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The second decade of the 21st century has seen governments and industry globally intensify their focus on the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as a vehicle for future economic prosperity. Economic opportunities for new industries that are emerging from technological advances, such as those emerging from the field of artificial intelligence also require greater capabilities in science, mathematics, engineering and technologies. In response to such opportunities and challenges, government policies that position STEM as a critical driver of economic prosperity have burgeoned in recent years. Common to all these policies are consistent messages that STEM related industries are the key to future international competitiveness, productivity and economic prosperity.
This book presents a contemporary focus on significant issues in STEM teaching, learning and research that are valuable in preparing students for a digital 21st century. The book chapters cover a wide spectrum of issues and topics using a wealth of research methodologies and methods ranging from STEM definitions to virtual reality in the classroom; multiplicative thinking; STEM in pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education, opportunities and obstacles in STEM; inquiry-based learning in statistics; values in STEM education and building academic leadership in STEM.
The book is an important representation of some of the work currently being done by research-active academics. It will appeal to academics, researchers, teacher educators, educational administrators, teachers and anyone interested in contemporary STEM Education related research in a rapidly changing globally interconnected world.

Contributors are: Natalie Banks, Anastasios (Tasos) Barkatsas, Amanda Berry, Lisa Borgerding, Nicky Carr, Io Keong Cheong, Grant Cooper, Jan van Driel, Jennifer Earle, Susan Fraser, Noleine Fitzallen, Tricia Forrester, Helen Georgiou, Andrew Gilbert, Ineke Henze, Linda Hobbs, Sarah Howard, Sylvia Sao Leng Ieong, Chunlian Jiang, Kathy Jordan, Belinda Kennedy, Zsolt Lavicza, Tricia Mclaughlin, Wendy Nielsen, Shalveena Prasad, Theodosia Prodromou, Wee Tiong Seah, Dianne Siemon, Li Ping Thong, Tessa E. Vossen and Marc J. de Vries.
STEPS to STEM – Student Science Notebook
A “Sci-Book” or “Science Notebook” serves as an essential companion to the science curriculum supplement, STEPS to STEM. As students learn key concepts in the seven “big ideas” in this program (Electricity & Magnetism; Air & Flight; Water & Weather; Plants & Animals; Earth & Space; Matter & Motion; Light & Sound), they record their ideas, plans, and evidence. There is ample space for students to keep track of their observations and findings, as well as a section to reflect upon the use of “Science and Engineering Practices” as set forth in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Using a science notebook is reflective of the behavior of scientists. One of the pillars of the Nature of Science is that scientists must document their work to publish their research results; it is a necessary part of the scientific enterprise. This is important because STEPS to STEM is a program for young scientists who learn within a community of scientists. Helping students to think and act like scientists is a critical feature of this program. Students learn that they need to keep a written record if they are to successfully share their discoveries and curiosities with their classmates and with the teacher. Teachers should also model writing in science to help instill a sense of purpose and pride in using and maintaining a Sci-Book. Lastly, students’ documentation can serve as a valuable form of authentic assessment; teachers can utilize Sci-Books to monitor the learning process and the development of science skills.
A Science Curriculum Supplement for Upper Elementary and Middle School Grades – Teacher's Edition
STEPS (Science Tasks Enhance Process Skills) to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) is an inquiry-based science curriculum supplement focused on developing upper elementary and middle students’ process skills and problem-solving abilities characteristic of how scientists think and act. Students learn key concepts in seven “big ideas” in science: Electricity & Magnetism; Air & Flight; Water & Weather; Plants & Animals; Earth & Space; Matter & Motion; and Light & Sound. Using simple, readily available materials, teachers facilitate learning experiences using the following structure:
STEP 1: Investigate—Hypothesis—Test
STEP 2: Observe—Record—Predict
STEP 3: Gather—Make—Try

Once students complete a set of STEP activities aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards ( NGSS), they are ready to collaborate using a STEM Center. STEM Centers provide students with the opportunity for extended investigations focused on a single problem or “team challenge.” Students utilize science and engineering practices while collaboratively conducting research to gather information. Once a plan is made, the team attempts to solve the problem or complete the open-ended task. In addition, a Science Notebook or Sci-Book serves as an essential companion to STEPS to STEM; students maintain a written record of their completed activities which can serve as a form of authentic assessment. STEPS to STEM aims to help students find enjoyment in science and in the process of problem-solving—there are things to do, discoveries to be made, and problems to solve. Ideally, these experiences will lead to more explorations and questions about the world around them.
