by collaborating on a class book. In eighth grade they do the same with global warming by creating brochures. Finally, in a ninth and tenth grade lesson, Ms. Stockton leads the class in a study of child labor and then has them create a Public Service Announcement about a social issue of their choosing.

Foundation 4: Problem-Solving and the Mathematical Practices

In this foundation, Ms. Linda Gojak links problem solving to the Standards for Mathematical Practice. She implements an instructional strategy for teaching problem solving - Launch, Explore, Summarize, and Assess - during math lessons in fourth, seventh, and ninth grade classrooms.

Foundation 5: Historical Thinking and Document Analysis Skills

In this foundation, Mr. Ryan O'Donnell facilitates a third grade class' study of Jamestown, a seventh grade class' study of China, and an eleventh grade class' study of The Little Rock Nine. He uses a variety of instructional strategies that support students as they analyze photographs and written documents, make text-based arguments, evaluate relationships among key concepts, and much more.

Foundation 6: Use of Technology for Project-Based/Problem-Based Learning

In this foundation, Mr. Eric LeMoine uses popular software, online applications, digital photography and more in his project-based/problem-based lessons. He facilitates a second grade science lesson about healthy eating, a fifth grade lesson about potential and kinetic energy, and a twelfth grade English lesson about argumentative writing.

Foundation 7: Science Content Knowledge and Inquiry Skills

In this foundation, Ms. Lakenna Chitman-Booker uses the 5E instructional model to instill scientific inquiry skills and broaden content knowledge. She leads a first grade science lesson about animal classification, a seventh grade science and engineering lesson that utilizes technology, and a tenth grade genetics lesson in which students use graphing calculators.