The FCPS vision is that FCPS graduates will be empowered with Knowledge and skills to contribute successfully in a 21st century global economy based on STEM.
The mission of the FCPS STEM program is to partner with our local business, scientific and higher education communities to provide STEM experiences for all students that prepare them for 21st century careers. STEM experiences will include focus on awareness and exploration in elementary and middle schools with advanced preparation in high school especially for highly able learners, underrepresented populations, and first time college attendees.
The goals of the FCPS STEM Program are:
A. Parent and Community Partnerships Initiative
B. Partnerships Initiative
C. Curriculum Initiative
D. Student Opportunities Initiative
STEM education is an approach to teaching and learning that integrates the content and skills of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEM Standards of Practice guide STEM instruction by defining the combination of behaviors, integrated with STEM content, which are expected of a proficient STEM student. These behaviors include engagement in inquiry, logical reasoning, collaboration, and investigation. The goal of STEM education is to prepare students for post-secondary study and the 21 st century workforce.
STEM education removes the artificial barriers that isolate content and allows for an integrated instructional approach. The curriculum should allow students to develop life skills and apply content knowledge within a real world context. STEM education is active and focuses on a student-centered learning environment. Students engage in questioning, problem solving, collaboration, and hands-on activities while they address real life issues. In STEM education, teachers function as classroom facilitators. They guide students through the problem-solving process and plan projects that lead to mastery of content and STEM proficiency. STEM proficient students are able to answer complex questions, investigate global issues, and develop solutions for challenges and real world problems while applying the rigor of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics content in a seamless fashion. STEM proficient students are logical thinkers, effective communicators and are technologically, scientifically, and mathematically literate.
There are two goals for STEM education in high school. The first goal is on the development of STEM proficient students. All students will continue to grow in their STEM proficiency as they progress from grades 9:12. Students demonstrate independence and become more focused and sophisticated in their approach to answering complex questions, investigating global issues, and developing solutions for challenges and real world problems. STEM proficient students graduate with the basic skills and knowledge required to pursue post-secondary study or work in any field.
The second goal for STEM education in high school is on the advanced preparation of students for post-secondary study and careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. High school provides a unique opportunity for students to explore different career paths and college majors through advanced coursework, career academies, magnet programs, STEM academies, specialized STEM programs, internships, and dual enrollment opportunities. Specific programs to address the needs for advanced preparation of students shall be determine by individual schools systems.