Two Bit Circus and Solve for Pattern are committing to create a STEAM Certificate offered through the University of California Extension Program that will provide educators (credentialed, pre-service and informal), administrators, parents, industry professionals, potential mentors, and others with the knowledge and hands-on experience needed to become a STEAM-equipped educator. The program will be accredited through the University of California system with instruction provided by Two Bit Circus' team of educators.
The STEAM Certificate will be a cohesive program, where each module will incorporate opportunities for project-based learning aligned to current standards - Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) - and reflection through portfolio development. The curriculum will include the following mandatory modules: 1. Introduction - STEAM 101; 2. Engagement and Creativity; and 3. Cascading Mentoring. The following electives will be offered: STEAMsters - Cascading Mentorship in STEAM; Professional Learning Sessions - Wearable Electronics; Professional Learning Sessions - Musical Robotics; and Professional Learning Sessions - Platform Game Creation.
Participants will be required to complete 140 credit hours that include both theory and practice, although it is possible for enrollees to take individual classes. A full-time student could complete the Certificate Program in one semester; and a part-time student could reasonably complete the Certificate Program in one and a half years.
Two Bit Circus will develop, test, and implement curriculum for the STEAM Certificate. Individual modules will be tested at Somis Unified School District and with After School All Stars, an afterschool instructional program. Two Bit Circus will provide instruction, and approximately 140 educators will be engaged in the pilot stage for the modules.
Two Bit Circus brings expertise in encouraging meaningful engagement in STEAM content and pedagogy as well as real-world engineering experience. Solve for Pattern will work to align the STEAM modules to CCSS and NGSS and provide strategies for uniting business, industry, and education.
Module creation will occur between June 2014 and December 2015. Each module will take between one and three months to research and develop.
Module piloting will occur between June 2015 and March 2016. The pilot phase for each module will last approximately one month.
Modules will be accepted by the UC system between June 2014 and March 2016. Modules will be submitted for UC review during the piloting stage. Submission for the STEAM Certificate will occur in January 2016.
Implementation of individual modules will begin in October 2015.
A basic level of literacy in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) is critical to achieve full participation and success in the 21st century economy and society. In order to take advantage of growing job opportunities in these fields, Americans must achieve higher levels of STEM proficiency. Access to high quality STEM learning opportunities throughout the educational pipeline is therefore key. The crucial addition of the arts sparks the interplay between left-brain convergent thinking and right-brain divergent thinking. Artist problem solving embraces multiple pathways to potential solutions. In a rapidly changing world, becoming a well-rounded global citizen with the imagination and skills to conquer new challenges is an imperative. STEAM education is the catalyst for this.
However, Change the Equation data shows that only 31% of eighth graders in the U.S. have math teachers with an undergraduate degree in math, and less than half of them have science teachers with an undergraduate degree in science. Furthermore, WestEd's Center for Teaching and Learning research shows that 85% of elementary school teachers in the U.S. have not received any science-related professional development in the past three years.
The recommendations of the 2011 National Research Council report 'Successful K-12 STEM Education' are clear: 'Districts need to enhance the capacity of K-12 teachers' and 'Districts should provide instructional leaders with professional development that helps them to create the school conditions that appear to support student achievement'.
But the education community cannot make these changes alone. A new infrastructure made up of the diverse interests that contribute to ensuring all students are STEAM equipped must come together: teachers, pre-service and informal educators, administrators, parents, business and industry professionals, and potential mentors. Only through this multi-stakeholder collaborative effort will it be possible to support, guide, and encourage effective, engaging, and ongoing STEAM teaching and learning.
Financial resources to support the development of the STEAM Certificate programming, best practices for cross-sector learning, and media support.
Experience and support for program infrastructure development, strategic guidance for program development, compelling and engaging STEAM-based content, and assessment and quantitative measurement tools.