New STEM Framework Certifies Discovery Education’s Techbook and PD

Implementing a powerful STEM education program can be an enormous challenge. Today’s educators must capture students’ attentions, develop their problem-solving skills, and prepare them for the challenging 21st-century careers to come.

To achieve that, school districts need to know that they’re using tools proven to be effective. So it was with great honor that we recently learned Discovery Education’s Science Techbook and professional development initiatives STEMformation, STEM Leader Corps, and STEM Foundations were certified through a new framework for STEM education developed by the New York Academy of Sciences.

These resources were evaluated by an advisory board of education experts, including members of SRI Education, an established leader in STEM education research.

“Discovery Education got really high marks for the essential skills that it supports across grade levels,” said Britte H. Cheng, Ph.D, senior education researcher at SRI International’s Center for Technology in Learning. “It’s making it a more holistic or integrated approach to thinking about STEM. It’s not just about getting through those activities, but being able to think about them, communicate about them — important scientific practices that go beyond just experimentation.”

The Global STEM Alliance (GSA)’s STEM Education Framework is a new standard for STEM education promoting 21st-century skills. And Techbook and our STEM-focused PD initiatives were among the first instructional resources to pass the rigorous certification process developed by the academy.

The STEM Education Framework is a freely available resource used to help evaluate quality STEM instruction based on 26 criteria, grouped into the following three areas:

  • Core Competencies: To what extent are students provided with opportunities to develop 21st-century skills needed to thrive in the modern workplace?
  • Instructional Design: To what extent do the materials and/or program design reflect research-based pedagogy and a cohesive system of learning objectives, supports, and assessment resources?
  • Implementation: To what extent are necessary supports or services available to facilitate distribution and ensure effective implementation?

“Discovery Education is honored by this recognition and looks forward to continuing to support educators worldwide as they build the classrooms and culture today’s students need to prepare for the STEM careers of the future,” said Discovery Education Chief Academic Officer and Vice President, Curriculum & Instruction, Marty Creel in a press release.

Discovery Education Science Techbook is a breakthrough K-12 digital textbook that is changing the way students and teachers experience real world science phenomena. With an award-winning, impactful approach to K-12 science instruction, Science Techbook combines different types of media to explain and reinforce complex cross-cutting science concepts.

Want to learn how Science Techbook can be used to create powerful STEM program in your district? Check out our white paper, “Using Science Techbook to Support Great STEM Education.”

STEM Foundations is designed to grow educators’ and administrators’ core expertise in STEM instruction and leadership. It empowers participating school systems to build a custom combination of full-day professional development opportunities, job-embedded coaching, support in building community engagement and awareness, and more to create a unique STEM capacity building initiative.

STEMformation is a comprehensive, three-year system for building a culture of STEM at individual school sites. STEMformation guides educators as they master STEM instructional strategies.  With a focus on developing high-quality STEM lessons, creating transdisciplinary lessons and units, and vertically aligning STEM education school-wide, STEMformation provides the robust professional development, job-embedded coaching, and administrative leadership to create a center of STEM excellence.

STEM Leader Corps is a four-year system for scaling STEM education district wide. It is a sustainable capacity building model that develops and nurtures teachers and administrators as they build a culture of STEM teaching and learning in their school system.  Through a shared leadership model, robust professional development, ongoing coaching, and administrative leadership support, participating districts will develop a transdisciplinary curriculum that prepares students for success beyond the classroom.

For more information about Discovery Education’s powerful STEM initiatives, visit DiscoveryEducation.com/STEM.

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