Biographies and Activities for Elementary Classrooms
The purpose of this book is to serve as a supplemental reference text for 21st century elementary classrooms. The primary objective is to help teachers inspire and engage their students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. The push for incorporating STEM education in elementary school has become increasingly important, yet most educators and publishers have offered problem-based activities, without considering one of the most important pedagogical entry points to lesson planning—the hook or the opening.
Inspiring STEM Minds aims at providing teachers an effective, easy to use text that they can use to discuss specific mathematicians, engineers, inventors, and scientists (although the individuals chosen for each section of the book are in no way an exhaustive or selective group that may characterize each discipline). This reference text is organized into four key sections, depicting the four disciplines that make up STEM education. Each section briefly gives historical background, as well as provides a problem or short activity designed to use everyday materials so that teachers can implement the activity in their classrooms. The classroom activities are directly related to each biography and have, we believe, great potential to engage students in the classroom. Each activity is also correlated to the National Standards, and we also supplement the activities with suggestions for interdisciplinary connections.
Performance and Challenges in Five Participating Southeast Asian Countries
This is the first book regarding the issues of PISA that has been published with respect to the Southeast Asian region. It is hoped that the content of this book can benefit and provide greater understanding for readers of several important aspects: (a) country performance in PISA 2012 for each participating Southeast Asian country, (b) the need for international comparative studies from the perspective at all levels of the teaching and learning process, (c) equity and quality of education, (d) how PISA impacts on policy making, and (e) the initiatives and future directions, and challenges to improve PISA performance in the future cycles of the PISA Studies. The major issues raised in this book warrant investigation and reporting to all countries of the World, including not only those countries that were engaged in PISA 2012, but also to the approximately 200 countries that are currently in the United Nations Organisation.
Pushing the Boundaries of Studying Informal Learning in Science, Mathematics, and Technology
Between 2004 and 2009, university educators, practicing scientists, museum and science-centre personnel, historians, and K-12 teachers in Canada’s eastern Atlantic provinces came together as a research community to investigate informal learning in science, technology, and mathematics. The interdisciplinary collaboration, known as CRYSTAL Atlantique, was sponsored by Canada’s National Science and Engineering Research Council. In this volume, the CRYSTAL participants look back on their collective experience and describe research projects that pushed the boundaries of informal teaching and learning. Those projects include encounters between students and practicing scientists in university laboratories and field studies; summer camps for science engagement; after-school science clubs for teachers and students; innovative software for computer assisted learning; environmental problem-solving in a comparative, international context; online communities devoted to solving mathematical problems; and explorations of ethonomathematics among Canadian aboriginal peoples. The editors and contributors stress the need for research on informal learning to be informed continuously by a notion of science as culture, and they analyze the forms of resistance that studies of informal learning frequently encounter. Above all, they urge a more central place for informal science learning in the larger agenda of educational research today.
This book is about language in STEM research and about how it is thought about: as something that somehow refers to something else not directly accessible, often «meaning», «mental representation», or «conception». Using the analyses of real data and analyses of the way certain concepts are used in the scientific literature, such as “meaning,” this book reframes the discussion about «meaning», «mental representation», and «conceptions» consistent with the pragmatic approaches that we have become familiar with through the works of K. Marx, L. S. Vygotsky, M. M. Bakhtin, V. N. Vološinov, L. Wittgenstein, F. Mikhailov, R. Rorty, and J. Derrida, to name but a few. All of these scholars, in one or another way, articulate a critique of a view of language that has been developed in a metaphysical approach from Plato through Kant and modern constructivism; this view of language, which already for Wittgenstein was an outmoded view in the middle of the last century, continuous to be alive today and dominating the way language is thought about and theorized.